Monday, May 23, 2011

Not the Same

We have been on this journey with grief for almost a year and a half now.

The journey with Joshua started at 10 weeks pregnant with the words "I'm sorry, but you have miscarried your baby. We are going to get you in for an ultrasound and then will decide where to go from there."

The numbers from the lab work showed that I had in fact miscarried, the gushing blood was a sure sign, but the ultrasound showed a healthy, strong, and thriving baby growing inside. It also showed a Subchorionic Hemorrhage that was growing and threatening the life of my baby.

Then a few months later, we found out that our baby was in fact a Joshua (and not a Karen as Caleb was convinced we were going to name her) and that he had a very special, but very broken heart. We learned that our little one was going to be born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was going to require extensive medical care. Without- he had 0% chance of survival.

And then again, after that, we experienced grief in it's deepest and darkest form. We had to relearn how to live after Joshua went from my arms into the arms of our Creator.

Through all of those events, Shane and I found ourselves walking the journey of grief. We mourned the "should have beens" and how different things were. We tried to adjust to being on bedrest with 2 small children running around. We tried to plan our lives around a small hospital hotel room and between our home in Huntington and our new temporary home at a hospital 2 hours away. We quickly learned how to tell a 4 year old and a 2 year old that their baby brother was dead. We did the best that we could, all the while depending on friends and family to help out when we simply didn't have the energy to move forward.

And after a year and a half of dealing with grief in some form or another, I've realized just how different I truly am. You see, I've not only mourned the death of my child, but I've mourned the loss of who I once was.

I used to be a mother who had no desire to be a stay at home mom. I was a wife who put her own needs first constantly. I was a Christian who had all the right answers and a faith that came very easily- even when I thought it was hard. I was a proud 26/27 year old woman who knew the answers to everything and had no problem speaking my mind. I was a woman who freely trusted strangers with personal information and then quickly found out how truly evil and mean strangers can be. I was a girl who's first real experience with death was the death of her infant child taking his last breath in her arms.

But I am no longer that person. I am a mother who wants nothing more than to stay home with my children, help them learn, grow, and love The Lord. I am a wife who will put her family before anything else. I am a devoted follower of Christ, muddling my way through the tough questions of life, longing for the day that we will go Home to be with my Savior, trusting that God can handle my angry words and my sincere apologies for not trusting Him, and striving to live a life that is Christlike and pleasing to God. I am a woman who still speaks her mind, but with a different view on life- speaking from love rather than pride. I am a woman who still trusts, but is careful about who becomes involved in the intimate details of my life. I am a girl who has experienced death first hand- seeing the physical changes that happen immediately after a soul leaves a body and the devastation to those that are left behind- a devastation that others don't understand until they have walked in those shoes.

Some people simply don't understand that change in me. They knew the old me and don't understand how so much of my life and who I am has changed. Some people have embraced that change and have encouraged me to continue on this path of growing and learning. Others have sat by silently all the while not knowing what to say or do. And still, there are a few who have faithfully "gotten messy" with me on this journey with grief and are helping me to understand that it is OK to not be the same as I used to be.

But above all, God has remained faithful to me (even when I struggled with remaining faithful to Him). He has been with me through the refining fire and has continued to mold me into who He wants me to be. I'm not the same as I used to be, and quite honestly, I think that has been His intention all along.



BlessedMommy said...

Beautiful post, Jill!

Mandie Hamrick said...

Like I said, you need to start writing a book. Beautifully written Jill.

ladyturtle2 said...

I agree on the book! You are amazing.

Stefenie said...

Beautiful post Jill.

McEngland like the McCountry said...

Please, write the book! Your faith is REAL and it's beautiful. You are glorifying God all the while working through your grief. PLEASE write the book!

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

I would love to write a book, but I don't even know where to begin. Beginning the process is a bit overwhelming to me.

brooke said...

Friend - I stand right next to you. I miss the person who was sometimes. She made and kept friends so easily. But she is gone. And the truer me is holding the reins.

Peach said...

Your words are so beautifully written. I agree on writing the book. I've never "met" the old you, but I like the you you are now just fine. :) You're amazing, and your family is so strong.

I'm praying for you guys. You all are always in my prayers.

kirsten said...

Amen, Jill!! I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't wish what you've been through on anyone, but I believe the woman you are and are becoming as a result is exactly who you're meant to be.

Beverley said...

God is so faithful, He loves you and I appreciate your writing!

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