I hadn’t been looking forward to August.
I have wanted to share this for a while, but haven’t quite known how to start. We all go through hard things, and I think it can be difficult to know when to share with others. I think I imagined sharing my hard times in hindsight, once I had passed through it and could speak from a place of victory, fulfillment of promise, or seemingly having my stuff together.
Well, I don’t have my stuff together and I am still waiting on a promise. Even so, I want to open up and share about the road I’m walking, while I’m still on it.
August was our due date with our first positive. The very day I found out we were pregnant I had already started dreaming and praying and imagining who that little life would become. Three weeks later, a week before Christmas (when we had planned to tell family), I bled, and it didn’t stop. It happens, a lot, not that that fact makes it any easier. We had been hoping to have a baby for about a year prior to that. To those who hope, whose hearts blossom in thankfulness, and then have that same hope deferred*, it can be a longer, tougher road to hoping again.
That has been my road the last 9 months. A slow road to hoping, trusting, and softening again. The hardest part was to remain with some thankfulness even in the face of month-after-month deferred hope. Month after month of friends’ baby announcements, seeing their bellies grow with life, the subtle sting of hope fulfilled for others, the slow dull of emotions, the reeling it in, and the quiet “thank you” eeped out. I have celebrated those beautiful gifts, while deeply longing for my own. It can be both, celebration and longing. It didn’t start out that way, but it can be both.
Every month of this year that has gotten me closer to this time has been hard, and I’ve felt my heels digging in the ground along the way. I didn’t want to get here, surrounded by others whose positives turned to babies born, still waiting. Loss is confusing, and the road to Trust is a bit more disorienting than I expected. But it’s here, and we’re here and we’re breathing and eating and loving and being loved and sleeping in a warm bed. And so I just keep gathering up my thankfulness like tiny little seeds one by one, so small, and hold them out to be planted and turned into something bigger and more beautiful and more life-giving than I can conceive at this point.
To all the mothers out there still waiting, I’m with you.
God is good. In the face of loss he is good. In longing, in waiting, in hurting, he is good. I do not want that to be a tired and dusty adage only for the hamster-wheel of my mind. I want it to be alive and growing and explosive with belief in my heart. Even when I wait.
*Thank you Casey Tait and your beautiful book “WAIT: Contending with Hope” – for those waiting in any season of life.
// (below is a poem I wrote in January after our miscarriage. softer & stronger, all at once.)
for a while there
with a pain in my chest
two lines on test
i knew a you was there.
i was full once
alive with another life
and my blood pulled and rallied
i wondered in my heart.
you do not let us dream
so heart-fully in vain.
there is a place in your room
where blood pulls and rallies
for things such as these.
breaking so deep
makes us stronger
all at once.