The crazy thing about life is that you can go through so many ups and downs. For me, it seems like seasons of REALLY good and then REALLY bad. It’s like the marriage is going well, we love our new home, we get a dog we have fallen in love with, and then we slip and fall on one banana peel after the other. For my husband and I, the banana peels came in the form of two miscarriages. One right after the other in our first year of marriage. I guess I should also tell you that the only fear greater than my fear of getting pregnant was my fear of dying. Yes, that’s right. I was ashamedly terrified of being pregnant.
In God fashion, he had me find out I was pregnant on a business trip. God knew He needed to seclude me in order to allay my fears of having a baby. For three straight nights, I cried myself to sleep and read my Bible secretly hoping that I wasn’t pregnant. On the fourth day though, I woke up with a peace about the pregnancy. I truly believe God performed a miracle by giving me a peace, and to this day I am no longer afraid to give birth.
I will save you all of the tears, questions, and anger I sent up to Heaven less than a month later when I found out I had miscarried. Then five weeks later when I miscarried again. Just know it wasn’t pretty. I was sitting in a dark, muddy pit. Amazingly, some people eventually came along with a hand saying, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m here when you want help getting back up!” We were left thankful and in awe of that friendship. I believe true friendship and authenticity is what prevails in the hard times in life.
I’m sharing all of this because I want you to know the REAL me. As human beings, we desire to be known for more than our abilities to make people laugh and dress nice; we want people to resonate with our dreams and understand our fears. It was through these miscarriages that I learned I had to be transparent with God, myself, and others. If I had a problem, I had to find a way to discuss it with myself, with God, and with others. This meant digging deep into the pain and asking God the tough questions, knowing He could very well handle them and hold my heart at the same time.
It has not been easy, but I joined Celebrate Recovery which has helped me make amazing strides in becoming the person I was created to be. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a church that supports inward reflection and spiritual growth. Celebrate Recovery is a safe, judgement -free zone where you can speak all of your concerns out in the open without people trying to fix you.
Although it has been six months since my last miscarriage, I can tell you that I have months that go by when I feel like I’m struggling well. Then I will find out someone I know is pregnant or has delivered a healthy baby and the fear and anger start to creep back in. It’s not every time I find out; it’s random. Those events remind me that this recovery life is a journey of ups and downs. Along the journey, I must continue to examine my life and stay in community with people I can trust with my feelings.
Last night was one of those ugly nights when it hit me the wrong way. I had found out a friend was pregnant, and then read a little out of Chili and Chocolate Cake: My Recipe for Staying Anchored in the Storms of Life. It’s a great book by my new friend, Joyce, who has gone through as much as I have and more. While reading, I began to realize that part of my struggle was that I began to tie my identity to the babies. Somewhere along the way I picked up the idea that my worth came from bearing children. I soon noticed that this was a lie I had been telling myself for years… When I was single I told myself I would only be of value if I was able to get married. When I graduated college, I told myself I was only valuable if I made a decent salary. When I was in school I worked my butt off and earned a 4.0 GPA because I believed that the best grades made me valuable.
I’ve decided to start refuting these lies that have been following me most of my life; my worth is in Christ alone. This morning I wrote:
My significance is not found in my ability to have children
be a wife
be a good cook
have a website
have a good job
have a job I like
have family support
have friends’ support
have nice clothes
have a nice car
have a nice house
NO! My significance is FOUND in being a child of God. Nothing will change the way or the depth of His Love. There is nothing I can do to earn more. The pressure is from myself and society which says that things make life better. God says He makes life better. Period.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
I’m plastering these thoughts on the crevices of my heart and mind and handing over my false identities! I’d like to leave with you with this amazing song. Listen to it and pray. If you need the song as much as I do, you can buy it here What are some of the identities you need to hand over to God in order to have a better life? I will be praying for courage for all of us!