a messy overlap

“Even though I was only a few weeks pregnant, that baby was as real to me as any baby I had ever seen. Any woman who has been pregnant knows what I’m talking about too. Many times men don’t understand the trauma of a miscarriage because to them the baby is not a reality yet. They often try to comfort their wife with, ‘It’s okay – we will try again.’ And that doesn’t comfort us, because to a woman that baby is a reality from conception. It affects mothers because it is not just a ‘miscarriage’; it is the loss of a child. And it takes a period of time to recover emotionally, just as it does with the loss of any loved one.” – Jackie Mize, Supernatural Childbirth, p. 18

We got pregnant again so quickly after the miscarriage. I often felt I was supposed to only be happy for this new pregnancy when I was still deeply grieving the loss of our other babies.

It has been a messy overlap–of joy and pain, sorrow and healing, expectancy and loss.

And I’m still grieving the loss of those babies. At 36 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby girl.

Grief knows no timeline. It follows no set of steps. It’s not neat. It’s extremely messy.

The other night as hot tears poured down my cheeks and my chest was overtaken by heaving sobs, Clay held me in his arms. I told him, “It’s such a messy overlap. I feel like I’m suppose to portray this joy and gratitude for this pregnancy to others, but I’m also still processing through the grief.”

He looked at me with kind eyes and said, “And for someone who likes things clean, you want to tidy up all the emotion…”

He hit the nail on the head.
He put into words what I didn’t even know I was feeling.

It was true. That was exactly it. I want to process all the emotions and file each one away in a tidy little filebox. And well, as Clay reminded me, “Sometimes it’s just messy. There are things we go through that we look back on and say, ‘That’s messy.'”

I may not be able to neatly file away all the emotions of the grief of miscarriage and the expecting of our daughter. But one thing is certain: God has been with me on this journey–mess and all.

I may not have always acted gracefully. I certainly didn’t realize the fullness of His presence. But as I looked back through my journal last night and read my entries over this past year, God opened my eyes more to reveal to me His presence and His promises He was speaking to me.

You see, despite messy feelings of anger toward God and feeling abandoned, I did read His Word daily. And right there next to my raw and honest emotions were His promises of truth from Isaiah which I just “happened” to be reading at the time.

I was absolutely amazed at how clearly God was speaking to me through His Word and through visions He gave me. I was encouraged at the time, but with only a fraction of the encouragement I felt last night.

He really was there each day, in every messy emotion.

I just didn’t fully allow His promises to travel from my head to my heart and fill me with confidence, joy and gratitude in a way that would have changed my heart and my life drastically had I allowed them to.

I have no regrets from the journey. It has been messy. It still is messy. But my God’s promises remain. And He works ALL things together for my good and for His glory. And I know He is using every ounce of this part of my story to ultimately point others to the greater Story He is telling–

one where death doesn’t get the final say
one where hope prevails and life wins.
one where we will live in the midst of the fullness of God’s glory with all those we’ve said goodbye to too soon on this earth.

I’m so grateful for this journal, for God’s Word, and for all the messy emotions along the way that I have recorded here. For it’s here I can see God’s goodness and love intertwine so closely with my pain and heartache.

Thank you, Lord, for healing our wounds, for binding our broken hearts, and for guiding us on your way everlasting, your path of righteousness, and into your life to the full.

To you be the glory–in all things, in all circumstances, and in every messy emotion of grief.

. . .

3 takeaways from this experience:

For myself and for anyone else trying to navigate the mess of grief:

  1. Write it down. All of it. All the feelings you have. All the things you hear God say. The verses He points you to. And the visions He gives to you.
  2. Take it to heart. Cling to every word God speaks to you–either from His Scripture or straight from His mouth to your heart. Don’t take it lightly. As I looked back on what God spoke to me, I realized just how a simple verse was SO applicable and exactly what I needed to cling to that day, that week, that season.
  3. Remember. Go back and re-read your story. Re-read all the feelings, and all the truths from God. You’ll begin to see your story in a new light. And you’ll begin to see God’s presence with more clarity than ever before.

From my humble, grieving mama heart to yours…

photo: Apple Rose Photography

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