Local Parishes

Twice Blessed

God’s will be done, says father-to-be. But ‘God has too much confidence in me.’

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

LENEXA — When Holy Trinity parishioners Dustin and Amy Eichler headed to a 12-week sonogram together, they were expecting routine news about the progress of their first child.

What they got instead was a big surprise.

After the examination, Amy stepped out to use the restroom.

The technician waited until the door closed, then turned to Dustin and said, “I’m glad you’re sitting down.”

Before Dustin could ask why, she rushed on.

“I think there are two in there,” she said.

Dustin didn’t faint, like the technician thought he might. But his jaw dropped and the first words out of his mouth were, “Are you serious?”

“And I’m not going to lie,” he recalled. “It wasn’t a joyful ‘Are you serious?’

“I was thinking — two? We were planning on having kids, but starting with just one.”

As a matter of fact, financially, the young couple was struggling to figure out how they would afford just one addition to the family.

“We don’t have a whole lot of money,” said Dustin.

But they trusted God had a plan.

“God provided us with me being pregnant,” said Amy. “He wouldn’t give us a kid without the means to support a kid.”

Dustin was in the process of looking for a better job, and they were hoping to manage with the baby in their small one-bedroom apartment until they could save enough to buy a home.

After all, how much space could one baby take up?

But two? That was a different story.

Why us?

When Amy returned to the examining room, the technician excused herself and left Dustin to deliver the news.

“I didn’t blurt it out right away,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Amy, I’ve got something to tell you.’

“I just sat there for a minute, and then I said, ‘There are two of them.’”

Amy’s reaction was a giggle.

“A giggle like when people are nervous,” said Dustin.

The couple drove home in shock, trying to absorb the idea of two babies in their tiny apartment.

Dustin finally voiced the question that was on both their minds.

“Why us?” he asked.

He was speaking to God as much as to Amy. But it was Amy who answered.

“Well, Dustin, God won’t give us anything we can’t handle,” she said. “He gave us these twins for a reason, because he thinks we can handle it.”

“Amy, you’re right,” said Dustin. “God obviously isn’t going to give us something we can’t take care of.

“I just wish he wouldn’t trust us so much sometimes.

“He has too much confidence in me. I don’t have that much confidence in myself.”

Match made in heaven

When Amy and Dustin met in 2008, Amy knew immediately he was “the one.”

“I’d never before had anyone I could talk with, and just keep talking, and never run out of things to talk about,” she said.

It took Dustin another seven months and a trip to confession to figure it out.

“I knew she wanted us to be a couple,” he said. “I went to confession this one time and was talking to Father about dating this girl for seven months.

And he said, “Seven months!? That’s a very long time!”

The priest told Dustin he needed to make a commitment or let Amy go.

“I went home,” said Dustin. “And I prayed about it for a whole week, wondering — ‘God, was that you talking to me through the priest?’”

Apparently it was, because the couple got engaged a year later and married a year after that in Amy’s home parish, Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Seneca.

They decided to settle in Lenexa, where Amy was already working as a receptionist.

So Dustin moved from St. James Parish in Liberty, Mo., found interim work to help pay the bills, and started looking for a more permanent job he could turn into a career.

They weren’t wealthy, but they were happy — part of it due to their shared commitment to their Catholic faith.

“We both try to live our faith as best we can,” said Dustin. “We pray and go to [eucharistic] adoration together. We sometimes go to confession together. Sometimes we do the daily readings together.”

God’s will be done

The couple practiced natural family planning when they were first married and then decided they were open to having a child.

But they had no idea it would happen so fast — or be so prolific.

“When you find out you’re pregnant, there’s joy,” said Dustin. “But when you find out there’s two of them, it is an overload.

“It is like a slap up the side of the head — Oh, wow!”

That slap sent Dustin’s need for a better job into overdrive. He doubled his search efforts and his prayers.

“I prayed all the time,” he said, recalling his petition. “I said, ‘God, where do you want me to be? You know our situation, and you know I don’t make enough money, and you know we’ve got two babies on the way.’

“I prayed for God’s will because I wanted to be happy. And I know I’m not going to be happy if I’m going in my own direction instead of his.”

Last week, Dustin’s prayers were answered when he started a new job that will allow him to apprentice as a mechanic for construction equipment.

“I’ve never been in the construction field,” he said. “But I was looking for something [where] I can acquire a skill, a trade, and something I know will be long term.

“That’s what attracted me to this job.”

A change of plan

The couple has postponed their dream of owning a house. Instead, they’ve upgraded to a two-bedroom apartment and will continue to save.

“That’s how life is sometimes,” said Amy. “It changes, and you have to just go with it.”

Though they trust in God’s plan, they know that trust can be fragile.

“We know this is what God wants,” explained Dustin, “but we still do have worries and anxieties about how we’re going to provide for these babies.

“I think that’s OK — Jesus was afraid. He had anxieties about the crucifixion.”

And the couple has a formula for dealing with their fears.

“You have to have a spiritual life,” said Dustin. “You have to go to confession, receive the Eucharist.

“You have to pray.

“Or, not only will you not know God’s will, but that fear is going to stay. It’s never going to go away, it’s not going to be calmed.”

The couple faced some fear recently when it was suggested they have their babies tested for Down syndrome. They refused.

“What are we going to do if it’s positive?” asked Dustin. “Change our minds?

“I pray it doesn’t happen — but if there’s anything wrong with one of our kids, it’s the way it is.

“We’ll accept it.”

Amy agreed.

“If that’s what God wants to give us,” she said, “maybe there’s a reason. We’ll just learn from it and keep going.”

Never alone

Amy’s prayer for the future is that she will be able to carry the twins to full term, and that she can give them her greatest gift.

“I hope we raise them to be faithful like Dustin and I are,” she said. “I want to raise them like I was raised, to go to Mass and pray and go to confession.”

They know the twins are identical, but they’ve chosen not to know the sex — although a girl’s name has already been chosen.

“You’re going to laugh at me probably,” said Dustin. “But I thought about this before Amy and I ever met.

“Every time I say Mary’s name, it sounds pretty, it sounds beautiful. And I want to honor her in some way.

“So I told Amy when we started talking about kids that I want our first daughter to be named Mary Elizabeth, and I don’t want to budge on that.”

“I agreed with him,” said Amy. “Mary deserves the honor.”

Amy and Dustin feel like they’re on a blessed journey, but they’re glad they’re not traveling alone

“Twins is kind of scary,” admitted Amy, “but God will guide us through it.

“We’re just going to keep going and see where life takes us — where God takes us on this journey with our twins.”

“Because you can’t do it on your own,” said Dustin. “I know Amy and I have no delusions that we’re going to do this on our own.

“Once these babies come, I’m going to be spending more time in [eucharistic] adoration saying, “OK, help us out!”


About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

Leave a Comment