Today is March 1st. It’s raining. There are storms in the forecast and I can hear the pebble-like sound of raindrops hitting against the tin roof of our little rent house. I sit up in bed, stretch and look around the dark room. I feel a deep heaviness and a pang of sadness as my eyes adjust to the darkness. The wood paneling gives the room a gloomy, 1970’s feel and I decide that must be the root of my unhappiness. Wood paneling was never a good idea.
I walk to the bathroom-we only have 1 right now- and start the shower. The sadness still lingers. I remembered the day before I took my migraine medicine-it always makes me feel sad. Plus, my hormones are still out of wack as I have recently stopped taking birth control. I finish getting ready and once the tornado sirens end, climb into Jon’s truck to ride to work. I stare out the window and it hits me: Today is March 1st.
My mind flashes back to March 1, 2016. I was pregnant. I woke up to rain. I walked to the bathroom and found blood-a lot of blood. Jon reassured me that everything was fine as we made our way to the doctor’s office. I sat in the waiting room among what seemed a thousand pregnant women all beaming, full of excitement. I bit my nails.
I went to the bathroom before the ultrasound and asked if we still had to do it: more blood wasn’t a good sign. I knew deep down I had lost the baby. The nurse helped me onto the table and I looked at the screen. I saw our sweet little baby-much bigger than the last ultrasound. I smiled. I really was pregnant. I began to cry as the nurse’s face grew solemn. I didn’t know you could see blood on an ultrasound. She looked at me and told me there was no heartbeat. I can vividly see her face. I can hear her words clearly. I can remember every moment. It seemed as if that entire day moved in slow motion.
I dropped to my knees outside of the hospital. Jon went to get the car. I called my former cheerleading coach-a friend and a mentor that has walked me through some of my worst days. I sobbed. Nobody stopped. Nobody stared. They all walked around me. They passed by a grieving mother without even batting an eye and didn’t even know it. I felt invisible and alone. The sadness grew within me as I clenched my stomach knowing I only had a few more hours to hold that baby inside my womb. I held on as long as I could.
What followed would be some of the worst days of my life, filled with anxiety and depression and worst of all, a loss of hope.
I cut the memories off there. We pulled into the parking lot; I gave Jon a kiss and walked in to work. I sat down at my desk and struck up a conversation. I muttered to myself “Get it together Beth, get it together”. I did.
Deep down, miscarriage always affects you. Maybe for some, the emotional type like me, it affects you deeper than others. The baby I lost was my first child. I don’t think of him or her as a mass of cells, a mistake, an “it’ll happen someday”. A year later, it still hurts in this deep place in my stomach I can’t quite describe. It makes me nauseous. It makes me wonder.
I’m surprised I made it through the past year. They say that you are stronger than you think. I didn’t think that was true a year ago when I sat trembling in front of my husband repeating “I can’t do this. I just can’t. I’m not going to make it through this.” I didn’t think it was true sitting in the clinic crying my eyes out saying “There is something wrong with me” on my baby’s due date while filling out a depression questionnaire. I didn’t think that was true when my migraines got so bad, because of stress that I stayed in bed for a week. I didn’t think that was true when I filled my prescription for Prozac. I didn’t think that was true when I called a friend for the names of counselors.
I didn’t think strength should be associated with a hot mess who took crazy pills and couldn’t get her life together long enough to put on mascara.
But I’m sitting here today, typing this out and you know what? I did make it through it, however, not out of my own strength. The truth of the matter is I am not strong. I’m not even as strong as I think I am. I couldn’t make it through the loss of my baby on my own. But because God calls me His, I did. Because of God’s love, compassion and strength, I made it through. Though nobody else saw or stopped to console the heartbroken woman I was in those first horrible moments of my miscarriage, God saw that grieving mother sobbing outside of the hospital. He saw her though she was invisible, soaking wet and in pain-and picked her up. He held her close and walked right beside her through the worst storm of her life.
I think each of us have a salvation story-a testimony so to speak. I used to struggle with sharing my testimony because I didn’t think I had much of one to tell. I accepted Christ in the fourth grade. I know my salvation is secure, but I can’t honestly say I believed God up until recently. I believed in God but I didn’t believe him. I think we all have to have some actual reasoning to trust God and believe He is who He says He is and not just because our parents told us to. My salvation story didn’t start until long after I accepted Christ. I had grown up in church, I went to a new believer’s class, I did Bible Drill, I was involved, etc. I didn’t come to truly know Christ until recently. My life changed the moment the Lord picked me up off of the sidewalk the day I lost my child. That is my testimony.
I was at my lowest. I was at my weakest. I was at the point of giving up. I was not the tan, blonde with a Tory Burch handbag and a manicure that I so often portrayed. I was dirty, bleeding with my hair in a bun and tears streaming down my face. And he still loved me. He still picked me up. He didn’t give up on me. AND he surrounded me with the biggest support system that still continues to encourage me daily. He gave me the most tender, loving husband and the sweetest wiener dog. And he continues to walk with me and hold my hand and whisper “trust” even on the days I want to give up. Even now. Long after the storm of miscarriage has passed.
You may not see it now, but your trials and your weaknesses and your messy moments are the pivotal parts of your story-your salvation story. It may not always be a romance novel and every chapter may not end on a happy note, but you can guarantee at the end of your life, your story will end in hope. I was not convinced a year ago today that I had any hope whatsoever. But today I do. And though I still struggle with anxiety and have really hard, sad days, I know that I will never EVER lose hope. I may emotionally feel hopeless at times, but I know that no matter how bad it gets, God will always pick me up and walk right beside me. No matter how bad the storm. Today is March 1st, 2017. Today I have hope.