The Long Journey Home

Days later the replies came with all the love and promises to pray that I had hoped for. They were sad for me. They wanted to hug me. They didn’t know what to say. They knew that words meant nothing ultimately. They were still the wonderful friends that I needed to be “standing” with me through this…to keep asking me how I was REALLY doing even if they didn’t know what to say. Even though my heart was still aching, I somehow was more and more convinced that I would someday get through it and be able to say that I was stronger for it.

Now the question was…how long was it going to take? *sigh* (I’m SO impatient!)

I’d love to tell you that a few short months later I was happily praying my heart out. I’d love to tell you that I quickly returned to my daily times of reading Scripture and journaling all about my day and the wonderful things that the Lord had taught me. But, truth be told, I am writing this not far from the one year anniversary of the last miscarriage and, have you noticed that this is all written in the past tense? It has been a long and laborious journey and I am only just beginning to feel the joy I knew was possible.

So what got me to this point? Looking back I can say that the email I sent that cold night WAS a turning point after all. Those women have continued to follow up and make sure that I am putting my trust in the ONLY one that can really see me through….Jesus Christ. I can also say that having a group of friends that my church calls a Small Group or LifeGroup was a lifeline for our marriage and my weekly sanity. They cried with us. They prayed for us. They listened and even would talk when I had no more words to speak. They didn’t judge me when all I wanted to do was throw my hands up and walk away from all I knew to be true. God even brought another couple, only for a season, to join us who were having(and continue to this day to have) fertility issues of their own.

Most importantly, it was a small ray of hope that the Lord gave me in His word that I have continued to read at least weekly. I’m not sure when it came to my mind or even if I had memorized it sometime in my earlier years, but it came to my mind just as clear as day and has stuck ever since.

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance ; and perseverance, proven character ; and proven character, hope ; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:3-6)

Hope. Hope is the word that really stuck. It struck a cord in my heart that I couldn’t explain. It suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to have the faith of a giant. I didn’t have to spout all kinds of “Christian-ese” that meant nothing just to keep from depressing the people around me. It was a ray of light, a breath of fresh air…call it whatever you want, but to me, “Hope” meant freedom. It meant that all I had to do was “hope” for the faith I knew was possible. All I had to do was “hope” to understand why God had allowed this pain. Hope. That was all God was asking of me.

*ahhhhh* THAT was freedom. THAT was what I needed.

In a world of people telling me it was all going to be ok when I knew deep down that I WASN’T ok. In a daily existence of cliche statements that well intentioned people spouted to my ever hardening heart, it was the release I needed. I didn’t have to be ok today….or even tomorrow. I could be sad for months and it was ok, as long as I kept that “hope” on the horizon.

“…and hope does not disappoint…” I can tell you that is the truth. It isn’t easy and it isn’t fun to live through a time that depends solely on “hope” but it IS truth….and I am, today, living beyond hope. I am slowly making the journey back to faith and love and passion.

There are days. I have days that are back to simply “hope” but I know that it will pass and I will move on.

Thank you, Lord Jesus for “hope”…for without it, I would be lost.

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A Sun Break….

One cold evening, after the physical effects of my last miscarriage had subsided, I found myself listening to the sound of my husband sleeping and wondering how I was going to sleep while my mind was spinning 3 million miles an hour.

I finally gave in and sat myself down at the computer thinking there MUST be someone that I could contact that might be able to help me. And, in the back of my mind, I remember thinking, “If I can’t get through this night, I don’t know how I’ll continue to follow the God I’m so desperately trying to rebuild trust in.”

My fingers navigated me to my email and, before I knew it, I was halfway through a long and vulnerable telling of my desperation. There were only 4 names that came to my mind. Jody, Shara, Shae, and Janis….my girls…the friends that have stood by me through the hardest times of my life. If I couldn’t reach out wholeheartedly to the Healer of my soul, maybe they could do it for me? I could only hope that they would sense my absolute need and somehow directed me to SOMETHING that might turn a light back on in my darkening heart. So, hoping for a miracle, I hit the send button and proceeded to cry until my face hurt. I eventually made my way back to my pillow and cried myself to sleep.

The morning brought a numbness and still no reply from the girls…but somehow, I knew it was gonna be a better day. Somehow I knew that I had crossed a line toward the help and healing I needed to get through even one more day.

It wasn’t much, but it was something. It wasn’t a break through, but it was a step and a bigger step than I had been able to take before that day. And somehow I knew, I really knew that everything was going to be ok.

One Day At A Time

How did I keep going on?? One day at a time. That’s the only way I could manage. Sometimes even one whole day was too much to bear. There were many times that it was all I could do to take one LITERAL step at a time….one bite of food at a time…one movie in the VCR to occupy my son so that I could get through until bedtime.

Was there relief? And what about my faith? What did my faith have to do with this whole nightmare? That, truly, was my burning question. Suddenly, after facing so much unmoved, I was faced with something that wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. Something that “just trust God” didn’t solve. Something that made me scoff at “God’s in control.”

Was He in control? Could I trust Him? Was He even paying attention? Was HE the one doing this to me? Was He punishing me? What did I do to deserve this? How could I “trust” a God who couldn’t stop this from happening? ….one day at a time….one desperate prayer at a time. “Please, Lord, I BEG you…don’t let me walk away from you!”

What else could I pray? What else could I ask of a God I suddenly didn’t understand? It was all I could do to even acknowledge Him rather than spit in His face.

And the same question….What now?

The Darkness Sets In

“Where do we go from here” was maybe the easiest question I would have to face in the months and weeks to follow that dark day in this chapter of my life.

Screaming out to God “WHYY!!!!!!!!!” Begging Him to keep me from walking away from Him. Wondering, “Am I broken? What is wrong with me that I suddenly can’t carry a child?” Was I sick and had yet to find out? Was I dying and had missed the signs? Was God mad at me? My mind began to race and still medical decisions needed to be made.

The weeks that followed were filled with uncertainty, more questions and, of course, medical procedures that only served to remind me of the loss of this precious little one I so longed to meet. A girl. I’m sure of it. I have little doubt in my mind that I had to entrust a little girl into the eternal arms of my heavenly Father. Her name? We still haven’t ventured to go there just yet, but she has a name: Beloved and missed.

It was all I could do to wake up in the morning and get through my day without screaming and going out of my mind. It was all I could do to make eye contact with even those that I loved. And then, there were the questions from my innocent little boy. “Mommy, where’s the baby? She’s in there??”(pointing to my tummy that had already grown beyond my normal) How many time could I stand to explain to him that the baby was with Jesus now? How many times could I explain to him that, yes, Mommy was sad, but that I was ok? Was I ok????? I don’t know….I didn’t know. But I knew I had to keep going somehow.

…..but how???????

Let’s go back a bit…..

I’m not sure if anyone out there really wants to read all about my life, but if you’ve found this…perhaps you need to. So, maybe you can take a bit of time to walk with me through a few salient ramblings to see if you can relate.

A couple years ago my wonderful husband and I found ourselves staring at a positive pregnancy test amazed that we already needed to prepare for the impending arrival of #2 mini bundle. We made all of the relevant phone calls and started dreaming and preparing for what would be coming our way in a few short months. Two weeks later, we found ourselves staring stone faced at the emergency room doctor and nurse as they explained that the baby was gone.

Why? What did I do wrong??? Did I lift something too heavy? Did I eat something I shouldn’t have eaten? I simply couldn’t wrap my suddenly grief stricken mind around it all. We cried. We prayed. We sat silently for a few minutes. Then we signed the papers we needed to, listened carefully to what the next week or so would hold for me physically, and headed home to our almost 2yr old little boy and his babysitters.

Can I tell you, I have never been so thankful for his smiling, healthy little face as I was the moment I was able to hug him that day? ….but what now?

The days to follow were physically VERY difficult for me, especially. After that horrible process of saying goodbye to the baby we’d already come to love, the emotions took over and I was overwhelmed. Still so many questions, and no answers.

A few months passed and we became hopeful again. Deciding to leave the past behind we started thinking of trying for another little one. That bit of planning was the beginning of a journey that we’re only now beginning to understand.

A couple months later we had another positive test, followed quickly by another miscarriage. Then a few months later, another positive test. We made a quick OB/GYN appointment and were able to see the tiny little heart beat. Life.

This time, unlike the first two, I was sick. I could smell everything and anything from 3 miles down the road. I was hungry. I couldn’t hardly eat ANYTHING. You know, the typical signs that all is well. Then, you guessed it… suddenly I started feeling better. Not just over time, but suddenly, almost overnight. I knew. I simply knew that something wasn’t right. No one had to tell me, my heart already knew. However, we headed to the doctor’s office to make sure there was still a heartbeat. Sure enough…suddenly, that tiny little life was lost.

Strangely, I had no tears. I had no emotion. I think it was the emotional equivalent to the physical shock one feels after a traumatic experience. A numbness set in like dark clouds over my once vibrant heart. Where do we go from here?