I've been talking about my miscarriage a lot lately. This was my second miscarriage, my first happened in June of 2011. I was clinging to my babies not wanting to forget them, which was making me cling to my pain. I was afraid to give that over to God because I thought it would make me forget them. Forget their sweet, innocent, too short lives.
This brings me to my breaking point. You know you've been there. It's that point where you can't stand anymore. You crumble to the floor in a messy pile. People, I don't get there often. I have been putting up walls around my heart to protect myself for years. But, it wasn't protecting me at all. I was just holding on to everything.
The first night at my Holy Yoga Retreat we did a gentle practice. I was just excited to do some yoga after traveling all day. I had no idea what God had planned for me that night. Not long into the practice and I was sobbing, uncontrollably sobbing. I was mourning the loss of my sweet babies. Why did their lives have to end before I got to meet them? I was not mourning alone, my Holy Yoga family was with me. As soon as I started showing signs of crying someone was there, right next to me, adjusting my pose to go deeper, to help me release. They were hugging me and comforting me. No words needed to be spoken. I don't know who was comforting me, I don't need to know. They felt led to come to me and love me. That is the love of Christ. That is what Holy Yoga is all about.
After that practice I felt great. What an emotional release sobbing was. I felt like I had finally handed it over to God. Then comes the next morning, after yet another sleepless night. It's never that easy to get over something. It took time to get me down into my dark place, it was going to take more time to get out of there. Tuesday was a rough day. I wanted to climb into bed and not get out all day. I felt disconnected and discouraged. Why was I even there? Then we had small group and were sharing testimonies. I went first and shared that I have a hard time seeing where God is through all of this. I felt alone in it and abandoned. I didn't even realize it, but I was putting myself out there again, opening up my heart a little bit more. God brought me a very special person that week that knew exactly what I was going through. That right there is why I was at this retreat and not in Virginia in October.
Then comes Wednesday morning. I spent time during meditation asking God "Why?". I spent time during morning practice asking God "Why?". So, God led me to my small group leader, Kathi (who has a gift for bringing tears and cheers). I walked up to her and everything spilled out. All of my hurt, my anger, my fear. She listened to it all and said we needed Renee (a woman with a beautiful spirit). God led Kathi to Renee. He knew who he could use to break down my walls. I shared my story with Renee and then we prayed.
People, I've never prayed like that before. I felt that prayer in my heart. I felt that wall in my heart crumble and I felt Him take my pain. He took it for me. So I wouldn't have to bear it anymore. I am lighter. Have I forgotten my babies? Nope, not once have I forgotten them. But, I left behind the pain of losing my two babies because I know that He has them and He has me.
I share these part of my story with you today because this JJ Heller video spoke to me today.
I got back from my Holy Yoga Retreat a week ago. It was bittersweet to leave Phoenix. The weather was beautiful, the food was awesome, the community was amazing, the entire experience was healing. I missed my family and I know that I couldn't stay away on that "mountain" forever. I received many texts, emails and facebook messages encouraging me during the week and wanting to know all about retreat. I am blessed to have all of you in my life. To encourage me, pray for me and get excited for me.
I don't have words to express my week at Spirit in the Desert. I went there broken, with many walls around my heart. Walls that I had put up to protect myself, but they weren't protecting me. Walls that God started taking down while I was there.
I'm going to try to share some bits and pieces of that amazing week with you. Hopefully it comes when He wants it to.
One evening I decided to walk the labyrinth. As I started I was walking with my arms crossed. After realizing this I told myself I need to be open to the process. I let my arms go and He truly started to speak to me. It's in my personality to always know where I'm going. To figure out where the path is going to lead me. As I walked the labyrinth I would try to figure out where it was going to go next. I was almost always wrong. What does that mean? To me it means that His process in how we get somewhere is so much greater than the way I would do it.
Walking the labyrinth of life is a process. My ways/thoughts/plans are not the way He wants me to go. I want to go in the most direct route with the least amount of detours. This is how I am on road trips, just ask my family, I do not like to stop. God wants me (us) to learn from the journey of life. There are twists and turns in life that He will use for the good.
I had a friend tell me that when taking a step back from her life and looking over the paths that God has led her and her family on it's just beautiful. It hasn't always been pretty or without pain, but it is beautiful. To know that you let Him lead you through the dark times.
For those of you who don't know. We lost our wonderful lab mix Rocky in March. He was the most amazing dog. Beau and I got him right after we started dating in 2001 and he's was a wonderful companion for those almost 12 years. Barrett and Myles remind us constantly that "Rocky's in heaven with God."
We couldn't be without a dog, so we decided to add this sweet bundle of joy to our house. She's a boxer/border collie mix. She's a smartie and the boys are loving having a new playmate around.
We had an IEP, or Individual Education Plan, meeting last week for Barrett. He's has moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears and was over a year speech delayed at age 3. I have a love/hate relationship with IEP meetings. Any parent who has been in one understands completely. These meetings are where they (the Speech Therapist, School Audiologist, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher and Classroom Teacher) tell us what he's doing great with and where he needs improvement and help.
I love the great things! He's excelled in speech and they've "discharged" him. He doesn't need it anymore! He's exactly where he needs to be with his speech. He's amazing. He's worked hard. We've worked hard to get to this point.
The part where they share where he needs improvement is hard for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that his teachers are there to help out and watch over his learning. It's just hard to hear people talk about him not excelling. I don't want him to have to need help. But, then I'm reminded that God made him exactly how he wanted him to be. Barrett was made in His image. Barrett is set apart from others to do great things. He has to work a little harder to do some things, but he perseveres. God set him aside to do great things and I hope and pray that he glorifies God in whatever he does.
As I was writing this I was reminded of Jesus healing the blind man. John 9:1-5 NIV
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
And also when Moses has his moment at the burning bush with the Lord. Exodus 4:11-12 NIV
The Lord said to him, "Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
The Lord takes responsibility for what makes us insecure. I think our insecurities allow us to rely on God's strength. God will use him (and all of us with our weaknesses) to do wonders. I'm thankful that God picked me to be his mama. That I get to be on this ride with him and see where God takes him.
As this is being posted I'm am sitting on an airplane headed to Phoenix for a week and you are beginning your week-long journey of being a single parent. Thank you for being the love of my life, a strong supporter of everything I do (and am called to do), being an amazing father and my best friend. I am so glad that God gave me you. I love you.
At lunch yesterday my 3 year old asked me again, "How come we don't have a baby anymore?" This is one of those questions that he keeps asking. It pops up randomly in conversation and has been for the last two months (I miscarried a second time in January 2013). I don't know how to answer it. I told him that sometimes babies don't make it in their mommy's tummy's and they go to heaven. He nods his head and moves on, until the next time he asks me. I'm happy to answer his question over and over again.
For me, every time he asks I freeze. I get a lump in my throat. I have to fight back tears. It's been a little over 2 months, but it still hurts. The pain is deep. The aching heart is still there. I think I'm over it and then something knocks me to my knees and tears stream down my face. I pray to be free of the pain. To be able to let go and fully trust in God's plans.
A little history...
I wrote this post 5 weeks ago. I never intended to post it, it's too painful. It's been laid on my heart to post it. I've been struggling with this for the last few days, but it's supposed to be out there. I'm opening my heart. So I can heal. Maybe to help others heal. This is part of what I'm doing with the Holy Yoga Heart Opener Challenge. #hyheartopenerchallenge
As I sit her on my bed and type this I don't even know if I will ever post it. I realize I've been missing for a while. Well, if I'm honest it's just been a really rough few months. After missing my Holy Yoga training retreat at the end of October it's been a very bumpy road. I came to terms with missing retreat. I must not have been ready or something. So, I decided to go to retreat in Phoenix in April. I can't wait, it's only five and a half weeks away. It will be here before I know it. I have a feeling that this is the retreat that I was supposed to be at all along. I am going to get some healing there. Healing from what?
That brings me to December. I want to have another baby. My heart longs for it. I feel like someone is missing in our family. This feeling only got stronger after my miscarriage in June 2011. In December I prayed and prayed that if we were supposed to have another baby, that it please happen. Please Lord, make this happen. I was also feeling called to the the Pre/Post Natal Holy Yoga training that was going to start in January and wanted a real obvious reason to start that. Well, on December 23 I got an answer. I was pregnant! We were getting our third baby... finally! And I was going to do the training.
I was thrilled to be pregnant again, even if my morning sickness was lasting all day long. I hadn't ever experienced this, but it was worth it. On January 29th I went in for my first prenatal appointment. My mom came with me so she could hear the baby's heartbeat. My in-laws were watching the boys. We couldn't find the heartbeat, so my midwife sent me to have an ultrasound. After starting the ultrasound the tech said, "I'm so sorry, there's no heartbeat." I'm bawling my eyes out. why... Why... WHY? Why is this happening again? My mom is just rubbing my hand, staying close to me, trying to comfort me. I called Beau and choked out the words "We lost another one, there's no heartbeat."
My mom and I went back up to meet with my midwife. They both consoled me, hugged me, loved on me. Then my midwife explained what happened. I had a blighted ovum. An egg was fertilzed, implanted and started to grow. But, because of a chromosomal abnormality and embryo never formed. It stopped growing two and a half weeks earlier, but I was still having pregnancy symptoms. My body still thought it was pregnant. We scheduled an appointment to meet with an OB two days later to discuss our options. We decided to do a d&c to remove the tissue. Surgery was scheduled for the next day.
So, let me recap the week for you.
Tuesday- 1st prenatal appointment, found out I miscarried
Wednesday- day at home
Thursday- meet with OB
Yeah, I would say that my world was sufficiently turned upside down that week. I had moments that week where the burden was so heavy, I couldn't stand. I felt like a pile of mush, a puddle on the floor. I have amazing family and friends that came up along us and helped out, prayed and listened. I thank God for putting that support into place. I couldn't have made it through without the support.
So, here I am writing this a month after my surgery. My body still thinks I'm pregnant. My hcG levels still aren't back to normal. I still ache for the babies I've lost. I still feel like someone is missing.
For lent I decided to add something to my daily routine rather than take something away. I decided I would do Holy Yoga every day. Now, I haven't done it every day, but it's been close. Almost two weeks ago I got on my mat and prayed.
Lord, I'm so lost right now.
I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing.
I don't feel like I know anything.
Please tell me what you want from me.
What direction do you want me to go?
I didn't like the answer I got. This is what I heard. It was a whisper in my heart.
Sacrifice your third child and birth my ministry
WHAT?!?!?!?! I knew exactly what He meant. He meant it's time. It's time to put my wants and needs aside and do what He's called me to do. To start up the Holy Yoga Ministry at Messiah UMC. So, after much prayer, tears, bargaining (never another child or just on hold), discernment and more prayer I am going to do just that. I am doing what He has called me to do. As painful as it is to put aside what I want. I know this is best. Best for me and for my family.