Elation. Joy. Love. Hope. These are the feelings that surged through my soul when I discovered I was pregnant the first time. Then loss.
The second pregnancy happened so quickly that I found myself full of these feelings once again. Though, it is safe to say the emotional surge had calmed more to a rush. Then loss.
Elation, joy, love and hope shared the stage with fear and anxiety the third time. And by the fourth time, they were merely background cast members hanging around in the unwelcome dramatic production that was my journey to motherhood.
There they were, hovering in the wings, like an understudy waiting for a chance to play the lead again. Eager to engage and fill the role they were designed for…especially hope.
I remember with such vivid detail each loss. The heartbeat missing from the monitor on the ultrasound. The pensive glances between the doctors. The gentle pats and platitudes they gave. The physical and hormonal indicators that there was still a little person inside me. Someone we’d never meet this side of heaven.
I remember crying so hard for so long, that it felt like my body would break in two. Every. Time. And yet, that persistent flicker of hope, as small as it was, remained.
But, there was no comfort, although my husband held me tight. There was no consoling, although friends spoke love and encouragement. I had lost a part of myself…FOUR TIMES. And each time I lost a child that was growing and being formed by an awesome, loving, just and careful God (Psalm 139), an internal void was left.
And that internal void could not be filled by an external source.
As the scenario repeated itself, the bedrock that my life was built on (that I am a loved and valued daughter of God) was stressed and tested to the extreme. Cracks in the foundation from past abuse and hurts caused chasms that I scrambled to cover up for fear of being exposed.
Fear that exposure would show that maybe my faith wasn’t STRONG enough. That I wasn’t GOOD enough. Fear of admitting that I had fear. So I held it in as best I could. I carried on as best I could.
But there I was. Foundation cracking. Searching for answers. Confused by overwhelming feelings of loss that were somehow still tinged with hope. The internal void following each loss growing, leaving a huge gaping hole in the center of my life. I found myself right on the edge of giving up or giving in. I could give up and accept that my life would never be what I thought it would be; that my abilities weren’t enough to make it happen. Or, I could give in and trust that God was working on my behalf in the middle of my broken and messed up body. I could give in and let the God that made me, that knows me to my core, bring healing from the inside out.
As painful as it was to let go of my need to conceal my weaknesses and control my life, I chose to be vulnerable to God. I chose to give in, and let go!
I let go of the “why didn’t my babies live?” I let go of the “what if there was something I could have done to prevent the loss?” I let go of the “when will my life look like I imagined? And “how do I make it happen?”
In the midst of letting go of so much fear, I found that I had made room for hope to grow.
And ultimately, hope is what brought healing to my soul. Not a superficial hope that pretended problems would never happen, but a true, faith-filled, hope that believed that each step I took from that point on was made within the deep love of God.
Still today, the hurt lingers, the unknown looms, but hope keeps me going. Hope in a promise that God made to His children that He wouldn’t leave them (Jeremiah 29:11). Hope, like King David, that I will see the goodness of the Lord while I’m living (Psalm 27:13).
Where are you on this journey? Has a miscarriage halted you? Maybe you haven’t lost children, but you’ve lost other dreams. Do you find yourself caught between giving up or giving in?
Give in! Give in to the One that created you and knows just how uniquely wonderful you are! Let Him be the one that carries you through the earth shattering jolts that turn your world upside down. Then, follow Him. One step at a time, one day at a time.
Pause today to pursue Him.
Leaning in to Him,
p.s. If you are unsure what it means to “follow His voice”, what I mean is simply to listen to the voice of God. And if that is something that sounds weird to you, it’s okay! It isn’t complicated. It is as simple as praying a prayer to let God know you want Him to speak to you and you are ready to listen. Then, find a Bible (or click HERE) and start reading the words that Jesus spoke in the book of John found in the New Testament. That is your jumping off point. Connect with me, so I can help you understand this even more!