I never thought I would share this – on Instagram or on a website.
I hesitate because I know that this website is a business one and not personal. But I also know the kind hearts of my clients and this business IS completely me; and what is the purpose of any of it if not to glorify God, refine myself and encourage others through sharing my experience.
Earlier this year, Sam and I suffered a miscarriage. The trauma of that experience, surgery and everything that followed has been the hardest road we’ve ever faced. Together, we have gone through extreme highs and lows and this healing is a continual process with no certain course. Every announcement, each invitation, every post…it’s all a reminder of what we had and then lost. It’s all a reminder of where we would be and now, where we are not. While we feel great joy for our friends who are celebrating this exciting time in their lives, it is also an emotional battle as we deal with our own heartbreak.
“It takes faith to pray when you are in pain. Belief in God created challenging questions, and lament provides the opportunity to reorient your hurting heart toward what is true.”
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, by Mark Vroegop
This grief created a bitterness in my heart that sometimes is unbearable. It is a pain that I didn’t know existed and still wish I didn’t know. I continued through a very busy wedding season and something that I have found is that the “stages of grief” aren’t the same for everyone, especially not after trauma. I have gone anywhere from bargaining, anger, sadness and then back to anger. I have numbed my pain in the wrong ways and pushed aside emotions when I should have felt them.
He steps in with his infinite mercy and compassion and shows me a way out, always. When it feels darkest, when the months continue to pass with not only the grief of what we lost, but the disappointment of what still hasn’t happened, he is ever present and I am never alone.
“Grief simply makes us more aware of our need. So don’t be discouraged if you feel shame over how weak you think miscarriage has revealed you to be. Your trials are not opportunities to discover how strong you are, but rather for you to learn to depend on the strength of the Lord.”
Held, by Abbey Wedgeworth
“Why share this now?”
If it weren’t for the strength of other women sharing their stories, the support of my incredible family and friends and the never ending grace of God, I wouldn’t be making it through this. Through each part of this journey, I have never known the promise of God more intently than I do now. I have never felt the presence of the Holy Spirit more. I haven’t always made the right choice in healing, but moving forward is something I can choose now. I am so grateful for my friends and family who have continued to reach out to me, it has been more helpful than ever. I am grateful for the path created by other women, allowing for the conversation to be opened and the whisper surrounding this experience to be loudened.
I have been encouraged to journal during this time and I’ve always struggled with the act of classic journaling itself. So I did what I know, but also something that is uncomfortable for any photographer, I turned the camera on myself. These were taken during some of my deepest, rawest moments, but also into times where I felt lightened and I felt joy come back into my life.
I share this to encourage you, whatever you are walking through. Keep walking. Keep going. You are not alone. It will not be perfect and you will have set backs. But it will not always be this way. Read books that help (some of my suggestions are below) and put aside the ones that don’t. Talk with a counselor and I also encourage you to talk with God. Come to him unashamed and unfiltered. He doesn’t want perfect prayers, he wants US, and everything that comes with it.
To each of you who have reached out – you know who you are – thank you for your listening ears, your intentional actions, your kind spirit and your unending patience. I am so grateful for each of you.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4
“Your pregnancy may have ended in death rather than birth, but it was not “all for nothing.” Every detail is being used for good – your greatest good. […] Somehow, God’s redemptive purposes for your life are being accomplished through the suffering you’re currently enduring.”
Held, by Abbey Wedgeworth
Books that have been gifted to me and that I highly suggest for anyone walking through miscarriage:
Held by Abbey Wedgeworth
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathie Wunnenberg
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy – Discovering the Grace of Lament by Mark Vroegop