February 07, 2015 · Personal
If I’m being honest, there are moments where I feel like I am a freak. A misfit. Like I’m just wandering through life in limbo wondering what purpose this stage is serving. A woman lost in the world of motherhood where her “motherhood” has no living children.
I feel like I’m straddling this hallway of doors with a foot in every one. Not fully able to step through one doorway over the other because part of me belongs in them all.
One foot in the door of pregnancy. Where it’s possible. Where there’s hope. Where there’s no mystery of CAN she get pregnant?
The other foot in the door of miscarriages. Stopped heartbeats. ER visits and D&C’s. “Unexplained” loss. Leaving nothing but an empty womb and a confused heart.
One foot in the door of having tasted what it feels like to carry, deliver, love and be ever changed by the wavy “politician” hair framing the face of the most beautiful baby boy she has ever seen.
The other foot, stretching over into the doorway of grieving the loss of that same child. Where a mother sees things. Lives out things. Overcomes things. That changes her to her very core. Forever.
One foot in the heart door, where she know the terminology, fear, tests, medications, surgeries, and constant care a child with a heart defect needs. The importance of raising awareness and support. The point of wearing red during the month of February.
The other foot, so crippled by the fact that that’s where her heart journey ends, that it’s straddling a door frame where she can’t bring herself to even PUT ON anything red. So afraid that her heart story, the one that ends with burying her child, will not raise the kind of awareness that she wants.
So she hides.
She wears every color BUT red and she waits it out. Until things pass and her freak flag isn’t drawing as much attention.
But, those areas where you don’t FEEL YOU FIT you FIND YOUR FIT.
All of a sudden you have something to say. Something to offer. The misfit areas of your life where you feel the complete opposite of normal? The divide you experience when your right foot is trying to enter this door to see if THIS is where you belong while your left is trying out this door over here? THOSE areas are the topics, challenges, and life experiences where God can give voice to and make sense out of the senseless.
Instead of the focus being on what doors you don’t fully fit into? It becomes about the number of doors you have in your hallway. The number of life experiences where you have been completely and totally broken down and built up. Each scar you’ve endured now has a doorway…and you hold the key.
You now have this amazing ability to meet people in those hard moments. To take a few steps into the doorway of motherhood…and reach those inside. Pray with them. Encourage them. Not lingering too long because there’s someone behind the doorway of child loss who needs to hear what you have to say, too.
To be able to share the stories behind your battle wounds and connect in a deep way with this person…and this person…and this one. And that one. And before you know it, you realize that you may not fully connect with one, but you have been able to connect a little bit here…and a little bit there…with them ALL. Simply by saying, “I’ve been there. I see you. I hear you. Here’s what God revealed to ME in that dark time. Joy is coming.”
Because it is. It is on the horizon. Coming with that glorious morning sunlight.
Psalm 30:5 has been living and breathing in my house over the last 3 months. I mean, I have literally been LIVING OUT a piece of Scripture. The end of this verse says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
THAT is my message. THAT is what I’m running up and down that hallway pounding on those doors yelling from the top of my lungs. THAT is what I want to share with you.
I know it comes, because I’ve tasted it. I know it comes, because I’ve spent a lot of time weeping in the night. And just when I think the night is never going to end? I catch another glimpse of that joy and I am reminded…morning is coming.
It’s bright. It’s beautiful. It’s unexpected when it comes, so be ready for it! It will come at a time and be wrapped around an area of your life where joy is hard to come by.
What I love about that? Is that you know WHO that joy is coming from. Because there is no way it is humanly possible to feel joy for THAT thing at THAT time, unless it is gift wrapped and strategically handed to you by your Heavenly Father. Stamped with your name and your name only.
My joy encounter? Came in the form of three little babies. Three beautiful, growing, prayed-for, longed-for babies.
I’m not talking about my three Heavenly babies. I’m talking about two dear friends, one of whom is carrying twins. The other friend, due three weeks before when I would have been due. I’m talking about joy being brought in the form of babies that are not even my own, at a time where I should be HAVING my own.
THAT is how I know that this whole “joy thing” is legit. For the first time since I can’t even remember when, I felt JOY. I mean, if you’ve ever grieved the loss of a loved one you know what I’m talking about…
You feel dull for so long. Faking it as you go about your life. Having a hard time really and fully feeling anything at all. Other than the grief, of course. You start to forget what it feels like to really be happy. To have joy in your heart again.
From the top of my head to the tips of my toes I FELT IT. The genuine excitement I have to love on, dress up, buy for, care for and play with these three little miracles almost leaves me speechless. I can’t help but giggle as I think about how much love He has already given me for babies being carried by other women. Babies due when mine should have been due. How can I have pure, undiluted JOY in my heart for the first time in forever over babies that are NOT MINE?!?!
I think you know the answer to that one. He does, too. As the distributor of that joy, He really knows what He’s doing and His timing is impeccable.
So, right now. In my life. I’m not writing this whole “joy is coming” pep talk from the perspective of a woman who WAS hurting who now has everything she could ever want in life. No need to waste your time saying, “Of COURSE she has joy. She wanted to have kids and now she has them!”
I’m writing this as a woman who still weeps in the night. Who wonders when will it be morning? A for-real morning where she knows it will last for a little while and she can brew that coffee and stick around to REALLY see that sunrise.
I’m writing this as a woman who easily feels like every day that passes leaves more and more hardships scooped onto her plate. Wondering if today will be the day that that last piece of straw breaks the camel’s ever-weakening back.
A woman who is now seeing thyroid specialists and discussing the hard things. A woman who may need treatment that could delay any future pregnancy and force her to wait…even longer…to fulfill her longing desire to be a mother to earthly children.
I’m a woman still in the nighttime. I know some of you reading this are stuck there, too. It can be hard to see each other in the darkness, but if you’re there, too, give a shout out. We’ll Marco Polo ourselves until we find each other. Even though it can be hard to see who’s there, we can help make sure we’re all staying on the path.
I don’t know how long until morning, friends. But what I have are two things to offer you. One is my right hand, for holding yours and saying, “We WILL get through this.” For squeezing our grip hard and helping figure out the tough things like God’s Will for our lives and the purpose of this sometimes confusing season of being in limbo.
The other is my left hand, for reaching up and pointing out the moments where that joy, that early early sunrise, is tempting us between the trees. Where I can see it, and begin to feel its warmth, and be able to point to that glimmer of light and say, “Just a little bit longer. It’s almost morning.”
Click here for the very beginning of our 8 year journey through life, loss and our unexpected struggle with secondary infertility. Starting with what we shared at our 3-week-old son’s funeral.