I haven't blogged in several months. I suppose my silence is a reflection of my life experience and emotion in this time. It hasn't been due to just lack of desire - but more due to the lack of ability to understand (much less describe) my experience or feelings in a way that would be productive to write or read about. I decided long ago that I wouldn't write just to write...I would write for a reason...for myself/my family/others. Honestly - if I'd written in my worst moments, it wouldn't be a good, overall picture of my life (and so pessimistic that no one would want to read) - and if I'd written in my best moments, again it wouldn't be a good overall picture (a positive, but incomplete portrayal).
When people ask how I (personally) am right now, I could answer that in a lot of ways (yet in all of them - praise be to God):
-Our Rainbow pregnancy is going well -- so that answer would be great.
-Fear with the pregnancy has overall been pretty good -- so that answer would be good.
-Processing and missing Isaiah - in accepting that it happened and seeing God work in our lives despite Isaiah's absence -- I'd say good.
-In the reality of missing him physically (as in imagining how old he'd be and thinking of the many things we are missing) -- I'd say so-so.
-In the emotional aspect of just being very sad that this happened and not having him here -- I'd say not great.
I still struggle with how to "portray" myself in relation to grief. I've decided that honesty is good - but honestly -- it is really hard to be honest! Transparency displays many fractures and imperfections -- and yet I'd rather express truth than only try to reflect who I wish I could be. On the other hand - we experience much good and joy...and in everything we experience, God is there. In my blogging and in all things, I want to publicly praise HIM for the sustaining grace and mercy he has given us. But how do I honestly share how good and how hard things are? Both are completely true, yet many times feel completely opposite.
Mostly I struggle with telling the truth when it isn't always uplifting -- because even in that honesty, God deserves praise and honor -- and it is hard to portray that when in the pit of grief. I have been in that pit many times over the past few months. It doesn't overtake all of my time or days -- mostly moments -- but the moments spent there are not pretty -- and I hate to only bring forth that part of my experience.
Being honest and balanced is hard -- and unfortunately I don't always know how to do it well. I hope you understand that our lives aren't just sad - nor are they perfect. Life is just kind of messy -- as I suspect it is for all. I guess I'd just ask that people not to jump to conclusions when reading honest things that might only portray certain parts of life...it might show hard feelings at that moment (that are important to acknowledge), but that doesn't mean I don't have faith that God has us right where he knew he would - and it is right...even good.
Wow - after that extremely long disclaimer, I feel so much more freedom to start blogging again -- whether in hard moments or good. As I've also expressed before, I don't want this blog to only be about grief (as it mostly has been), but to be a reflection of our lives. Grief will probably always be a part of them, but I don't want that to be the only thing documented here. So - moving forward - I hope to have some varied posts.
But - here are some glimpses into my recent thoughts about grief...
In all honesty-
I have realized that I am disappointed in myself. Even after all of my reading about grief -- I somehow thought it might go differently for me. Why did I think it might get better or easier? Although I have never ever thought that the child we are now expecting would replace Isaiah, why did I think this pregnancy would at least "help?" I guess maybe the thing I've realized most is how disappointed I am that things will never fully feel "better" in this life. I know I've said this before, but coming to grips with it is another story. I will never be the same. (Of course I don't want to be the same, because that would mean that I wouldn't have carried or known my sweet boy, but I do miss the naivety and joy that were shattered this year.) Sometimes I wish grief could just be consistent...so that when I get a handle on how to deal with it, it wouldn't morph into something different that suffocates once again. The grief is not all consuming and I have learned to keep most of it at bay from others and sometimes from myself - but I am still stricken with grief almost daily when alone...with nothing to distract me from the parts that are still hollow. I find myself needing and wanting time alone - which is sometimes needed, but not always good.
In all honesty -
I have felt guilty that through the joy of a live kicking baby within, I cannot overcome the sadness of empty arms. Even when I know how blessed we are to even be carrying another precious child, Isaiah is still on my mind.
Can you see how sharing this could portray only the bad/sad moments of life these days?
On the other hand - in all honesty -
I am daily blessed by my wonderful husband and children. I find joy and hope in Christ. I am encouraged daily by the Bible, in prayer, and through friendship. I find joy and hope as we wait for the arrival of our 4th child. I see God's faithfulness in every area of our lives.
Can you see that only sharing this would be true, but also also leave out huge portions of life experience?
I'm not always sure how much I should share or that people really want to hear all sides. Some want to hear the nitty gritty of grief and some only want to hear how "great" we're doing. In all honesty - we are both.
As we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth tomorrow - I am SO thankful that Christ even chose to come in human form -- coming to live here, only to suffer and die. It is a ridiculous and fallen comparison, but sometimes I think of Isaiah in this way -- why was it that he lived only to die? I know there are reasons - but I don't always want to accept them. For Christ - we can see what an amazing sacrifice and gift it was that He came -- but more importantly that he died to save us from the sin that separated us from our creator. With Isaiah - it is just a mom really wishing that he wouldn't have died. But as I think of him right now, I consider what an amazing thing it is that he gets to experience Christ today while we just try to grasp who He is.
So though I've had much on my mind and heart to share in these months - I think this is all that this post can contain. Thanks for still caring to read and bearing with me as I try to hash through this messy life.
Merry Christmas, friends. Whether yours is beautiful, good, sad, or bad - may we all continue to say - "Blessed be the name of the Lord."
And because I love pictures - here's one of our littles - enjoying the season....