Last year changed me. I've spent a lot of time examining the changes, defending them, embracing them and acknowledging them.
You can't go through something big and not come out different. But you have a choice in what you allow things to make you into. For awhile I let myself be sad, miserable, lost, lonely, confused. But I didn't stay there. I chose to talk, publicly sometimes, about things that are uncomfortable. I've learned that rarely do big changes come until you make yourself uncomfortable and examine all the parts that have made you who you are.
My intentions for blogging have been questioned. I looked inside to see why I chose to make my struggle, my hope, my victories, my struggles, so public. If anyone thinks I do this for glory, please. Being vulnerable, showing the ugly side of life isn't something I thought one day would be a brilliant idea that would make me popular. But I've always written, I've had a journal since I could write. And recently I was questioned, kind of insultingly, why didn't I "just journal?" Why do I choose to broadcast my thoughts?
That question bothered me. I guess because it made me uncomfortable. Do I blog to get pats on the back? Did I agree to share my struggle to a lot of people I don't know through the magazine or this blog or facebook or even face to face to gain admiration?
Let me just clear this up. I would much rather be writing about shoes. About work. About accessories, stupid things I do and the rantings of a normal 30 something woman who has a lot to say.
Whether I like where I've found myself or not, the fact is, I'm here. I lost twin boys. After struggling with infertility. And IVF. I've been divorced. I know what it's like to lose babies, I know what it's like to lose children you already know and love and have raised.
So, why don't I "just journal?"
Last week I was sitting in church, listening to the pastor start his sermon and he didn't pray before he started. Which I found weird. But then, right before he got into the heart of the sermon, he stopped and prayed. He prayed for the people who would hear the words and message that God had laid on his heart, he prayed that God would speak through him, that God would guide him and give him direction.
Why doesn't the pastor just preach to a mirror?
Same reason I don't "just journal."
I have perspective and insight on things I wish I knew nothing about. Trust that. But here I am. And I pray before I blog that if God has something that He wants to be shared that He would be heard through me and I'd be a willing and able vessel for someone else who may be struggling with what I'm going through. I'm not constantly reliving the worst month of my life. If anything, the only time I look back, is to realize how far I've come.
People choose to go to church to hear what God has laid on the pastor's heart to share with his congregation. And I trust that he is true and sincere in his prayer that God speaks through him adequately for what God has laid on his heart. My prayers and intentions are sincere as well.
So, here I am. And here my blog is. For those who want to read it, read. For those who don't, you don't have to.
Life lately has been really complicated. I have been busy with work and it's going great. I feel capable and confident and excited and sometimes giddy with the opportunity that God has opened up to me.
And there's a whole nother side of me that is dealing with a lot of crap as I'm rejoicing in the fabulousness that is my job. If I didn't say it made me feel bipolar at times I'd be lying.
I heard Lifehouses "Broken" on the way home tonight and it just screamed at me.
"The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight.
Maybe it can stop tomorrow, from stealing all my time.
I am here still waiting, though I still have my doubts,
I am damaged at best, like you've already figured out."
Losing Tucker and Fletcher changed me. Last year was a test in survival, with no handbook. I did things wrong, I did things right. I cried when I needed to, I talked when I needed to and I moved forward, step by step, because I gave myself the time to heal.
Tonight I saw someone I know but only barely. She grabbed my hand and she looked uncomfortable and she just flat out asked me, "What's going on with you?" I said the typical, canned answer that I've gotten really good at spewing out, working hard and doing well. And she stopped me and said, "no what's going on. You lost twins. Are you ok? I wasn't going to say anything to you and I haven't before now because it's nothing that anyone talks about but I need to know, are you doing ok? What happened?"
"I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing.
With a broken heart, that's still beating.
In the pain, there is healing
In your name, I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holding on, I'm holding on,
I'm barely holdin' on to you"
I can't even tell you how much I appreciated her asking me that. She made herself very uncomfortable in asking me and I opened my heart to her. I told her that it was the hardest thing I've ever gotten through. She said, "but you lost them separately right? So that was 2 separate losses for you? How did you get through a loss that great? Because you have. I can see that you have and that you're doing really ok." I wanted to kiss this lady. She said, "I understand some of what you went through and I have seen you over the past year, and you look different. I can see you're doing really good. I can tell that you're healing and happy. After such a huge loss, you've become ok and I can tell that you are in a better place than I've seen you in a long time. " She was validating every question that I have been asking myself for so long. Did I take too long to move on? Did I over complicate losing 2 boys? Should I have been able to move forward faster than I did?
"The broken locks were a warning, you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I'm an open book instead.
I still see your reflection, inside of my eyes.
That are still looking for a purpose, they're still looking for life."
I tried to keep things in. I've really tried to be guarded in what I share and it seems the more guarded I want to be, the more my heart opens up and I share. But it's ok. It took her a year to ask me what she wanted to ask me a long time ago, and that was simply, are you ok?
After loss. After heartache greater than anything I ever though I could survive, after struggle after struggle, she wanted to know if I was ok.
"I'm hanging on another day, just to see what you will throw my way.
And I'm hanging on to the words you say, You said that I will be ok."
I am ok. I realized, talking to her, that I don't have to convince anyone of the changes that have taken place in my life. In my heart. I haven't faked anything, I haven't blown anything out of proportion, I haven't monopolized on a bad thing to make myself look better. I have shown my hand. I have worn my heart on my sleeve. I have cried, I have laughed, I have loved and I've lost. And I'm still holding on. I don't have to convince anyone of what is true. That I'm ok.
"The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone,
I may have lost my way now, having forgot my way home."
For awhile I felt really lost. I wasn't sure I'd ever navigate my way out of the pain I was in last year. But I did. And I'm proud. I write for a magazine called "Still Standing." And I am. I have fallen on my face, I've tripped up, I've been broken. But I'm here. Still Standing. With a beating heart that beats through the pain, knowing that there is healing. I wasn't content with simply just being anymore and after their birthdays I found a freedom I wasn't sure I'd ever feel again and I have spent the past 5 months being grateful, hopeful and looking for meaning in how I live.
Another friend grabbed my hand as I was leaving and gave me a hug. He always makes my heart smile because he shares his big heart and he wrapped me up in a big hug and whispered in my ear how beautiful it was to see my smile again.
He pulled away and had tears in his eyes. He saw my struggle the past year, recently, knowing it's something that doesn't just go away but something I work on everyday, to keep moving forward, losing the boys and everything else that followed that. But he wanted me to know, he sees that I am ok. He noticed that my smile was back and that I was doing better than ok. And that he, and so many others, are sharing my healing, my journey and loving me through things, even when it hurts, when it's uncomfortable and hard. Loving people when it's easy is easy. Loving people when they are hurting is a special gift that not a lot of people are comfortable giving.
But I am ok. My smile is back, my heart is healing and I'll continue to share what God places on my heart and pray that as long as He gives me something to say, I'll continue to say it.
Tucker and Fletcher will forever be part of me. Some days hurt worse than others. Mother's Day probably won't be the happiest of days for me. But I'll get thru it, same way I've gotten thru the past 16 months. Praying, hoping, believing and leaning on those who love and support me.
Blessed because I am still holding on, I'm still breathing and I'm ok.