So I need to confess to a mommy meltdown. At a very sensitive and strategic point in my personal and professional life, I had the opportunity and the obligation to yank it back together in the fashion-arena and literally put on my big girl pants….but alas - they didn’t fit. Lest you think me completely vain, I will admit to being medium maintenance. I am not at all high-maintenance but neither am I low. I dislike being caught in dumpy mom mode - which is easy to slump into with sick kids, piles of laundry and the detritus of life piling up around me. This is well-evidenced by my favorite pair of threadbare black yoga pants that I insist on wearing because of their comfort if not for their class. (side note: these aforementioned pants have gone “missing,” so possibly a fashion-forward member of my clan has put their foot down in a passive kind of way….but I digress.) But y’all, let me just tell you that when your spanx don’t fit - that’s a whole ‘nother level of drama and distress.
Am I wrong, or is it supposed to be a given that these stretchy wonders just have to fit, or nothing else will!?!? So I did some quality gymnastics and wiped angry tears from my eyes because of what this whole shenanigans reminded me of...loss...again...and I literally just wanted to sink into a puddle and cry for a while. I shared the sentiment with another mommy friend , and she totally got that feeling of nasty yoga pants, ill-fitting foundations, and the strong desire to find a hole to crawl into all too well. She said she wished she come into my closet with me with a bag of oreos and we could just rage and then regroup together.
That understanding was all it took to help me gather it up and put those big girl pants on. I took a deep breath, and clothes myself in the first fancy, new dress I’ve worn in years. “Why?”, you might ask would underthings upend me...because it highlighted my 6th miscarriage...the first loss I’ve experienced in 9 years...but the emotions, the pain and the hollow-want - all those long-forgotten feelings, came crashing down hard. But just as I’ve done before, just as so many women who face that private pain have done this year, this week, even this very day...I had to pull it together, put a smile on my face, and keep on keeping on...but I also had to find the space in a busy life to grieve...again.
I had forgotten how much it hurts...how confusing it feels and honestly how very much it sucks to know there’s life, and then have to accept that the - life is….gone. This is the first time I’ve felt all these conflicting, crushing emotions in almost a full decade, but the pain - that palpable ache felt as horribly familiar as it did when I walked through it so many times years ago.
The loss occurred months ago, but the reality is that my body doesn’t bounce back like it once did. I still look “matronly” to share it gently. Especially to Buddy, our kindergartener, who saw me in an unflattering silhouette and exclaimed, “Mommy your baby is back in your belly.” No, no sweet boy - that’s just me.” That innocent comment did encourage me to put down the apple fritter in favor of a handful of almonds. Just ugh….not a great trade off - but comfort foods aren’t the easy, consequence-free escape they used to be.
As I’ve processed and prayed through these last few months, which have been more eventful and honestly rougher than I would have asked for, God has revealed some things to me. Working in this space of Orphan Care and Prayer support, I come face to face with loss every day. Families grieving their own losses, children grieving parents who can’t care for them, social workers with full dockets and fuller hearts. Loss is everywhere, and I know in intimate ways what that feels like...but the timing of this latest personal loss did everything to remind me professionally that everyone I interact with in this space needs to be treated as gently as I have needed to be treated when walking through the messier parts of my story.
This realization was confirmed recently, as I spent the evening coaching and praying with a sweet momma who herself was grieving a recent miscarriage. She is still hoping and praying to hold her child one day, even after years of waiting and releasing. She is walking out her own loss-journey,and I thought - what an absolute gift to be able to relate in a real and raw way with the hurt she is trying to process. How just like Jesus to use my own broken to minister to another who is reeling just as I have...just as I am.
For families dealing with loss, with grief, with the confusion of prayers not yet answered...this time of year can be overwhelming. Christmas is such an appropriate time to highlight and celebrate family - yours...mine...the Holy Family. But y’all - let me be bold and say be so sensitive this time of year. Loss of so many kinds is magnified in this broken world as we try to have a holly, jolly Christmas. But I think that’s ok...loss has made me more sensitive to other’s hearts, more aware of how my words can impact, and more intentional about bringing joy in little ways to people who need it most.
So yes, the angry tears that sprung to my eyes began in vanity, but the tears the coarsed unceasingly down my cheeks as I worked to accept my body - as imperfect and as changed as it is, as I attempted to accept my own self as broken and as sad as I was feeling, this all served to remind me...that I don’t have a hallmark on hurt...but that God can and has used my great broken for His great glory. And when I let my Good Father, take me from test to testimony, the miracle can begin. Praying for each of you who has walked a journey of loss. Praying for every family who is waiting, wondering and walking through grief during this season of joy. It’s hard. It’s real, but you are so not alone. I
Praying your 2018 is filled with the hope that we all need in our hearts!