Monday, March 25, 2013

Why I Didn't Ask Why

Recently I decided to enter a contest Time Out for Women are having for the Pasadena event I am going to. They asked you to tell them about a journey you’ve taken, something awesome you’ve accomplished, or what you’re doing to live a little HIGHER. Now that I'm doing so much better, I thought it was a good opportunity to look back on all I've been through with CIDP. I hope you enjoy it.

Me and Hyrum at Disneyland with my parents
UPDATE: I WON!!! I totally WON! I get two front row seats and they're going to post my story on their website. Hooray! Here's the story I entered:

Why I Didn't Ask Why 

Me and my sweet prince on his chariot

My name is Stacia, which means Resurrection or “one who will walk again.” That’s ironic because I’ve been paralyzed twice in my life. At 10-years-old I was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune disease where your immune system attacks your nervous system. I was completely paralyzed and weak from head to toe, my lungs collapsed (diaphragm was paralyzed), couldn’t swallow (those muscles didn’t work) and had double vision (eye muscles wouldn’t focus). I spent two months in ICU and two years recovering.

I relapsed at 33 in February 2011. At its worst I had weakness and paralysis in my legs, hands and double vision. I was diagnosed with CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy), the chronic form of GBS, meaning this would always be there.  

The First Signs
I’d felt gradually weaker during our visit to my parents’ house Christmas 2010 in Texas. At the airport as I got off the escalator on our way home to California, I tripped, falling to my knees as I held our 2-year-old son in my arms. I looked up at my husband in horror and cried, “I can’t feel my legs!” I was terrified to realize I was numb from the waist down. This could not be happening again.

Layne helping me walk 9.3.11
A Sacred Trust
My sweet husband, Layne was left solely to care for me, including bathing and dressing me as well as caring for our son and the house. He even flew in my mother to help that first week. Later after working all day in Long Beach, he would drive to Irvine to pick me up from work, an hour and half round trip. Other family helped as well, but Layne shouldered most of it. I was worried he would hate me for the burden I’d become. When I asked him about it, he confided that his love for me had deepened BECAUSE he’d had to care for me. In turn, I learned that I could trust and love this man even deeper than before.

A Tender Mercy
While still coping with my disability, I was devastated to learn that I’d miscarried our second child at 14 weeks. When I returned to work the next day, a celebrity, Bethany Hamilton, was visiting our corporate office. She was very kind to me, pausing to talk longer than she had the rest. I didn’t even notice that she was missing an arm. Later I learned she was the person the movie, “Soul Surfer,” was based on, a surfer from Hawaii who went on to become a pro surfer after losing her arm in a shark attack. Meeting her that day was a reminder that triumph could come from loss and that my journey wasn’t finished.

Mom, Dad, Hyrum and me with my walker
Ultimate Trust
After I’d lost my baby, my dad called to check on me. He wondered if I’d asked the Lord why all this was happening. I told him no because asking why wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t heal my body and it wouldn’t bring my baby back. I thought asking why would tell the Lord that I didn’t trust Him, that I didn’t feel secure in His care. I trusted Him then and I still do. I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me, who has plans for me and who can perform miracles.

A Happier Ending
Two years later as I write this, I am almost entirely better. I still have some limits, but I can do most of the things I could before. The Lord has healed me twice and though a relapse always looms, I know He could heal me again. I have the most beautiful husband and son, and we’re trying for more. Although I was laid off from that job in February 2012, I literally received a job offer the very next day, making more money closer to home. The Lord is always aware of us. He knows our pains and sorrows more acutely than anyone, and no one is better at caring for us than He. Perhaps now I’ll be better at recognizing the enormous blessing our trials really are.

Jacobsons 2012


  1. You are a very sweet special woman! I know I can learn from you and your humility and faith. I have handled my own trials much differently. I am more like a wild mustang that bucks at the onset of a major trial. It has taken a miscarriage, brain tumor, and mentally ill son for me to realize that I need to stop bucking. I usually do once the dust settles and I can come to accept what we are going through but one thing that is very admirable about you is your quiet dignity and strong as steel faith in the Lord. This life isn't everything. You will be so blessed for the beautiful way you have embraced such difficult trials and endured so faithfully. Layne is very lucky to have you and he sounds like a wonderful loving husband. I am so glad you have been loved so well through this hard time and I am so touched to see your healing and happiness as you overcome this major obstacle in life. You are a quiet example of a spiritual giant. In this time where we have had to send our son off to a mental health treatment center, I know I can look to your faith and strength to help me find mine. Thank you for sharing your testimony and strength with others. You are a champion!!

  2. When I lost our baby early on, I was suffering with a quickly worsening disease called endometriosis. I was told a hysterectomy was looming. After a really difficult childhood, I had many prayers that I would suffer through anything the Lord gave me as long as I could have the blessing of a faithful strong marriage. I never knew this kind of pain before though. I lost our baby Mothers Day weekend. It felt like a sting to my heart to see others everywhere I went that were pregnant and happy. I was always really ill when I was pregnant throwing up 5 to 12 times every single day until after I delivered. It was a hard thing to be pregnant but it was hard thing to not be able to have more children too. After I lost that baby I had wondered what I had done to deseve that and why my sisters who were not married and didn't really even want to be pregnant were able to be blessed with a pregnancy and why I could not be. It was hard for me to pray for about a month. Then one day during a visit from my Dad, he took me out to the porch at our old ranch house and asked why I was so upset. I told him I was still in the process of the miscarriage and that I did not feel like I wanted to pray anymore. He held my face and with tears in his eyes told me to take the Lord's hand and not let this experience cause me to go away from the Lord. When I got home I went to my knees and I remember saying, "Heavenly Father"....that was it and a rush of warmth and comfort came over me that I will never forget. That was not a lesson forced on me to learn but something I chose to learn from and it is a good thing that I did because three years later I was facing a life threatening brain tumor. It was the hardest moment to hold my babies and tell them what the doctor had told us. I was only 29. As emotional as this was for me, I looked back at that experience of prayer many times. I would take walks in the dark, tears streaming down my cheeks just yearning for comfort and peace and the faith to get us through that trial. I would think of how I did not want to be replaced by another wife and how I wanted to be the one to raise our children. I remember the moment Kev embraced me before I was wheeled away to surgery. One of my best friends came too. I remember their tears falling on my sheets and the love in their eyes. When I got to the opperating room and the the masks were going on, I knew I wanted to go to sleep in prayer. I had a very special spiritual experience while I was out. I know that some of our trials are hard enough to show us where we can be broken but they can also be a strength to us to show us our faith and that we can do hard things with the Lord's help. It has been emotional sending our son off. He is our only son and we love him dearly. We have watched him go through so much. But I know that after those expereiences, the Lord will help us through whatever it is we have to go through next. This life isn't everything there is. I try to keep my faith in check and remember that this life is short and if we endure well, in the end we can be exalted and together with our families forever! Someday I will have the ability to have babies again and I look forward to that awesome moment I will see my son as he is without this vail of mental illness. Someday I will hear out of my other ear again and I hope the first thing I can hear is my little ones whisper that they love me. Someday, you will not ever again have to worry about a relaps and the pain you went through losing your precious baby will be made up to you. The greatest lesson I could have learned from any of the heartaches I have had, is the very personal love our Savior has for each of us. He not only suffered for our sins, but our sorrows too. We will never be alone in our sufferings. I am forever grateful for his sacrifice for me. You are a sweetheart and a bright light to others! Keep that light shining! ;)

  3. You continue to amaze and inspire me. You inspired me when we were little and I watched you come back from that first trial with a joy in life and the ability to look at life with fun and happiness that I wish I was able to do. You were also so fun and happy to be around, and still are! You also inspired me when we went to dinner with Jenny after you had gone through the second relapse and regardless of the trials you were going through and had gone through, you made me laugh and know that life is great. You have such an amazing personality and outlook on life and I look to you when I have trials and know that I too can overcome them and not question why, but trust in the Lords hand in all things. I want you to move to Texas near your parents so I can come visit you :)

  4. Stacia, you're the absolute best!! <3

  5. Stacia, you are such a dear, sweet woman! I am so glad you got the prize, you certainly deserve it!
    As much as I would like to go, I just can't this time. I have been to three different times and TOFW gives such a spiritual rush to me!
    You are always in my heart and prayers, along with your darling son and husband!

  6. great post - you deserved to win!!

  7. You are an amazing person. I am glad that I can say I know you. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I will reflect on it again when trials come my way and remember to thank Heavenly Father for the blessings that I do have. I will also remember, how miniscule my trials are compared to the greater scheme of things. I have much to be thankful for. Thanks again for sharing your story and congrats on winning your tickets!