Monday, October 28, 2013

Kick rocks, Judgement and Joy

You can't please everyone.

But it doesn't stop me from trying.  My parents raised me to be myself and that self is emotional, sensitive and neurotic.  

I'm nothing, if not self aware. 

I started my blog through a friends suggestion, thanks Kristen, as a way to get my crazy thoughts out of my head, into the cyber world where maybe they would float into oblivion.  And for the most part, they did.  Until I met Jason.  And life got more entertaining, more crazy, life started taking twists and turns I didn't expect.  Raising stepkids, remarried, how do we handle the stress of problems and situations we found ourselves in.  I found a new audience.   

Then with infertility and IVF, I turned to it for support.  I never imagined I'd be on that road, so I asked those who had walked it before me for guidance, for advice.  And the support and advice rolled in.  Those who hadn't been down it offered support, encouragement.  So many people offered prayer, hope.  It made that unknown road seem less scary. 

Pregnancy, twins, so many sharing our excitement.  My life has always been an open book, sharing such big news with so many people made the pregnancy even more special.  The people who had prayed us to our miracles stood beside us and continued with their love and support.  

Then December came.  People came out of the woodwork.  During those weeks in the hospital my phone, my email, my Facebook, blew up with prayers and kindness from people I knew and many I didn't.  I will never be able to put into words how much it meant.  The texts and messages, literally at all hours of the night, kept me encouraged. 

Fast forward 10 months.  In February my blog had 13,000 page views.  Now, 8 months later, it has nearly 50,000.  I have made the decision to be very open with my life.  With every part of my struggle, our grief, our loss and our heartache.  I have made some very special friends, reunited with old friends and become stronger because of the words of both.  Someone is reading this open journal of mine.

"You find out who your friends are."

I never put much thought into that saying.  I always kind of assumed it meant in hard times, you find out who your friends are.  I have found the opposite to be true. 

Over the past few weeks our lives have taken a big leap.  I have a job that I am very excited about, that I prayed for and that I will succeed at because it's something I love, I'm passionate about and it's part of who I am.  I got the opportunity to write for a magazine that is a source of hope for a lot of hurting people.  My article, from what I can track, has been read over 7,000 times.  Whether its from 7,000 people or 1 person reading it 7,000 times, my words have been read.  Through the contributors page I was encouraged to create a facebook page.  Since I have created it, I have gotten emails, everyday, from people I have never met, thanking me for being honest.  Before that page was created, I got emails nearly everyday, from people wanting to talk.  Wanting to share.  People I know and people I don't.  They have asked me to keep blogging, to keep posting.  Not just about the hard days, but the good.  Not just about the struggles, but the joy.  Not just about our dreams, but our reality.

Why has this hit such a chord in the hearts of people?  Because there are hurting people everywhere who are facing heartache.  And it can be lonely.  I have turned to the blogs of others for support.  I have turned to people who have overcome obstacles to encourage me.  It's what we as Christians are called to do, help the hurting.  I'm trying to help others the only way I know how.  By being transparent.

That scares a lot of people.  It annoys others.  Why is my story the one being read?  Because I put it out there.

Am I patting myself on the back?  Sometimes it may seem like that.  But oh my gosh, I am so proud of where we have gotten to.  I want to shout thanks for where Jason and I are right now.  Because I know that not too long ago we were in a much different place.  Am I scared I share too much?  Of course.  I will never get tired of talking about our boys, I will never tire of thanking God for our blessings and our friends and family for loving us.  But does it sometimes feel like I'm saying too much?  Sure it does!  Am I worried I'm going to be judged and talked about?  Only by a handful of unhappy people.  But I am so happy with where life is taking us that many times I just want to sit and cry.  The past year has been a lesson of not losing ourself in the grief to finding ourselves in the healing.

To those who have never walked in my shoes but encourage me the best you know how, thank you.  Really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.  To the ones who have judged me who have never walked in my shoes,  I hope life never shows you how ugly and hard it can be.  And to the ones who have judged me who have walked in my shoes, who have shared with me personal stories of loss and heartache but set out only to cause pain, shame on you.  

There's a difference between walking through grief that was unexpected and trying to dig yourself out of a bad situation you have put yourself in from making bad choices.  I know the difference.

The nice thing about social media is you are able to connect with a lot of people.  The bad thing about social media is you are able to connect with a lot of people.  I have plenty of people who encourage me, share their stories with me, ask me to pray for them, and share their answers to prayer with me so I can rejoice with them.  I have a handful of people who stick around only to judge me or have something to talk about.  

To those in the first group, thank you.

To those in the second, kick rocks.  Or just hang tight, I am sure I'll give you some really good stuff to talk about soon enough!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Empty cradle, My Jesus and Our Boys

I am part of a very special group of women.  Actually, I'm part of several groups of special women.  My May Mom's group rallies around me and lifts me up and includes me in their lives and that means so much to me.  One of the moms shared this song with me.  All I can say is, I couldn't say it better...

"People say that I'm brave, but I'm not.  In fact I'm barely hanging on.  But there's a greater story, written long before me, because He loves you like this."

The Mom who wrote this said something in her testimony that hit my heart.  When she got the news that her baby wouldnt survive outside of the womb, she was overwhelmed with this thought and said it over and over.  And over.  "My Jesus is the same Jesus now as He was before."

My Jesus that was with me when we held our babies, was the same Jesus that was with me when we found out we were pregnant.  My Jesus that was with me when my water broke, was the same Jesus that was with me when we found out we had boys.  My Jesus that was with me when I have been in the total pits of despair is the exact same Jesus that has gotten me out.  His love is unchanging.

"I will carry you, while your heart beats here.  Long beyond the empty cradle, through the coming years.  I will carry you, all my life, I will praise the one who's chosen me to carry you."

I was chosen to carry Tucker and Fletcher.  Whether they lived an hour or a lifetime, I was chosen to be their Mom.  They didn't live long but the impact their short lives had is huge.  Their hearts beat, together, with mine.  Because I'm their Mommy.  I will always and forever be their Mommy.

Today we walked.  We walked to remember.  We walked to heal.  We walked together.  My handsome, beautiful, special husband.  Our loving, caring, kind parents.  And another group I am proud to be part of.  Strong, encouraging, loving Moms.  Who have all walked in my shoes.  Our stories may vary but our hearts know the same pain.  The same love.  The same pride.

My heart hurts right now.  Only because I would have rather pushed a stroller with 2 blonde haired baby boys along the river today but that wasn't in the plan that my Jesus had for me.  Right now.  Right now I carry Tucker and I carry Fletcher with me, everywhere I go.  I carry them in my heart.

I was chosen to carry them in my womb while their hearts beat here.  And when those hearts stopped beating, I had to decide what to do.  It has taken me some time to get here but I have chosen to honor my boys and keep going.  Keep fighting, keep believing and keep praying to the God who chose me to be their Mommy.

I'm blessed.  I have 2 little boys who I will never lose.  I just carry them in my heart now...