A friend of mine shared this quote with me a few weeks ago…
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but rather, learning to dance in the rain.”
Don’t know who said it, it doesn’t matter, it’s beautiful! She and I were discussing miscarriages, as I have experienced my second and she has suffered three. I use the word suffer because that is what it is to lose a baby. It doesn’t matter if you are 5 weeks pregnant, 10 weeks pregnant, or 40 weeks pregnant (yes, that does happen, and more often than many realize). I’ve been struggling lately with my loss and the fact that I’ve heard of so many other losses.
When someone’s parent or grandparent, (or dog for that matter) dies, we acknowledge it, we sympathize with them, we want to comfort them. We recognize that there was life and it is now gone, no more memories to be made, no more stories to tell, no more hugs, tears, or laughter with that person. That is tangible.
But when a mother losses her baby people seem to really have a hard time knowing what to say, how to react, or how to treat the person. I mean this with no judgement, just to hopefully give some information on how we mothers who have lost babies feel.
Every loss is different, for every person, in every instance. My first loss was much different from my second loss, so I know it to be true, as least from my perspective. I’ve never been much of a message board participating person, but I did find a website http://www.ourmiscarriage.com, as I was grieving my first loss and have found it immensely helpful, as those women all know the feelings I feel. (If you know someone one who has suffered the loss of a baby, send them there, better yet, read it yourself, you’ll get a glimpse of our feelings). People loss babies everyday, as every stage in their pregnancy, so to say that there is a ‘safe’ zone to announce your pregnancy is completely crazy! You just have to announce it when you feel comfortable and be ready for the repercussions (that we all pray don’t happen to anyone).
So, how do we feel after a loss? I can’t put it into words eloquently, so I’ll just try to do my best here. We feel empty, alone, numb, sad, mad, terrified, disillusioned, abandoned, hopeless, and forgotten. We feel like our bodies don’t work, like we’ve let ourselves and our husbands down. We feel so grief stricken that moving some days seems impossible. Our friends don’t know what to say and so we feel further isolated. We are jealous of the people it comes so easily for, even when we aren’t jealous people. We are weepy and emotional and fragile (things that are foreign to me). We want answers and often get none. Our hearts break at the mention of our babies and when someone else’s dream comes true and ours do not. We have dates imprinted on our hearts of when our babies should have been here and when they left us.
The feelings we have are not ones we want, like, or are comfortable with, but they are what they are. So, don’t think we are horrible when we can’t jump for joy with you, for we want to, but the heartbreak is bigger. Just imagine, if you will, never knowing your daughter’s laugh, your son’s pout, or their smile. Look at your child and think what it would be to NEVER hold him/her. That may give you a small idea of what we feel on a daily basis. We want to be ‘normal’ to feel like we did pre-conception, but that just isn’t what happens. We will never be the same.
As hopeless and pitiful as that sounds, that is not how I feel. I am not hopeless, though at times I am pitiful, I admit!! The truth is that through this God is building my character, by showing me my own weaknesses and where He can fill me with His strength. That is nothing but HOPE, how people survive such sadness without hope is beyond me, and I pray no one has to go through that. For my life is better everyday because I am filled with hope. I am hopeful that I will have my own child one day, and it may not be as everyone else has, though I am still hopeful of that! This experience has done nothing but strengthen my marriage, for which I am eternally greatful. It helps that my husband is one of the most caring, considerate people alive, and I am greatful for him! I’m thankful for the love I’ve been shown, the support I’ve received and the lessons I’ve learned about myself and others through this experience. I don’t believe that God causes these things to happen, but I BELIEVE that God can produce good from every situation and that of anyone He knows the pain of loss and disappointment!
All of that I say to tell you that sometimes the storms don’t pass and you have to learn to dance in the rain!!!
1 comment September 18, 2009 denifay7
I’m not sure how anyone else feels about this topic, so I thought I’d write a little about it. If you’ve read some of my previous blog entries you know that God is my BFF or BATLT. My faith is what grounds me, what moves me, what heals me, and what defines me. That being said, I am still a potty-mouthed, sinner, who questions God.
I believe that He is sovereign over all and that He is in control. It’s just that sometimes, His control is so illusive to me that I can’t determine what He could be thinking. (At this point there is raucous laughter in heaven as God is reading my comments!) Certainly He didn’t plan for me to know ANYTHING! That is what makes Him GOD! Still, He created us humans and understands that at times we are going to question His motives, His tactics, and His divinity. I question these things lately: 1. Why do I have to move? 2. Why did I lose my baby? 3. Why did my friends end up with cancer? 4. Why do I get every illness that the kids I see come down with? 5. Why are men and women so different?
And all these questions are just that–Questions. They may never be answered and that is part of God’s divinity. He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it. For all of our questioning and trying to understand, God left it a mystery to demonstrate His awesome power and might.
“Why” is such a difficult question. As a speech pathologist, I try to teach this concept to tons of children. I can tell you that I’ve asked “Why?” was I put in this field!! If I look at my questions as being as difficult as this concept that I am trying to teach, it somehow puts it into perspective! Teaching ‘why’ is almost impossible and knowing ‘why’ is not meant for us. I have found in my own life that when I ask ‘why’ eventually God shows me, though sometimes it is much later! The best quote I’ve read lately is this one “Sometimes when we ask God our ‘why’ questions, instead of answers He gives us comfort” –Mary Jane Worden.
Why is illusive and God knows it’s there. Eventually we will all see, we will all know what it is that ‘God has willed, what God has planned!’ Until then I think that it’s safe to say that God is in control, we are not. I believe that He welcomes questions over us just walking away from Him.
Add comment March 19, 2009 denifay7
I would say about a year ago I started running. I use that term loosely because it was more of a slightly forward, clumsy, attempt at a jog. It was painful, truly! I had shin splints, my knees ached, my feet hurt, overall it was a beating. I scoffed at these runners I saw gliding across the roads, looking smiley and happy. When I saw someone who wasn’t rail thin and perky trudging down the road, I wanted to yell out a good “Atta boy!” to send them some encouragement. Now days, I sometimes actually do yell because I know what that encouragement does for me.
You see, I once was a self-professed “exercise hater”. I was never going to join a gym, I hated to sweat, and I really enjoyed my couch time. (I still enjoy my couch time!). But something in me has changed. I learned a few years ago the true meaning of being able to ask God for anything, and I started doing just that. The thing is God knows what we want without us ever saying it, so refusing to share it with him is truly one of the silliest things we can do! So, I started asking Him to help me eat better, to make me like exercise, and then to give my heart the desire to try new things.
Here’s the deal: He did it! In one of my many examples of ‘Be careful what you wish for!’, God made me a runner! I would love to share with you that I have completed a marathon in record time, I am no longer in any pain when I run, or that I run miles a day without any trouble; but that is just simply not the case. Yet, the line that continues to run through my head right now is…”How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough? How amazing is Your love!”, a song by Chris Tomlin (that is on my ipod, see later).
This weekend I completed my first half marathon! Amazing really! Did you know that only 1% of the population completes a half marathon? (Thanks Eric for the stat and acknowledging my newfound membership to the club) Again, I would love to tell you that it was the most wonderful experience of my life and that I glided down the streets of New Orleans with ease and joy across my face. That’s not exactly how it went!
It started at the start line. My ipod quit working and I had to pee without enough time to get there and back. Now let me preface this with what I ‘thought’ my morning was going to look like… Me: Downloaded lots of great tunes, ready to jam, and have some great Sunday morning worship through Audubon park, when it got a little tough I would find a new song to pump me up and would sail to the finish line in just under 2.5 hours. Reality: no ipod, no music, no worship, no jams, still had to pee and eventually no one running right beside me and encouraging me all the way! Wait, did I say no one beside me? That my friends was certainly not the case!
So, say mile 5ish, my sister can no longer hang with my (pathetic) pace and goes on ahead–with my blessing! I (with no music, and no friends) try to trudge on while looking back for my twin friends that I know are happily jogging along to their tunes and cheering each other on with every step (and they did and it was awesome). Around mile 6.5 I do find them, ahhh relief, not really, again I can’t keep up. This is getting more and more disturbing and I feel like a failure. I’m all alone, everyone is doing better than me and I want to die (maybe a little dramatic, but I’ve been told that before). Here’s the greatest thing you’ll hear about my race…I was NEVER alone! I can’t count the number of times that I felt discouraged/abandoned/defeated and without warning someone would run in front of me with a Team 413 shirt on “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. That my friends was God showing up over and over and over again and reminding me that I am never alone. At one point I felt Him say “You only have to finish and I’ll be here every step of the way!”. It all gets a little hazy after a few miles, but around 10ish, this group had a radio set up and were jamming. This guy (with rhythm that I will be forever envious of) was dancing in the street and he and his group were screaming at us to ‘keep it up’, ‘you’re doing great runners’, ‘you’re awesome’! Suddenly I felt this indescribable tingle go up my spine and I knew again that it wasn’t me moving these imperfect human legs, but the Divine driving me forward. I pray as I run pretty frequently and these are my prayers…
‘God move my feet’, ‘God fill my lungs’, ‘God keep me safe’, ‘God don’t let me fall’
And I end with telling you that with all my faith, God is so much more faithful, for He moves my feet, He fills my lungs, He keeps me safe, and He has never let me fall. I’ve told my sister so many times that I like to run alone, but the truth is I never have run alone, but those times when you see just me, know that I am with my God running for His glory!
Add comment February 3, 2009 denifay7
So, I had a friend ask me a few months ago (as we were discussing God and religion and all things discussable) why God lets horrible things happen. She referenced the tsunamis and hurricanes specificially. In response I gave some lame answer that is textbook Sunday school. That is fine for some people, but obviously not for me as I thought about the question, over and over and over again! I knew that there was a deeper answer in my soul; that I know a God that is so much more than that answer I had given. So, I chewed on it on my drive home the next day. Here’s what I have to say on it now…
On my way home I was listening to music, which is my favorite thing to do and how I truly worship God, when one of my favorite songs came up, “Held” by Natalie Grant. If you don’t know it, go check it out because this will make more sense if you can hear the whole song. But the chorus goes something like this…
‘This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive. This is what it means to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell we’d be held’
And my answer came from God at that moment. God doesn’t ‘allow’ bad things to happen, but when they do He will be there to hold us through the trauma. The last part of the first verse says…’We’re asking why this happens to us who have died to live, it’s unfair’. Ahh, the arrogancy of christians sometimes, just because we believe does not mean we’ll be protected from pain; however, God does assure us that He will comfort us during those painful times. He is ever-faithful! This leads me to a quote that I found a few weeks ago that says…”Sometimes when we ask God our ‘why’ questions, instead of answers He gives comfort”–Mary Jane Worden. Isn’t that the truth?
You see, in September I had a miscarriage. I was 9 weeks and 2 days pregnant and we went to the doctor for what I thought was a routine checkup/ultrasound. I was so very excited because the first time I heard baby Troxclair’s heartbeat Sean had been at work, and this time he would be there to hear it and see the precious twinkle light on the screen that was her heartbeat. But that was not what happened, there was no heartbeat. The aftermath of that is something that I cannot fully put into words yet. What I do know is that God gave me that song, “Held”, a long time ago to help me heal and that experience with my dear friend so that I would know the ramifications of the song and this experience. We are still recovering from our loss and some days are really hard and sometimes it’s just instances that seem unbearable. Yet I do know that I can bear them, because my God is in heaven holding our little Layla and she will never know any pain.
God is alive and well and we are ‘Held’ by Him on a daily basis. I’ve heard some really sad news from some people lately specifically cancer diagnosis for two very young people who were ‘healthy’, and all I can do is pray that God will keep them ‘Held’.
My faith is strong enough for an answer that in some way tells you how strong my God is and I hope that this answer is much more sufficient than my initial response!
2 comments October 24, 2008 denifay7
So, I just got back from a trip with the Senior High Youth at my church. I can’t begin to tell you what that did for my soul. First there was the amazing music–that I say half in gest and half truth!! Then there was allll the food–can’t even quote the grocery bill. And the hike that will go down in history with the bones that we saw.
And then there was GOD! In the midst of all of the silliness, the fun, the food fights, the sweat, the tubing, and yapping, God showed up and was so present! The first count I’ll recall was just in the ride there when with 12 high school girls in one bus, I heard no bickering (maybe b/c the music was so loud!?!?). The second was the most profound–initially… we were on this glorious hike UP the side of a mountain in the middle of the afternoon in August in the South (i.e. 100+ degrees), and we had reached the end of our rope, we were sweaty, exhausted, the trail had ended (nowhere), we had passed the bones of a large animal, and one of the buys informed me he had asthma (which set a little panic into my heart). So, someone says they just wish we had a breeze, so I told them to ask God with faith and that it would come–and can I just tell you that it came instantaneously, and it was more glorious than words can describe! Thanks for showing off there God!
The most beautiful way that God showed up on our trip was through these children, and I use that term loosely because they are so strong and wonderful. We did devotion type things each night and the comments and feelings and thoughts that were shared were more profound that many sermons I’ve heard from a pulpit (no offense to my friends who deliver our messages–they are good!). The world is violently scared of the future of mankind because of these young people. They see weird hair, strange choices for music, random hobbies, and don’t see the people that are behind those things. To see what I saw, we can count ourselves lucky to leave the world in the hands of the hearts that I encountered this week. Their real concerns are not revolving around what outfit to wear, or who is cooler than whom, or what party to go to, though those things may matter on some level, these young people are concerned about each other, about their futures, and about how to make a positive imprint on this world. In my opinion they are each already wildly successful, for they have given a person who doesn’t yet have children and was very leary about bringing them into this world a newfound hope for our future!
Thank you for letting me experience this week with y’all, you have truly touched my heart and I look forward to more fun times and seeing what God does in each of your lives!
Add comment August 9, 2008 denifay7
I am in reflection about the need for self care…
Our society is so DRIVEN, money driven, success driven, career driven, family driven, esteem driven, praise driven, recognition driven and with all of this driving, I’m wondering where we end up? When is it okay to stop driving for a moment and look inward, and give time to ourselves? So many people suffer from burnout and exhaustion, that the effort that they are giving can’t possibly be 100% or even close, yet we press on. We work, we volunteer, we help friends/family, we go back to school, we shop, we read, we study, we move, move, move–where is that breaking point? And how did we get to be a society that is so driven that we aren’t even allowed to yeild, much less stop for a moment?
When many of us try to stop we can’t enjoy the rest. We ‘plan’ activities for our entire vacation. We schedule appointments, meetings, and social gatherings during every waking moment. But what about me? What about taking care of myself so that I have something to offer someone else? Well now, that is just selfish! You don’t need a day off, or a Sunday nap, or an uneventful vacation–that is time that you could be productive! When did self care become selfishness? How is it that taking some time to rest and rejuvinate leaves so many of us feeling guilty or beating ourselves up?
In doing some of my soul searching I’ve noticed many things, but the main one is that we all push ourselves too hard and we all struggle with the balance of ‘me time’ vs. all of our commitments. For me to take a day off and spend time reading, relaxing, pampering myself should be a gift, the way that I would treat others, but instead I feel ashamed and sense judgement in the voice of others that I tell about my plans. Think about all that you do for other people. I’ll name things that I see my loved ones doing…caring for their elderly parents, taking care of neighbors homes/animals, feeding those who have just had a baby/lost a loved one, throwing showers for friends, taking late night calls from someone sad, keeping friends children, washing laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning house, mowing yards, fixing broken toys, sending cards, visiting the hospitalized, volunteering for organizations, helping motivate people, giving hugs, buying gifts, sharing food/clothes, traveling to visit friends in need, and the list goes on and on and on. Why then should the great things that we do for others be ‘wrong’ for us to do for ourselves?
I don’t see it as selfishness to take time for one’s own sanity, but as being caring to youself. If you don’t care for yourself, no one else will. So, take time to love yourself and get back to the you that is comfortable and feels secure because you are being treated well. I can tell you with absolute resolve that I know I am a better wife, friend, daugther, sister, leader, volunteer, sounding board, support system, etc when I have taken some time out for myself. When I feel rejuvenated the first thing I want to do is give to others and I do so with SO much more joy than when I feel beat down, exhausted, or taken advantage of.
You ponder it…see if a little self care isn’t necessary in your life. Take a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of wine. Get a massage. Go swing on a swingset with children. Have a water balloon fight. Take an afternoon nap. Buy yourself fresh flowers. Have lunch or coffee at your favorite place. Get a pedicure or manicure. Buy some really indulgent shampoo that awakes your senses. Whatever you do, by all means be loving to yourself, so that you have something to give others!
Add comment August 2, 2008 denifay7
Just to let everyone know what is going on with me these days…
For those of you who know me, you know that I am a Speech-Language Pathologist, or that is part of my definition of myself. I am currently adjusting my personal definition…
After a year of deep soul-searching and much prayer and consideration, I am making a career move. I will not quit doing Speech, but I am adding to my repertoire and becoming a Life Coach. Yes, I said a Life Coach. I know most of you are wondering what the heck that is, so I’ll explain…
I will only give you what being a Life Coach means to me and how I will approach it. I love to help people, to give advice and insight into people’s lives and situations. The past four years of my life have been amazing in so many ways and I have a new perspective from which I look at things, which is much more positive than ever before in my life. Yes, much of this I owe to my beautiful husband, who is one of
God’s biggest blessings. In all I have done over the past few years the times I have felt the most successful, the most complete, the most useful is when I am helping people to accomplish something. I love to watch parents succeed with their children in speech and language, and to help them with ways to increase their child’s progress. I love to help my friends and family solve their problems or work through issues. And what I’ve figured out is that this can be a career–really! So, for those of you who are tired of my unsolicited help, I will now be giving it to people who really want it and are requesting it from me specificially (that doesn’t mean I’m unavailable for those my loved ones!).
Many people hire personal trainers and everyone has heard of coaches in relation to sports, well I am your personal trainer/coach for life. Have you been dying to write a book? Take a vacation? Find a new job? Begin a new hobby? Resolve a disagreement with someone? But don’t know how to go about getting there. I believe you have the solution within you, but may need my assistance to help you realize your full potential and make concrete steps to reach your goals. I am your personal trainer for life. Many people get assistance to reach their health goals, why shouldn’t you have that opportunity to help you reach all your life goals?
This is what I will be doing from now on. I will be getting a website together to give more information and provide some tools for people to use to see if Coaching is for them, but I am still working those kinks out for right now. Until I get that going, feel free to check in with me frequently to see what new information I add to my blog!
I am so excited about the blog and hope that others enjoy it too! I did a mini-coaching session today during one of my classes and the only word I have for it is EXHILIRATING!!! Doing something that comes so naturally to me really helped another person and that was beautiful. Coaching feels like a piece of me that has been missing or unidentified for some time now and I feel very full and greatful! I am so blessed and so thankful to all of my friends and family who have been on this journey of discovery with me, thank you all for your support, love, and most especially prayers throughout this time period!
1 comment July 31, 2008 denifay7