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Fighting for Faith in the Darkness Part 28

We got sent home w/bili lights

Have any of you had to do those?

I didn’t know the stress that those could cause. All naked on a hard table of lights all day, all night, always waking to take his temperature and worrying that somehow he was going to roll off. Babies don’t roll at that age but you can’t help but jolt awake and look. 😂 .

I feel like we held him more.

Breathed him in more.

Circled up around each other and just felt totally in awe of the gift of a baby boy.

He was perfect.

A newborn photo of our little guy on a furry blanket.

We drove back and forth to the hospital constantly to get his heels pricks and waited as his numbers rose and fell for jaundice.

It started to really pull at my heart to have them do that.

How can a parent just stand by and watch as every single day their child is put through pain?

Never ending it.

And in fact, full on putting them through it.

I guess that’s why we become parents. Because for fleeting moments we get to feel what HE feels.

And I wonder what SHE feels through all of it. A heavenly mother. Does she watch us and our suffering, our joys and our aches? Does she plead on our behalf along with us? Does she send extra help? I bet she does. I bet sometimes HE wraps His arms around her shoulders as she has tears falling down her cheeks for her children who have forgotten.

And so, I would sit, I’d hold him as they’d draw blood and I’d pray again, the same as I had been doing through three near death pregnancies, through unemployment, through hardship and heart ache, “Help me to become like thee.

Let these things change me, not break me. Help me to never forget. And please, if I must go through such things, help me to one day have a purpose with it all.”

And we do. The pieces started to fall into place and suddenly our lives became a movie where all of the little moments, the pieces, the people and experiences swirled together and I could see that there was a plan all this time.

Everything has to happen so that one moment, standing at Cade’s shoulder in front of more than 30 people could change our lives forever. This all had a bigger purpose than just me or Cade “becoming” it was about to be one of the greatest answers to a prayer I had as a little girl.

A photo of me in the mirror holding our new baby at home.

Being home I felt incredibly reflective.

Growing up was a mix of highs and lows for me, but my lows kind of outweighed my highs in my mind.

My family loved me, I did great in school, but I felt invisible and misunderstood with my peers. Maybe it’s just me, but eating alone in high school is a good example.

I felt like I was a fun girl, I loved to laugh and be silly. I loved to get out and see and do, but I didn’t feel accepted by my peers which pushed me into a depression which got worse as the years went on. A later story.

A few weeks ago someone asked me on Insta what I was like in high school.

I was broken.

I felt that no one cared for me. That I didn’t have any friends. That I didn’t matter or have anything to truly offer.

And yet, deep down inside I white knuckled to this truth my parents had taught me,
“You are a daughter of God, and THAT is enough.”

As a little girl I’d pray and pray that one day I could matter to someone.

I specifically remember, “let me help bring light even in a small way. Let me help with thy work, please, I just want to be a part of it!”

I don’t know why it was so important to me, but trials can make you forget.

Later I learned that I was wrong in high school and before.

I didn’t lack friends, I lacked being a friend.

I was so worried about what I didn’t have I didn’t see what I had to offer.

As I walked downstairs I remember thinking, for years I’ve been praying to be saved from our trials, to help me be better, me, me, me, but I’m done with that.

I just wanted to live the truth I’ve learned, life is what I choose to see, and do, and who I choose to love and I don’t need anything in return.

Being lonely taught me to be a friend. For that I’m grateful.

Being broken taught me to mend the weak and weary.

Being poor taught me to retain a sense of worth and how little we truly need to be happy. Which happiness comes from giving even with nothing.

Being sick taught me everything. Everything.

I was given new eyes to see.

Sometimes the best blessings are the unexpected shocking ones… This next one, well it would become the most incredible miracle I’ve witnessed in my 35 years.

A photo of my cooking in the kitchen with our baby in a wrap on me.

Cade and I had been contacted the very month I started to feel a little more human in my pregnancy about the possibility of writing a cookbook.

We had said no for years but this time felt so good. Which is funny because I was in the worst position to think about food and Cade couldn’t tackle it on his own as I do all the photography.

So we did what any normal couple in a trial like this would do.

We said yes.

Once the little guy was born we blasted into cookbook mode, signed contracts and started developing new recipes.

I vowed we would never write another cookbook. The time, energy, stress, and work was unreal, especially coming straight out of a move just two months before and being sicker than sick with hyperemesis gravidarum just a few weeks prior.

But it was amazing to work as a family. Our kids love to tell the story, stars in their eyes and grins across their faces of the days when I’d photograph so many desserts that by dinner I’d say, have at it! And we’d eat 8 different desserts and make ourselves sick with laughter over it.

Just before the book released we were invited to stand before all of the Deseret Book team and present them with recipes as well as a Q&A about us. Something to help everyone get to know us so they could really help sell the book.

We stressed and sweated and slaved in the kitchen preparing small samples, even bite sized Nutella crepes.

There we were.

There they were.

We looked out into the sea of people and when someone asked what our intent was with this cookbook something unexpected happened.

Suddenly Cade and I were telling our story. Tears were pouring down our cheeks as we talked about being unemployed for two years straight and no savings to live off of. The desperation to survive multiple HG pregnancies and the sweet baby boy in the back of the room being the product of miracles.

And they cried with us.

Together.

It was different. It wasn’t a sob story. It was a story of faith and triumph but to us it was just our story. So what did we want?

We just wanted to remind families that’s it’s not about the food, but the hands that created it.

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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