shining like the sun striding through my fear the prince of peace met me there
Our pain often leads to some of our greatest testimonies. It can push us to places we didn't know we could go. It can remind us of where our strength comes from. For me, my pain always reminds me how much I love to write. I spent 9 years dedicated to learning to write, and I hardly ever do it.
So today, I write. (Ok, the last few days. I couldn't possibly put a raw unedited post into the talons of the Internet!) This year, Mother's Day looked much different than I expected. A few weeks ago, Jon and I anxiously arrived for our first ultrasound. The first time we would see our baby. As I laid on the table, cold, eager and uncomfortable, Jon held tight to my arm as the image of our baby came up on the screen. My heart was pounding with excitement. "This is unreal," I thought. I instantly swelled with so much love for this baby I had known for 5 whole seconds. As quickly as my heart swelled, it was met with the words, "I'm so sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat." My eyes met with Jon's as this sense of unbelief overwhelmed us both. Could this be happening? It was not what we expected.
The nurse gave us a few moments and came back with the news that I would need to go over to the hospital to have an ultrasound technician take another look and then speak to an OBGYN about my options. So we drove in silence. Sat in silence as we waited for the ultrasound. Sat in more silence while we waited to talk to a doctor.
For the sake of avoiding a novel length blog post on the rollercoaster of emotions: it sucked. We had spent the past 6 weeks dreaming of this baby. Those weeks were filled with a wide variety of emotions from both of us. "Wow, we're pregnant". "How are we going to do this in a one bedroom?" "I can't do this." "What are we doing?" "You know? This is going to be great." "God brought us here, He won't leave us here." "The crib would fit perfect in this part of our room." "What do you think of this name?" "We're going to have a Christmas baby!" High highs to low lows. I spent a week waiting to miscarry and that eventually led me to spending 7 hours in the ER because the physical pain was unbearable. I was sent to the same room that confirmed our baby had no heart beat, now to confirm the baby was no longer there.
The night of our ultrasound, when we sat at home trying to process everything, both Jon and I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace. "God STILL has this." I was amazed at the peace God gave me to not look at other present and future mommies with bitterness this Mother's Day, but at joy that I got to celebrate being a mother to my little angel baby. This year, I understood that being a Mother looks different to everyone. We felt so loved by our friends and family who covered us in prayer, put together care packages and let us know we weren't alone.
He makes me lie down in green pastures / he leads me beside still waters / he restores my soul.
He is the GOOD Shepherd.
As I walk through this narrative of having a miscarriage, I realized how alone I felt, but how I really wasn't. There is such a stigma of miscarriages being something to be ashamed of. So often we keep our pain to ourselves, not realizing that through our vulnerability, we can be strong. Through our vulnerability, someone ELSE can be strong. Please don't misunderstand. Sometimes I wonder what the heck God is doing. I get angry and frustrated. This has not been easy and it's not easy to share either, but it's now part of my story. So I write to heal and to share. Our stories are not our own; they are meant to bring glory back to God.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” C.S. Lewis
My hope is that I can let someone else out there know that they have someone who understands their pain. I also hope that as I continue writing and sharing my story that this would be a place that is real. I am a huge fan of mom blogs. I am a huge fan of Instagram, Pinterest and the like, but I am also grossly guilty of being discontent and having expectations that don't match reality. I have nothing against any of those blogs. I love them. I'm inspired by them, but that's not my reality! So I hope that this can be a place where someone else who is trying a new recipe and fails won't feel discouraged that their recipe isn't Pinterest worthy. Or someone else living in a one bedroom with a closet large enough to fit one pair of jeans can know they are not the only ones who can't have their dream wardrobe. And hey, it's not that bad! He is the GOOD Shepherd. He meets us where we are at. He teaches us to be content and that we can always find joy. So, let's be encouragers to one another and find that joy wherever we are at in these real moments!