I've thought long and hard about sharing this. I held myself back because I was afraid. Afraid of what people might think if I shared something so vulnerable. Afraid that I might offend or make someone feel uncomfortable. Afraid that my biggest fear in all this might be confirmed if I was told I failed. Afraid of being titled and defined by something that happened to me that I had no control over. Afraid that I would get everyone's opinions on the subject. I was afraid, isolated and alone.
It is time for me to face that fear and walk into freedom. I am sharing about my miscarriage in hopes that someone would relate, connect, feel validated, feel understood, be encouraged and find freedom themselves. For many reasons, many women in our society don't talk about their loss. Sometimes it's just too painful to talk about. Sometimes they are afraid like myself. Let's face it: It just awkward and uncomfortable to think about. Either way, I have learned that vulnerability is one of the most beautiful, irreplaceable, healing parts of life. I have found so much freedom in sharing my child's story and have found that many couples relate.
On Halloween of this year, I took a pregnancy test and found out that we had a little nugget on the way. Although this baby was unexpected, we were beyond thrilled to become parents! The little bit of pregnancy that I experienced brought so much joy to my life. When we had our first ultrasound it was so amazing to see that there was actually a baby in there! However, my doctor said that the baby was sizing small and decided to order some blood tests just to make sure everything was okay. When we got the blood tests back, it should that my HCG levels had gone down and that things were not positively progressing with the pregnancy. My heart just sank. No body wants to hear that news. If I can be honest, I expected my pregnancy to go smoothly. I was healthy, active, watched my weight and thought those things would exclude me from miscarrying. I couldn't have been more wrong. My doctor ordered a second ultrasound to further confirm that the baby wasn't growing and it was at that appointment I was told I would never see this little one in person. I couldn't believe it. In one instant, the baby was here and then it was gone.
I am sharing this not to get pity, but to encourage and honor the women who have struggled with a miscarriage. There is a lot about miscarriages that is unknown unless you have gone through it. And to the women who have, I am with you. I understand the confusion. I understand feeling like your body is against you. I understand the fear. The unwanted attention. The intense grief and sorrow. The mental, emotional and physical pain. I understand how isolating it is. How lonely it is. I understand feeling misunderstood and feeling like such a complete failure as a woman. I understand the long, hard nights of tears and questioning. I understand the rage and anger. I understand the feeling of just wanting to hold your baby and knowing that will never happen.
You are seen. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are enough. You are strong. You are a mother.
It sounds awful to say this, but it took me a long time to validate my loss. When you lose a baby, it's not there anymore and it feels almost like you never had it in the first place. But I know that that is a lie and that my child has infinite worth and value even if he or she is not physically here. I know that my story is heard, understood, valued, validated by my perfect Father.
Jesus taught me that. Through counseling and a lot of prayer, I have been able to see the beauty in the ashes. Although I miss my child and always will, I trust that the Lord is with him or her and that I will see him or her one day. It's a daily choice, moment to moment. But I choose to believe He has a bigger purpose for me, my life and my family. Through choosing to trust and obey, I have found the strength I needed in Him to face the grief and difficult moments. Instead of hiding in the shame and fear, I've learned that my story can encourage and bring healing to others when I share! It goes to show that only the Lord can turn mourning into dancing.
This realization definitely didn't happen overnight, but I am grateful to serve a God who loves me enough to walk through the darkest moments with me. And not just keep me there, but bring me through them. I am grateful for His intentionality and His comfort. I encourage everyone, whatever your "darkness" looks like, to trust Him. Because He is good and He is kind. He is worth following. He is worth whatever you think you might risk losing. He is worth our praise.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
- Psalm 30:11-12
We love you Asa Joel.
Asa (healing) Joel (the Lord is willing)