Milestones March 18, 2012Posted by dreamom in 1000 Gifts, Faith, family, Fears, Goals, Happiness, Home, Life, Peace, Pregnancy Loss.
As humans we are drawn to milestones. There are birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, coming of age celebrations – We use them to measure our lives and accomplishments. We use them to celebrate and revel in the joy of making it to the next milestone.
Some milestones are not as pleasant to dwell on. We tend to dwell on them too as we remember, relive, and grasp at the loss it represents. Recently I was up too late on the computer, and I noticed that the date rolled over to the 2nd of March – marking one month since finding out about the death of the baby in my womb. At that moment it gave me pause, and I faced with apprehension the coming 24hrs and what emotions that might bring. I posted on Facebook to mark the event and went to bed.
It was only one month previous that I got the news, I faced head on a very dark time as I faced the loss, made decisions and waited. I remembered the despair, the confusion, the feeling that nothing was ever going to be okay again. I woke up in the morning and I was surprised that initially I … forgot. I intended to take the day as it came, and when I did I found I was not focusing on the pain that I was remembering. I was moving through my day and I was not pulled back to the place of sorrow and tears. Instead I was grateful for the distance I had come. I was thankful that those huge, harsh emotions I felt were not threatening to overcome me again. In fact, I found I had to remind myself of the day from time to time. At one such point I began to ponder why. Why am I WORKING to revisit a pain that I am not feeling? I decided that if I started to feel the pain that I should address it, but otherwise I did not need to force myself back there.
It is now a little more than 24 hours to marking one month since Hannah’s birth. Again I find that I don’t feel the pain that I feared I might. I am remembering the joy. The joy of the support of friends, the joy of seeing Hannah, the joy of moving to the next step…
Today in Sunday morning Bible Study I was reminded of my old stand-by verses:
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:24
and I also thought about:
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Now who would get something for which they consider it a joy (a birthday present for instance), thank the giver, and then a month later think back with sadness, regret, or even anger? For me this is what this is like. I CAN look back on various aspects of losing Hannah and find lots of things that hurt, moments of loneliness, words, actions, inactions that hurt. But why? Why take something that I DECIDED (it was not a natural inclination, but a conscious decision that required purposeful action to carry out) to “Consider … pure joy”, and take the gift of “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” and set it aside for the sorrow, grief, pain, emptiness, envy, despair, anger, etc. that I would be left with? I could use it to mark the days. I could use it to say “See what I suffered?”, but the fact is I can’t. I have gone there numerous time looking for it. Expecting it. I have been told flat out that it is there, but I can tell you that today, and the days I have checked with certain trepidation, that it is not.
I can tell you that I wholly and fully gave all of that to God. When I was not eating (dare I say fasting), and I was reading the Bible, I was counting the gifts, I was offering *with thanks* the whole experience to God – something amazing happened. He did exactly what he said he would do. He took it. He gave me a “peace that transcends all understanding” (even mine – ESPECIALLY mine). I don’t intend to hand that back. What I do plan to do is that as the days, weeks, months and years wear on I plan to keep giving thanks, for everything he gave me, but none less than the peace I have. If a day comes where I find those emotions and scars that I expect to find – I plan to do just as I have done. Consider it joy, give thanks, and give it to God.
As for marking the days that I could – I am not going to try. I am going to see what days become important. I am not going to paint them with the brush of loss, but see what gifts God chooses to bestow on those days. I will not be marking milestones of grief, but rather will celebrate in all that God has given me through this unique journey he has taken me on.