Friday, March 22, 2013

A Different Story

This month marks a year since we first started trying to have a baby.  So guess what?  You now (if you so wish to continue) have the opportunity to read about some of my reflections about the past year.  Yes, I am one of those people.  You know the ones that take any and every opportunity to reflect.  I honestly feel like I cannot help it because it seems to happen so naturally.  I tend to ponder anything and and everything that could possibly be reflected on.  Sometimes to my demise, yet other times - believe it or not - to my joy and happiness.  This reflection includes a little bit of both.

This month, last year, brought much joy and anticipation to our hearts.  For a few months prior to, we had been talking about trying to have a baby, so needless to say, we were excited when that time finally arrived.  To our joy, we were able to conceive quickly and celebrated our positive pregnancy test.  Our love for our baby came immediately.  I remember writing to our baby about our excitement of God's creation of him or her and the prayers we had been praying on his or her behalf.  And although, as you know, the story did not turn out as we had hoped, we were changed by the short, yet significant life of Ashton Hope.

Months later we entered the "trying again" phase.  This time was approached once again with joy and excitement, yet was coupled with much fear and anxiety as a result of our first loss.  [Feel free to catch a glimpse into this experience by reading my post: "On Trying Again".]  However, our joy and excitement increased when we were blessed, once again, to conceive quickly.  I remember the joy and excitement that day, but I also cannot forget the overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety.  These feelings that tempted me to try not to love our baby as much (even though I am ashamed to admit it) in a feeble attempt to protect myself from hurt, just in case we lost him or her.  But truthfully nothing could "protect" me from the hurt that came when we lost Baby "J", and our story, once again, turned out differently than we had hoped.

When I look back at this past year, it is obvious that our story is much different than what I hoped for.  It's not only much different than I hoped for, it's much different than I thought it would be.  I would have never imagined that a year later we would have two babies in Heaven and empty arms. And this reality causes my heart to ache.  An ache that I am reminded of in my weak, jealous moments.  Those moments that I am not proud of, but that need to be acknowledged because I have a feeling I am not the only one who has ever felt this way.  An ache that I am reminded of when I think of Ashton and Baby "J".  An ache that I am reminded of when I see a mother and her daughter.  An ache that I am reminded of when I think about what should have been or what would have been.  Yes, there is no doubt that our story has been much different than I ever hoped or imagined.

Be that as it may be, I am still choosing to hold onto Hope.  Hope that comes from the healing God brought in the midst of my deepest pain.  Hope that comes from the peace God has brought in the midst of our unexpected journey.  Hope that comes from believing God loves us more than we could ever imagine.  Hope that comes from knowing our story is not over yet.  Hope that comes from knowing the ending of our story includes holding our babies in Heaven someday.  Hope that comes from trusting the Author of our story even though I have no idea what the next chapter of our story will be.  Hope that comes from the possibilities of trying again, again.  I am choosing Hope.  For although my arms are not holding onto what my heart has longed for, they will continue holding onto Him.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Place in my Heart

I recently saw JJ Heller perform her new single, "Who You Are", and it touched a place in my heart that I often hide from others.  You probably know the place I am talking about.  It's the place where I store my emotions when I want to keep them as far as possible from the surface.  It's the place where all my doubts and questions linger.  It's the place where the hurt and pain from our losses still resides.  It's the place where the fear of whether or not we'll be able to have an earthly child camps out.

Anyone who has experienced a loss of any kind is probably aware of this place to some degree.  And if you're anything like me, you know this place well.  Immediately after our losses, our wounds were so fresh and our hearts so raw that it was basically impossible to avoid.  The tears would readily flow and I would awake with our baby/babies on my mind and a heavy sadness consuming my heart.  However, as more time continues to pass, I realize that I do not visit that place as often.  At times I intentionally avoid it because I don't want to feel the hurt.  However, there are times, when something or someone, takes me to that place whether I want to go there or not.  In all honestly, even though I don't love going there (or hate it at times), sometimes I don't mind when it gets invaded (at least after the fact).  Mostly because I know that those are times when God brings more healing to my heart.

So back to where I started - That moment that recently took me to that place.  Below is the music video for the song that recently took me to that place.  If you so choose, watch this video (with warning that it may take you to that place) and listen to the lyrics of the song.

I am not going to dissect the lyrics or meaning of this video to me.  I am simply going to allow it be whatever it was for you.  It may or may not have touched that place.  To be honest, it didn't the first time I saw it, but I think that was primarily because I did not want it to.  In that moment, I chose not to let it in.  However, when I was physically present at the concert, I had no choice, but to allow the tears to flow and allow God to heal.  

"I don't know what You're doing, but I know who You are."