All My Adversity

My whole life I’ve been drawn to a good quote. From a young age I quickly learned that carefully selected words strung together can generate immense power within the human spirit. And a good quote can speak to the soul when no other words can seem to do the trick.

Lately I have found myself being drawn to particular quotes over and over. I suppose they are really speaking to my current season of life. One quote that has been a favorite recently is “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.”

This quote by Walt Disney is complete truth for me. The adversity I have faced in life has strengthened and changed me. I am thankful for what I’ve been through because I am thankful for the person I am today. The person I am today is the person I want to walk into the future as.

This quote from Walt reminds me that everyone faces adversity in life. But what is not stated but is clearly implied is that what matters is what we do with the adversity.

I, like Walt, am choosing to use it.

~ C ~

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day 💙

To most today is just an ordinary Tuesday. To me today means so much more. Today, October 15, 2019 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I never imagined October 15th would become a day I cherish like Christmas, New Year’s Day and loved ones birthdays. But for the rest of my life it will be just that.

My husband and I lost our first child when I was 20 weeks pregnant in January. There simply are no words to describe that dark time in our lives. Prior to our own experience with pregnancy loss, I could have never imagined what all it entailed. Whatever preconceived ideas I did have about miscarriage were washed away like a piece of sand in a tsunami once that life altering event forever marked our lives.

Although our son was only in our lives a few short weeks, we loved him like we had known him for an eternity. After his birth as I was holding him for the few short moments I had with him, I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was gone but perfect in every way. I saw in him all of the hopes and dreams we had for him. I knew at that moment that I would never get to experience those moments with him on earth but I prayed that he would still get to achieve all those dreams in heaven.

I will never forget the deafening silence that occurred when my son was born, far different from the sweet lullaby that played to mark the birth of all the other babies in the unit. I will never forget having to decide what I wanted to do with our child’s body. I will never forget letting go of our son for the last time. I will never forget the loneliness I felt coming home without him. And that was just the first day without him. I will never forget anything about that day as it forever changed the rest of my life.

I wish I could say navigating life after pregnancy loss has been easy, but it hasn’t been. Pretty much every day of this past year has been awkward and painful. I actually got used to feeling a bit like the grim reaper, since I brought such sadness everywhere I went. But I tried not to focus on that too much. I just did my best to focus on what I could control each day and not worry about the rest.

But all of that brings me to this triumphant today. The fact that I am standing here is a testament to the simple fact that God is so good. It is by his grace, strength and love that I’ve made it through this experience. Each day is still so incredibly hard but I am still standing, which is more than I imagined. Today I still have sadness for our loss but I am also able to hold joy at the same time.

Today I honor Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day for the beautiful and complicated day it is. It honors all the lost sweet little ones and let’s all of their loved ones left behind know that they are not alone. It honors the long journeys we have traveled and encourages us for the journey ahead. And although the day will never replace what we have lost, it’s a kind and gentle reminder that we are not forgotten.

~ C ~

We have been blessed by so many people near and far throughout our loss journey. The prayers and support offered by our family, friends, loved ones and strangers has made all the difference. We are forever thankful.

Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month – October 2019

One of the things I have been learning over the course of the last year is how to hold all the parts of life at the same time. We have to hold all the emotions, all the life events, all of the challenges and all of the triumphs at the same time. We have to hold happiness and sadness in the same moment.  We have to let our fears and bravery stand side by side.  We have to recognize our fullness and emptiness, giving each the necessary space in our life.  The fact is life is complicated but we can’t let that hold us hostage.  We must learn how to hold all the parts of life, while simultaneously making a conscious effort to move forward.  If we don’t embrace this fact, we will forever be in the same exact spot.

Learning to move forward and continue to strive for success in my life, while holding the pain of pregnancy loss is something I have unfortunately become very familiar with. It is one of those things I could have never imagined would be part of my life story. But here I am and here it is. When I experienced my miscarriage nine months ago, it affected me deeply and permanently. There was so much about the experience and the aftermath that I didn’t expect. Some of which I have shared and some of which I plan to share in the future. But the one thing I didn’t quite grasp at the time was how profoundly it would effect my future everydays. It affected me and still affects me everyday in every way.

As a generally optimistic person, at first it was beyond confusing to try to hold deep sadness yet move forward in my life at the same time. But I knew I had to figure this out if I wanted a life worth living. After nearly a year of intentional growth in every facet of my life and work on grief with trusted counselors, I have learned that the key to holding all of life at once is to understand how it all comes together to make us whole. My sadness for the loss of my son and the happiness I have as I strive to achieve other goals in my life come together to tell my story and make me a whole person.

Today on the first day of Pregnancy Loss Awareness month, I remember all of the women who are carrying the pain of the loss of a baby along their journey forward. Often a silent and lonely journey, I pray not that they have an easy one, but rather that they give themselves grace as they manage to hold it all. Because life can be beautiful after loss.

~ C ~

Life Reminders

Today in various ways I was reminded of three important keys to life:

  • A vision board that regularly sits outside of one’s line of vision is as useless as the paper it is made out of.
  • Our bodies have an incredible way of telling us exactly what we need in life. The question is how often do we listen?
  • There is purpose in pain. We may not understand it at the time, but the pain is part of the preparation for something even greater.

~ C ~