** Sorry for the dramatic title. I’ve been told by certain sisters of mine that I’m a dramatic person. I don’t think it was meant as a compliment. **
Well, we might as well start with the elephant in the room. (The elephant in my head, at least.) This year saw a moment of great joy as we expected our first child, followed all too quickly by conflicted disappointment at the miscarriage. I wrote more about my immediate thoughts here.
Time has passed since then and each month carries a tiny “what if?” voice in my head. Then like clockwork I wake up one morning to an indisputable, “Nope! Not this month.” Sigh.
I considered skipping this event in my year during my 31 Days of Glancing Back and Leaning Forward series. But this week I was caught off guard as I glanced at my calendar and saw an old event that I’d forgotten to delete. “Estimated Date.” After a few moments wondering what I meant by that and hoping I wasn’t missing an important client meeting or something, it dawned on me.
Today would have been my due date.
For us, there was never a deep prolonged mourning or even this dramatic sense of death or bemoaning. But for me, my sadness takes other forms. It surprises me. Like unexpected moments glancing at a young mom walking into Starbucks with 3 little ones in tow and I’m struck by a rogue thought “Oh, sure. Like she really needs 3 of them.”
If indulged too long, the unkind thoughts gives way to a short personal fantasy in which she walks up to me, hands me the youngest one and says, “Here, you can have this one.” I clap my hands in joy like I just received a birthday present.
I’m weird, I know.
Or the moment I hear of an adoption, or see an ultrasound posted on Facebook, or a million “First Day of School” photos. Gag.
Don’t get me wrong. Your kids are cute and say the darndest things, I get it. I’m just having a bit of a personal pity party.
(Side note: None of this applies to hearing about my perfect little nephews. There are not enough photos or cute saying in the world that would stop me from wanting to eat them up!)
But pity never got me anywhere. It’s more like a rock tied around my neck.
Lately, inside my spirit I have been hearing the voice of the Lord challenging my disposition towards discontentment. (And if the voice of the Lord is too subtle, there is always the voice of my husband to keep me on the straight and narrow.)
A discontented heart opens the door to a bitter spirit.
Oh Lord, let it never be said of me.
Give me eyes to see with joy what is, not simply what isn’t.
Like Ann Voskamp’s list making in One Thousand Gifts, here’s the truth.
The truth is I have a very loving husband in my life to nurture. I have a beautiful home to rest within. I have the deep affection and comfort of the Holy Spirit. I have a business in my hands that I enjoy building. I have family that I love. Oh, and I have two precious little birdies that make me smile. No room for a bitter spirit here!
One more thing…
Since this is my month of personal reflection, would you indulge me? Can I talk about my kid like a proud momma for just one second?
Here she is! Isn’t she cute? Why do I say “she?” I have no way to know, but I secretly think it was a girl. Maybe that’s because I have 4 nephews and no nieces!
The nurse said she looked like she was holding a basketball in this one. Must be Courtney’s kid. 🙂
The day of the miscarriage, I looked down and saw a single azalea bloom on the ground. For some unexplained reason I picked it up and carried it around all day. It was so beautiful in my hand, so radiant, bright and smiling. But like azaleas do, it quickly began to wither and become translucent, a picture of what was happening to me. I don’t know why I kept this blossom. I never told anyone, I just kept it.
I’ll meet her (or him) one day. Until then, I choose joy and contentment, no matter the size of my family.
Oh, and thank you, Little One, for the flower. Your mamma loves you and she’s doing ok.
This post is part of my series 31 Days of Glancing Back and Leaning Forward: Personal reflections and life lessons from my year.
It is pure joy to me knowing you are reading what I am writing. Thank you.