So these thoughts... they would pop in my head mostly when my mind went unoccupied by other things. For instance, I was vacuuming and thinking about the blog, how I should write something... then I began to wonder, does it really even matter? How would putting my pain into words benefit the world? Do I really have to keep doing this? Then I began to talk to God... God, do I really have to keep doing this? You know I didn't want to do it to begin with, and although it was fun when we had good news to share... do I really have to tell them these things? Do I have to share my pain? Can't I just dwell in it and hide in my bed and cry it out like normal people??... The answer was a resounding YES you have to keep doing this, was I not the one who told you to?? And in my head it sounded like Do you really have the nerve to not follow what I called you to do? So I (sullenly) wrote out The Letdown even though it was the last thing I wanted to do.
Obviously I haven't been writing as much as I should, and I think God has shown me some grace in that area, letting me work a few things out before I was mentally ready to resume the routine. So here I am. Back into the world of the living. Life has just seemed so hard lately. I feel like so many bad things have happened over the years in my personal life and in the lives around me, I just would find myself asking, when is it all going to end already? Can't I just catch a break? Yeah, a lot of these prayers were selfish. A lot of irritation was taken out on my poor, and forgiving, husband. My first period was wretched, so very painful. The doctor said that is basically normal for a cycle after a D&C, so I knew to expect it... but nothing really prepares you to be in pain. So I became snappy and sad and depressed.
Then today happened.
Today was not a great day. I was mulling over the fact that I have to have a repeat sonohystogram (see An Interesting Case for explanation) (to see if maybe I really DO have more of a septum in my uterus and may need surgery to remove it) on Thursday and a repeat of a ton of lab work that I have to be fasting for and won't be drawn until that afternoon. On top of those things, I hurt my neck this weekend and have had a horrible headache and pain shooting through my neck... and did not sleep well last night after going to bed later than normal for a Monday night. I was so moody. There was not enough coffee in the world to make me happy this morning. The work day was fine, until the end of the day. It is always the end of the day when doctors want to work people in for tests, and I get it, the patient is there so yeah let's just do it. I stayed late knowing I will be taking off a couple of hours early on Thursday for my testing... so that part didn't bother me, it's just that my neck was hurting so bad. And all of the patients actually had things wrong with them so the reports took longer to write and consulting with the doctors... and so on. Luckily, I work at the same office as my nurse practitioner and she was able to work me up and get some help (thank you Lord for that).
After a long drive home in traffic and waiting what felt like forever at Walgreens (but was really only about 15 minutes) I was so so so relieved to be home. As I pull into the driveway I see a package on my doorstep... then I began thinking (ugh what did we spend money on that we shouldn't have)... I picked it up, came in the house to let the doggies outside and then noticed the return address. My friend. It was a gift from my friend. A smile immediately arose out of my frustration.
Then I opened the package.
Then I read the letter.
I began to cry.
Then I saw the gifts. ( A book called Footprints, A book called You Changed My Life by Max Lucado... and the elusive darkside skittles, where lime skittles have now made their home) : )
And I cried some more.
This person (who shall remain nameless for theirs is not my story to tell) has become a dear friend to me over the last few months, we have gone through our battle through infertility and miscarriage (her first) almost hand in hand. We were only a few days apart on our schedule and, unfortunately, on our losses as well.
I know she will be reading this and I want to say: You have no idea but those words validated everything I have needed to hear and squashed all of my doubts about sharing our story. You, my dear friend, are an answered prayer to me just as you said that I was for you. She shared with me how sharing our story, our struggle, touched her and caused her to focus more on her faith. I read the letter through the tears in my eyes, I couldn't believe the words. The words written in front of me that I so desperately needed to hear. It's likely, my dear friend, that I will read your letter a thousand times... and thank you and God each time.
Sharing the intimate details of your life to the world is a sacrifice. It makes you vulnerable... it shows your weaknesses... your faults. Part of our human nature is to guard our experiences (at least the bad ones) and keep them to ourselves, to not let the world know we are not feeling 'okay'.
So, my dear friends, I encourage you to share your stories... your pain, your sacrifices... if it helps only one person, doesn't that make telling your story worth the pain of it?
As I re-read her letter something came into my thoughts, a fleeting thought that I have had before but brushed off, unable to fully acknowledge it. If I hadn't miscarried these babies when I had, would I have been able to walk with her through her loss as I did? Would I have been as sensitive? Would I have been as helpful? I would like to think I would have been but there is nothing quite like walking through sorrow and loss together. If the reason for this timing was so that my dear friend did not have to be alone, I am okay with that. Maybe that isn't the reason, but it was an opportunity for God to use me, if I was willing, to help. I am grateful for anything that made her hurt less... or that made the load a little easier to carry. As she was facing her own realities (at a time when I was still facing mine) I felt so sad for her. I didn't want this for her. I wanted to be able to take all of her pain away, but I knew I couldn't. So, I did what I was able. I was there for her... and she's been there for me too. Now we are bonded not only by our pain but by our faith in a loving and merciful God. A God who makes it clear that He can use every situation for good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
How beautifully amazing is that? God's words... coming to pass just as He said. I was called to share my story, that is my sacrifice... being vulnerable, putting my heart out there for the world to examine and judge and react however they see fit... just in the hopes that it would help one person. I know that it has. I pray that it continues to help others as well. I am thankful once again for those that reached out to me during our first loss when I didn't know how to deal with it (Thank you again and again, you know who you are).
God made the ultimate sacrifice for us, giving His Son to die on the cross so that we may live. We are forgiven... we are loved beyond measure. That is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. That is the most amazing gift that I have ever received. So, shouldn't we be more willing to sacrifice to help those around us when we can?
So today I pray... a prayer of thanks for my dear friend and her kind words that came at a time that I exactly needed... a prayer of forgiveness for any time that I doubt God's callings and timing... and a prayer for strength, that as I continue this journey I keep my eyes on the only One who leads me on a straight and narrow path (no matter how curvy it may feel at times.) Thank you Lord for these blessings.