‘Tis The Season

‘Tis the season for a lot of things I’m not feeling right now. Making merry and giving glad tidings? I really just want to hide in my house. I am grasping for ways to find genuine hope and joy, but I can hardly speak those words aloud right now much less live in them. ‘Tis the season for some hard days I guess.

For reasons we will never know for sure, our baby boy’s heart stopped beating during his 16th week in my womb and left our hearts broken.

IMG_2510

It has been a little over two weeks since we said goodbye to our tiny son.
The bruise from my IV has gone away. The bleeding has slowed down. The cramping has subsided. The roundness of my belly is disappearing. The milk came and now it’s gone too.

But the tears won’t stop. The empty feeling isn’t going away. We’re trying to rejoin the world and move forward but the world just doesn’t seem right today. I am surprised at how painful it is to get in the car and do my regular routines while the world spins on. Everything seems hard.

As I get up each morning and realize that the crippling nausea I’ve had for 2 1/2 months is gone, I wish it back. As I pack away maternity clothes wondering if 40 year old me will ever give birth to another baby, my eyes well up. As I hear my 5 year old ask his dad if we can pray that mommy would feel better and wouldn’t cry so much, the tears fall again.

I know that grieving takes time and that we will eventually heal, but our world stopped that Tuesday morning and the process of restarting our lives is a fuzzy one. I don’t know how to do it. Some days I feel peace and other days (like last Saturday) I wake up pissed off at the world. Most days I just feel sad. That’s grief. It’s unpredictable, sometimes ugly and it fights you when you try to micromanage it.

I have already found myself tempted to hurry the grieving process. Hurrying to get to the healing part. Hurrying to find lessons and use this to encourage someone else. Hurrying to figure out what this means for our future. But I’m trying to slow down. To sit in the pain a bit and give God room to speak. To pay attention to what I need, what my husband needs, what our kids need- and not cover it all up with Christmas cookies and obligations. And so we’ve been giving ourselves freedom. Not going to that thing. Hosting that party anyway. Being alone. Having a house full of people. Not cooking. Making donuts. Praying about it, talking through it, watching a movie to forget about it. 

‘Tis the season for freedom. Freedom to take it one day at a time, to be honest about where we’re at, to engage both the good and the hard.

For a long time now, Christmas has been a mixed bag. A big duffel of joy & sorrow stuffed in together. 15 years ago, my mom went to heaven on Christmas Eve and I can picture that next morning in painful detail. Trying to unwrap the gifts she had put under the tree for each of us. Eventually unwrapping the ones we had put there for her. Feeling like I was going to suffocate. Feeling so heavy and so empty at the same time. But somehow across the years, God has redeemed some things and He has woven golden threads through my story. I can see now that my heightened longing this time of year for broken things to be made whole again is perfectly placed because that is the essence of Christmas.

My dear friend Ashley reminded me in her blog post last week that Christmas is for the broken.

“Christmastime is for those able to walk in the joys of the season, recounting memories of blissful days and stringing sugarplum visions on twinkly lights, but it might be more for those who cannot. For without unveiled eyes to see how a broken world is met in love come down, any yuletide beauty is transitory and ultimately pointless.” (read her whole post here.)

‘Tis the season to see a “broken world met in love come down.” ‘Tis the season to cry big tears and throw big parties, maybe even at the same time. ‘Tis the season for reflecting, cherishing and laying our broken hearts at the feet of Jesus.

And while I’m doing those things, I will picture our baby boy being snuggled in my mama’s arms. Right there in heaven with our two babies we lost to miscarriage earlier this year. I don’t want to debate whether that idea works theologically, I just want to picture my mom’s arms full of her grand babies. Jesus and her, holding them for us until we get there.

BRIGHT SPOT

This Christmas song has been a bright spot for me over the years. Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice

(listen here)

Tears are falling
Hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised
We’ve been waiting
Welcome, Holy Child
Welcome, Holy Child

Hope that You don’t
Mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited
Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace
Into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger
Sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart
Whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured
Flesh around you
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin
And make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world

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22 thoughts on “‘Tis The Season

  1. Oh, Steph. You are always on my heart at Christmas. I am so sorry that you are enduring another loss. And yes, I also like to think of your precious Mom cherishing your sweet babies and waiting for you. I love you and will continue to hold you close in my heart and in my prayers.

  2. Awww, Steph, my heart just broke, for you and for your entire family. Even though we’ve been out of touch for many years, I am glad that we have reconnected, however, minimally. And although I have never met Brian, Sawyer or Harper; I know that they are very special because they have been touched by you. You hold a very special place in my heart. I’ve known you since we were toddlers and you have ALWAYS been one of the kindest, most devoted, and wonderful people I have ever been blessed to know. I have been thinking of you much recently and hoping that all would go better for you with this pregnancy and I am so sorry that it didn’t; I can’t even imagine how you must feel, suffering that kind of loss. My religious opinions may differ from yours, but I truly believe in my heart that Peggy has welcomed the newest addition to her family with open arms and is holding him ever so tenderly and sweetly, and will take the utmost care of him until the day that you are reunited, if he can’t be with you and Brian, then, at least he is with the next best who will cherish him as much. I am so so sorry for your loss and all that you are enduring at this time. Please know that I will forever love you, and hope that brighter days will come sooner rather than later.

    • Thank you Alexia, that means so much to me. It’s amazing how strong our childhood bonds are, I’m so thankful for that. Trying to savor the life around me and rest in knowing that our baby is in the best hands. Love to you and your family.

  3. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. My best advice would be to allow yourself to feel the emotions you encounter each day so you can allow yourself to grieve.

    Like you, I’ve also had an unfortunate set of circumstances around this time of year which makes it difficult. Best wishes to you.

  4. Crying with you this morning precious friend. (No shame in that.) No words or wisdom to share. Just tears and prayers. You’ve reminded me yet again how blessed I am to have had 3 full-term pregnancies. I love you and hope to see you in February. Sorry for your loss and the heaviness this season already brings. You are beautiful – even now!

  5. I found you through a friend who posted this article on Facebook. I just want you to know that you are not alone. It is a easy lie to believe, that while the rest of the world is twinkly, sparkly and bright, yours is the only heart crushed and despairing of the next breath. Sometimes just breathing is too hard. You are NOT alone, and I can tell you that you are right not to hurry the grief and try to stuff down the pain. I have three children (ages 13 weeks, 18 weeks, 24 weeks) in heaven, and I miss them more at Christmas than any other time of the year. My prayers are with you, along with tender thoughts and kind hopes for a joy that comes from God alone. May He be near, and that be enough.

    • Kate- even though months have passed (I got overwhelmed and didn’t keep up with replies) I am thankful for your encouragement. I am so sorry for the losses you have endured as well. He has been near and that has been enough. Thank you.

  6. Stephanie, my eyes welled up as I read this. Yes, Christmas is a joyous time for many; yet it is a time for those of us who are broken and lonely to remember why He came. To heal the brokenhearted, to invite us into his arms, to remind us we are the precious children of a Father who grieves with us and loves us without condition.Bless you, and may his peace and light comfort you.

  7. Crying with you today as I read your story. Lifting you and your family up in prayers for comfort and peace. Kudos for your honesty and willingness to just sit in the season and be real. May the Lord show Himself to you minute by minute in this grief. Love you Steph.

  8. Thanks for sharing from your deepest heart. Whenever I think of you, I think of joy & your beaming smile. Life is so amazing how joy & deep sadness intertwine but the hard times mold & fashion us & make those joyful times so distinct. If only I could stay in “the moment” & just let The Lord work. It’s so hard to be patient! I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby boy & ALL you’ve been through! I thank God for you & how you are an inspiration to others! 💗

  9. Pingback: The Uneven Road | Golden Threads

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