4 Things I will Never Forget
I remember these words like they were written yesterday. I remember the feelings and the sorrow. I remember the confusion and the brokenness. There are some things that are a little more lost to me than others.
I guess that’s what happens when the heart heals and life moves forward. It’s not so much that you forget the significance or the preciousness of a life. Its that the Lord heals. He covers our wounds with His love, mercy and grace. Sometimes I think one reason he created the concept of time is so that in our finite minds, we can move forward. We don’t always need to be stuck in one place. That’s the freedom that Christ offers through the cross. Redemption. Hope. Peace. Joy.
However, there are some moments I don’t think will ever be lost to me:
The first phone conversation I had after our doctor’s appointment where we learned our babies had no heart beat. It was with a nurse and dear friend who I worked with at the local pregnancy center. We talked for a long time. She shared her story of loss with me. Pregnant with twins and lost one in the first trimester. She explained to me all the options, how my body would respond to each, and how my husband could support me. It was informative and that’s what I needed in that moment.
An anxiety attack that happened in our laundry room. I don’t even remember why I had gotten so upset, but I began throwing folded socks against the wall. Screaming and yelling. Crying out and relentlessly trying to make all of this bad stuff go away. I was so angry at myself for not having control over my body, my emotions, and how I reacted to those feelings. I remember my husband came in, frustrated and angry but also concerned with the place I was in, and said, “Ashlee, you need help! When you have these episodes, it’s like it’s not even you anymore. It’s like you're being attacked and you can’t fight off the enemy.” This could not have been more true. It was after this breaking point, I sought counsel.
It was about 5 months after our first loss. We planned a weekend in Los Angeles and it happened to also be the weekend I was ovulating. No one ever tells you how a miscarriage affects the trying to conceive piece after you experience loss. I was full of fear. Fear that I would get pregnant. Fear that I wouldn’t get pregnant. Fear that I would do something to cause another miscarriage. Fear that my body was broken in some way. Fear that I would disappoint those around me if it was another month of negative pregnancy tests. This turned into fear of being intimate with my husband. I remember feeling scared but still wanting to try. Then my emotions got the best of me. I pulled away from my husband and curled up into a ball in the corner by the bed. I was sobbing, half naked, and completely shattered. Out of frustration and alarm, my hubs asked what he could do for me. I told him to get my verse cards and ipod. I turned on “Nearer My God to Thee” by Fernando Ortega and listened to it over and over again. I forced my eyes to read over truth and asked the Lord to free me from this bondage I was in.
I remember it was a few months after our second loss and we got the news that some friends were pregnant. I remember so many mixed feelings. Feelings of desperately wanting to be happy for them. Feelings of intense jealousy that they got to experience an unhindered excitement for this new life. It’s something I thought I would never be able to experience again. Feelings of anger and bitterness that they even thought to share their news with us so soon after we lost our baby. After the phone call ended, I ran into our bedroom and crawled into the closet. I stripped down as if ripping all the anger I had toward my failing body and the disgust I had toward the hatred I felt. I once again was in a place of utter enslavement to my emotions and thoughts.
I wish I could say that during that time, there was a changing point in me when my eyes turned from my own grief to the One who is able to heal, but I really think it was just a time thing. It was slow and it came in waves. But at some point, my heart turned. I began to see these reactions were a result of my sin and lack of trust in the Lord. I wasn’t believing in who He was or the power He has to remain sovereign and to redeem all things. And slowly, my eyes began the shift from my pain and suffering. My fear and anxiety to the cross. To Jesus.
Is this the place you are in? Are there reactions you notice happening over and over toward your husband, your kids, or your friends? Take some time to process through that. How are you responding in the midst of your loss toward those around you? I want to encourage you to go before the Lord and confess those things. See the areas of weakness and struggle and lay them down. Fight for the things you choose to believe. Fight for your mind. And if this is something you aren’t sure how to do or even where to begin, start with these verses below!
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
As you walk this windy road of grief and loss, I am praying for you sweet friend.
Will you comment below with a specific area I could lift up today?