As the seasons are about to change and we are approaching fall, I’ve been reflecting on the blessing of seasons. Not just the change in temperature (although that is definitely something to be thankful for. Goodbye, heat!), but the changing seasons of our life. Seasons are just that; a season. It’s like the marriage is going well, we love our new home, we get a dog we have fallen in love with, and then we slip and fall on one banana peel after the other. For my husband and I, the banana peels came in the form of two miscarriages; One right after the other after only four months of marriage. I guess I should also tell you that the only fear greater than my fear of getting pregnant was my fear of dying. I have a slew of movies and delivery horror stories to thank for that fear.
In God fashion, he had me find out I was pregnant on a business trip. God knew He needed to seclude me in order to allay my fears of having a baby. For three straight nights, I cried myself to sleep and read my Bible secretly hoping that I wasn’t pregnant. On the fourth day though, I woke up with a peace about the pregnancy. I truly believe God performed a miracle by giving me an unexplainable peace and dare I add a little excitement about this new season ahead. I was amazed that I could have a drastic change of heart in such a short amount of time and trusted that God would direct us on this parenting journey.
I will save you all of the tears, questions, and anger I sent up to Heaven less than a month later when I found out I had miscarried. Then five weeks later when I miscarried again. I sent up a lot of fears, curse words, and shaken fists to God. I was sitting in a dark, muddy pit because I had no control over the situation and was utterly confused as to why God would allow this to happen. I’ve learned though, that God never works in ways we come to expect, but I can find some beauty and hope amidst the chaos. For me, the beauty came in the form of people who had never experienced what I had been through who willingly came along side me and cried with me. I can’t tell you the amount of encouragement and prayer I received from those who barely knew me, but had heard my story. My Husband and I were left thankful and in awe of that support. I believe community and authenticity is what prevails in the hard times.
I’m sharing about this season because I believe there is freedom in sharing our stories. It’s like handing out keys to locked-up hearts. That’s why I am so honored to participate in the Discover Freedom Project. I know I am always filled with hope when I hear others’ stories. As human beings, we desire to be known for more than our abilities to make people laugh and dress nice; we want the chapters of our lives to resonate with hearts and minds. It was through these miscarriages that I learned there were some things completely out of my control. I began to realize that part of my struggle was that I began to tie my identity to the babies. Somewhere along the way I picked up the idea that my worth came from bearing children. I soon noticed that this was a lie I had been telling myself … When I was single I told myself I would only be of value if I was able to get married. When I graduated college, I told myself I was only valuable if I made a decent salary. When I was in school I worked my butt off and earned a 4.0 GPA because I believed that the best grades made me valuable.
I’ve decided to start refuting these lies that have been following me most of my life; my worth is in Christ alone. My significance is not found in my ability to:
be a wife
be a good cook
have a website
have a good job
have family support
have friends’ support
have nice clothes
have a nice car
have a nice house
NO! My significance is FOUND in simply being a child of God. Maybe that’s why we are called human beings. I don’t know, but it sure is a good reminder that nothing I can think or do will change the depth of His Love for me. The pressure to do and be more is from myself and society which says that these things and these roles make life more fulfilling. God says that no matter what obstacles come our way, He makes life better if we rest and wrestle with Him. I’m plastering these thoughts on the crevices of my heart and mind and handing over my false identities!
Through this season, I realized I had to be transparent with God, myself, and others. This meant digging deep into the pain and asking God the tough questions, knowing He could very well handle them and mend the shattered pieces of my heart at the same time.
It was not easy, but I joined a Celebrate Recovery group at my church which helped me make tremendous strides towards aligning my thoughts and actions with that of Christ. I can’t tell you how important it is to have a church that supports inward reflection and spiritual growth. Celebrate Recovery is a safe, judgement -free zone where you can release all of your hurts, habits, and hang-ups freely without people trying to fix you.
This month will mark two years since my second miscarriage, and I can tell you that I have been struggling well. I say that because for me, it is probably something I will remember forever. However, I have gained the tools I need to manage my emotions. My Husband and I have purposefully waited a while to get to a place where we are ready to move forward and possibly try again for children. If anything happens like this again, I have an amazingly supportive community. By sharing my own experience with miscarriage, I have heard from others who have also had several miscarriages. I think of those women and I know if they can make it then so can I. Only God really knows what is in store for us, but I know he is in the business of bringing beauty from chaos despite the wild roller coaster of life. Whatever your stories are, I pray you find the courage to bring the hard times to God to redeem. While you are working things out with God, find the courage to share your story with the right people at the right time. You never know who may need to hear. We all have days where we feel like we are hanging on to life by a thread and we need the blessing of community.
My name is pronounced like a “Toy” because my parents just wanted to be cool and complicated like that, ya know.
I write at Dish Up Love where I believe delicious meals create memories and memories have the power to change lives.
Cooking isn’t a chore, something relegated to 15 minutes a day; it is an adventure and an opportunity to serve others.
I cook to make strong memories and create more magic for the people in my life.
To join in The #DiscoverFreedomProject check out the participate tab...If creating an image is intimidating let us do it for you! Just email april@discoverfreeodmproject what you have discovered freedom from and a photo (or no photo if you don’t have one) and we will create it for you…