Remember when I said in my intro post I am guilty of hiding and of pushing people away? In times of struggle and heartache, I recede into myself. I make up reasons why I can’t spend time with people, hide behind being busy or pledge myself to commitments that keep me from connecting. I focus on the goal immediately in front of me, casting aside the relationships around me.
I have been especially blessed to have found myself in a community of people who are unflinchingly open. They share their deeply personal, painful struggles freely. Pain is acknowledged, laid bare. It is not covered in platitudes or bathed in cliches. They cast out their pain into a void, that is unfailingly caught, held and nurtured.
I have not yet had the courage to do so myself. I’ve cast out small needs – prayers for others, nuisances on my heart – but never the thorns that really tear at me. Those I carry myself, glorifying them, recasting my story in them. I pack and unpack the wounds, wondering why they never heal, never giving them the air and the light required to truly mend.
It is from this place I want to lay my broken heart bare. A few months back, when I got home from three months in North Carolina, my husband and I decided to start trying for a family. A few weeks after I got back, I was late. Having always had irregular cycles, I didn’t think much of it. I joked with him that we might have already been successful and took a pregnancy test for good measure. I put it on the counter and forgot about it and went about my morning. A few minutes later I picked it up, expecting it to say negative. It wasn’t! We were so excited. Too excited. We started dreaming of names, nursery colors, and how we would tell our families. A month later, I started bleeding at work. In a new job, a new office, I stole away outside for some privacy. I called my husband and the doctor’s office. They made an appointment that day, and I went to get tested to see what was happening. I didn’t need a doctor to tell me. The minute I got into the office I started crying and couldn’t stop. I let the tears just fall as I gave my insurance information, filled out my symptoms and waited for the doctor. He gave me some elementary information about pregnancy, as if I hadn’t been spending every free minute reading about it myself. Two days later, the office called with my blood results. I barely made it out the door of my office before breaking down.
Since then, we’ve grieved together and apart. I’ve told a few friends and family members. It was so raw the first few days. I had arranged a date with some old friends in anticipation of telling them the good news. Instead, I cried inside a Newk’s and a Charm City Run while my friend returned running shoes and the clerks looked at me confusedly. Now, I carry it with me. It comes up in ‘what could have beens’ at baby showers, or in the pain of a friend waiting for their baby, or in the quiet of the night when I wonder if that was my only chance.
I don’t know what’s going to happen – if we’ll be blessed with a baby anytime soon, or ever. Honestly, that’s the hardest part for me. I like to know, to be in control, and I am not here. I am gradually and sometimes begrudgingly learning to trust in His plan and His timing.