*The following post was prompted by my thoughts this past week. Because of a program I'm involved in, I had to spend time thinking about what God has been showing me. It was easier to just sit my butt down and type my way through it. This is where I ended up.
I'll be honest, when the diagnosis came in, my mind went a little crazy. There is something great about going a little bit crazy though. Let me explain.
The beginning of this year was rough. Not only was there personal struggle with our pregnancy and loss, but it seemed that our families were going through a lot. My brother and sister in law learned that their second child, Annie, has a severe form of spina bifida (you can follow and read about their journey here). Patrick's Papa passed away somewhat unexpectedly. A couple weeks later his Granny passed away. We were aching for ourselves and the people that we love. My feelings and emotions were all over the place. I was a grab bag of devastated, hurt, disconnected, and angry.
We started this spring emotionally and physically drained. I was facing weekly blood draws and for some reason my job became almost unbearable to me at times. On top of that, anxiety started creeping into my life. Patrick and I began to argue like we've never really done before. I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water. Guess what? In the midst of the crazy, God was working. He's sneaky sometimes.
I had been feeling like every day was a battle to get out of bed and do something- anything. Then I noticed that as my drive to be physically fit intensified, it wasn't such a battle. Seriously, I was working out hard the week after my miscarriage even though I was completely exhausted. I followed my desire to work out and hello endorphins (God bless them). I'm not kidding. I think God was behind that push to bring healing hormones. The more I worked out the more I wanted healthy foods. Healthy food for me always equals more energy. I needed energy. I needed it as much as I needed air to breathe. Now, these are just the physical things.
In my head, I was still unorganized. I was unsure of what I was feeling. I didn't want to talk to God about any of it. I was mad and distrustful. For a couple weeks, I read only my Bible, which is funny to me. I hadn't been regularly reading since the fall. I had a hard time connecting, though. Does God really love me? Didn't he hear me praying and begging for that little baby to be okay? Does he really care about me and my deep desires? That's where I was. I was doubting God's heart towards me all over again. My head knew the right answer and I could recite the right answer, but my heart was feeling otherwise.
I should also mention that since last fall I've been participating in a Battle for Women's Hearts program with three other women. There were a lot of weeks following the miscarriage that I half-assed my way through the devotionals. I left a lot of questions completely blank. I'm so thankful for these women. They get it. They loved me well and never pushed me to talk about anything. From the little sections that I did read, I felt God tugging me. He was calling me back.
Then one day- breakthrough. I finally gave in. I prayed. I don't know why. I guess it was just the right time. I really prayed. I prayed that God would take away my bitterness and resentment. I prayed
that he would help me love Patrick. I prayed that he would help me love
Owen. I prayed that he would make me content again. Somewhere along the way in this broken world, I lost myself for a bit. You know what I've realized? Prayer is the biggest attitude adjustment. It is impossible to hide things and remain in sin when praying from the heart. God broke through to answer my deep longings.
Before I knew it, I was looking forward to praying every morning. Forget reading, I just wanted to talk to God. I felt rested. I felt hopeful. I felt like I was finally loving Patrick the way I wanted to but couldn't just a week before. I began to enjoy Owen again instead of just going through the motions. That's the part that breaks my heart now. I know he didn't realize it, but he had an absent mom there for a few weeks. I was here but I wasn't. I'm healing. I'm giving myself grace for that.
God has been teaching me. He's slowly showing me who I'm supposed to be and what my part in this world is supposed to look like. The good news? My part isn't complicated. It's being who God created me to be. God created me to be a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mom, a nurse, a lover of the outdoors and much more.
I'm learning to live life from my whole heart- including my deepest desires. I'd forgotten about them a long time ago after I stuffed them away to collect dust. I'm slowly discovering them again and it feels liberating. I'm learning to be vulnerable- to admit what I want. Vulnerability isn't a bad thing- it is important and beautiful. I used to hate my vulnerability. I covered it with an independent facade. I feel like I'm free to be honest with myself and with other people now.
God loves me. I see now how he has taken care of me. He knew that I wasn't going to talk with him for a while. He knew that in order to keep going I would need other outlets (like my P90X3 workouts and my precious digging deeper girls). He knew that I was going to need extra "battle" women in my life for when these dark days arrived. He provided. My head has known that God loves me, but now heart feels that he loves me.
I may never know the complete reason God allowed our miscarriage and molar pregnancy. I may never fully understand why this season in our life was just so damn hard. Just because I can't imagine why God would allow it, doesn't mean there isn't a reason. I'm finding new growth after years of being stagnant. I'm discovering my heart. Could it be that what I needed in life has come from one of my most difficult and painful experiences? I have to believe that God has allowed my suffering for a greater purpose that directly relates to His glory and my good.