If you've ever experienced loss in a way that knocks the breath out of you when simple reminders pop up in your life, you may be able to relate. Like an object that holds meaning to you, a piece of jewelry from a family member, or a smellmery (smell-triggered-memory).
You could be having a great week and then BAM, someone jokingly asks you if you're pregnant, after recently having a miscarriage. Little comments that were once so easy to laugh at or shake off, are now ones that can shake you to the core.
Part of the healing process may be revealing what your heart is sensitive to, and then allowing yourself to park on what you have in your life to be grateful for.
I challenge you to do this in your own life.
Make a list of the blessings in your life.
Write them down.
Thank God for them.
See how your perspective changes.
Gratitude doesn't erase all of the challenges in your life, but it certainly shows you how faithful and loving your God is.
When I've discovered what things create this tension in my heart, and when I'm tempted to compare or doubt what God has for me, I need to take a step back and evaluate how I'm spending my time.
In order to protect my heart, I had to take a break from social media. I had to take a step back from serving in the nursery at church. I had to take some time off school to remember and grieve the life my husband and I had lost. I have had to guard my heart when having simple conversations involving babies.
Hear me out, friend. Self-care is important. Don't fall into the trap of having to put on a front and pretend you're perfectly fine when your grieving is so deeply affecting you.
It's okay to not be okay.
Christians tend to believe this lie that you have to have it all together.
Don't wanna ruin your witness, right?
The most transparent people have the greatest effect on my life being transformed. When people are honest about what they're walking through, you see parts of their heart that they are trusting you with. If you have friends that are walking through some tough trials, love them through it. Live on mission. Pray with them. Pray behind their backs. Intercede on their behalf to the God that hears your prayers and knows their heart.
One thing I wish I knew earlier in this process of grieving and allowing Jesus to heal the deepest wounds in my heart was just to be more aware of the state of my heart. Dig in deeper to that wound. Hiding hurt can't heal effectively. Placing a bandaid on a heart wound is not the most effective way to ensure you're healing safely. When you hear lies from the devil, lean into that question or doubt. Come before God and bring him your hurt. Ask Him all your questions. Dig into the bible. Lean into it. Seek Community. Be aware of what makes your heart feel fragile and then repeat to yourself daily the blessings you are grateful for.
I'm sensitive to:
Social media, dude.
Baby showers, Gender reveals, Pregnancy announcements, talk of babies and pregnancy and all the bliss, people implying I should just be grateful for the "easy" childless season I'm in, friends joking about "whose next" with having a baby, people asking why I haven't had children yet, acquaintances telling me that I won't be young forever and my childbearing years won't be eternal, acquaintances thinking I'm naive to symptoms and inappropriately asking if I'm pregnant, almost parking in the "expectant mothers" parking spots, people joking that teaching kindergarten is "birth control", April fools jokes about pregnancy, strangers intruding and small-talk asking when I'm having children. Mother's day, due date.
Before having a miscarriage, any one of these things wouldn't bother me one bit! In fact, when any one would tell me the news of their pregnancy I would become so elated and excited that I'd hyperventilate and start crying... even if I didn't know the person well. When I see precious babies, or... don't even get me started on baby toes, I would nearly pee my pants with giddy excitement.
But after having a miscarriage, after having a baby expelled from my body, and realizing what I was missing, I couldn't always see the things I listed above as joyful.
I couldn't muster a fake smile. I couldn't engage in the small talk. When I looked at social media, and my news feed flooded with baby posts, inside my heart I screamed, "I WANT TO BE HAPPY FOR YOU, but my heart is shattered, broken, and a piece of me is missing."
Throughout these blog posts, I'll share with you how Jesus has since restored my joy.
I'm grateful for:
The support I've found in close friends that have walked with me throughout this season of grieving my miscarriage.
The advice and encouragement I've found in my parents and siblings.
The self-discipline to fast from social media. (2 Timothy 1:7)
The counselors divinely placed in my life.
The prayers for me and my heart.
The trust and haven I've found at school with my incredible coworkers.
The prayer and intentional care I've had with my mom and daddy.
The insane amount of peace from Jesus.
The healing work and power of the Holy Spirit.
The perfectly worded song lyrics (10 Songs For The Discouraged Heart), bible verses (20 Bible Verses For When You Need Peace), other bloggers posts (Helpful Blog Posts For Women Who Have Endured Miscarriage), and books (comin' soon).
The patience and kindness my kindergarten students have had with me.
The support from my admin with challenges in my classroom.
The utter joy of teaching and a career that I feel born for.
The support and love from my incredibly kind and patient husband.
The service and compassion he shows me daily.
The angels in Heaven taking good care of my sweet baby.