Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Picking Up Steam

2013 was not my favorite.

It felt like running (mostly walking) against the wind with a parachute on my back. Like living with a low-grade fever or chronic headache. Still functional, but definitely not my best.

I started the year off in a dark place. I was still deeply grieving the miscarriage we had suffered a couple months prior. And I hated that I was still grieving. I wanted more than anything to feel better, but I didn't.

When we lost the pregnancy, I felt smothered in grief. Like someone had wrapped my in a huge, dark blanket and I couldn't see a thing. I kept hoping and praying that one day it would suddenly be lifted and, aha, there's the light again.

But I discovered that healing from grief is not like that at all. At least not for me. You don't wake up one day and just feel better. It wasn't one thick blanket that I was smothered in. It was more like a thousand layers of chiffon. And day by day, layers were slowly lifted so that what was all darkness slowly gave way to hints of light. It takes a long time to see life clearly again, without a veil.

The darkness that I began the year in lingered on longer than I would have ever wanted (or predicted), but layer by layer, light returned to my eyes.

When we found out in March that I was pregnant again, I thought for sure that would lift the grief. But instead I felt very guarded and fearful to receive the pregnancy with pure joy.

The pregnancy was more difficult than Caedmon's. I was 24 years old when I had Caedmon so my young body just thought it was born to birth! This time round I had more nausea, more complications, and a lot less sleep. I've never wrapped Christmas presents at 3 AM in October, but I did this past year.

In the midst of pregnancy woes that forced me to slow down my pace, I felt such deep gratitude and joy over the gift of being pregnant.

  • Nausea? Worth it.
  • Sciatic pain? Worth it.
  • Insomnia? Worth it.
  • Contractions beginning in the 5th month? Worth it.
And then she was here. My JOY had arrived. Karis Joy.

We walked around for the final 2 months of the year like happy zombies. No sleep and total chaos. But she was in my arms and it was pure joy to me.

It's strange, though, the grief thing. Even after Karis was born, grief would surprise me at unsuspecting moments. Driving down the road one day my mind wandered back into the treacherous territory of our miscarriage. I tried to reason with the tears on my cheeks that there was no need to cry because my precious Karis was riding in the carseat right behind me. But, even so, I guess we carry a piece of our losses with us always. 

2013 was grief and pregnancy and life with a newborn. I didn't make a lot of personal least not towards my goals. But I have a feeling that God was growing something IN me that will one day shine THROUGH me.  

So 2014, I'm comin' for ya! I may have been in a sleep-deprived fog during January, but I'm like a freight train leaving the station. And I can feel myself picking up steam! 

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