Monday, July 31, 2017

when your dreams don't line up.

I think as female specimens, and as people in general, we dream BIG. We have plans, visions, dreams, ideas of how our life, and certain events in our life, are going to go.

As a teenager, I think I thought the day I met my future husband would be a whole lot of fireworks and an instant knowing that THIS WAS THE ONE.

And it was. *wink*

But I also dreamed that my future relationship with said man would be a perfect testimony and "courtship" for the books. Ha. NOPE. I would encourage you to click through the "story" tab and read the whole "book" for yourself. It's far from ideal, far from perfect, in fact it's a complete mess.

As a teen, I thought the day I got engaged would be some kind of elaborate set up, with a photographer and everything.

Well, folks. We got engaged in a chair in a basement (the chair I am sitting in now, in the basement where we currently live) in the middle of the night after what was (at the time, ha) the hardest day of my life. Joshua made it absolutely beautiful, but there was no Hallmark movie scene or photographer - we were basically in pajamas anyway - and you know what? It was perfect.

I thought my wedding would be some kind of epic party affair, with dancing (and alcohol, to some extent, don't family is Crucian) and who knows what else. Was it? Oh, it was a party. It was nothing like my teenage dream...but it BECAME my dream, and anyone who was there can tell you it was pretty much the most perfect, gorgeous day imaginable. Totally worth it.

I thought I would have a baby nine months from my wedding day. *eye-roll* Ha. Did I expect to be puking and bleeding my guts out on our entire honeymoon? (sorry, TMI.) Nope. Did I expect to get pregnant just two months later, only to miscarry our first precious angel two months after that? Absolutely not.

Of course then, I was ready to jump in foster care, or adoption, or something like that. Did I expect to be living in a location where, due to our housing situation, any kind of fostering or adoption would be impossible? Nope.

Then I did all kinds of research on getting pregnant after a miscarriage...and was firmly convinced that with my healthy lifestyle and medical history, we'd be pregnant right away. Yeah. That didn't happen. Five long months of tears and messed up hormones and cycles later, we finally did...but the amount of disillusionment and grief I walked through in that time was beyond anything I ever thought I would walk through. Post partum depression is the closest thing I've found that accurately describes how those months played out, and it was so painfully hard.

The circumstances surrounding the beginning of life for our daughter were beautiful. Perfect. Miraculous. A story only Jesus could dream up and write. And for the first time in six months, I felt whole again...the shell of a bereaved mama whose heart was broken was once again filled with joy and purpose.

Did I see myself losing our miracle baby too?

Not in my darkest imaginations.

It may have crossed my mind at the beginning, but everything was so perfect. Such a powerful story. There's no way.

I could picture her, raising her, holding her....the curls we hoped she'd have...the personality I was so ready to meet.

When we passed the seven week mark, where we lost Jeremiah, we celebrated.

When we chose a midwife and toured the birth center, we celebrated.

When we found out our cousin was due the same week as me, we PARTIED.

When morning sickness hit like a truck, and the headaches and cravings and exhaustion kept me guessing, we rejoiced that our baby was growing like a weed.

When there were only fourteen days left until the end of this up-and-down first trimester, we cheered.

And when the bleeding started, we believed that nothing would happen, and that she would be just fine, and this would be just another part of her story, and our miracle had more life left to live.

So when the ultrasound showed nothing in my body, we were shocked. Where was the labor? Where was the baby? Where was our miracle?

And when, just a couple hours later, the contractions started....and when, six hours later, we raced to the ER to figure out why my body was shutting down...I was shocked.

And when the nurse came and sat by my bed, and told me that I had delivered my baby, measuring right up to ten weeks, our perfect miracle, birthed into the arms of Jesus...I was too numb to even cry any more tears.

Sometimes our dreams don't line up.

I still can't believe my womb is empty again. That my sweet baby, who I bonded with and loved so much, is gone.

Sometimes our dreams don't line up.

I'm learning that Jesus grieves with us. He is broken with us. It doesn't mean He's dragging our dreams in the dirt...but it does mean we have to be willing for Him to turn our ashes into beauty.

I'm twenty-two years old. A baby myself, in so many ways. I've been married for nine months. And I have two children - both ahead of me in heaven. Is this how I pictured this year of my life? Not even a little bit.

I want to write...I want to share the stories of my two beautiful babies in hopes that it can be an encouragement to someone else. I don't know why this is my story, I don't. But it is. And even though the grief is crushing, and my tears leave me weak, somehow we're going to keep going. Somehow Jesus is going to pull us through. And I believe my little one's lives have purpose, have meaning...and I want to continue to celebrate them, even though their earthly lives are over.

Hang tight with me. I was really excited to start blogging again, thinking of all the exciting things I wanted to share, and right now I'm not sure where to begin. But words will come, they always do, and so often through words Jesus brings me healing.