I guess it’s really up to me, isn’t it – where I should draw the ‘line in the sand’, as it were, between sharing my life and revealing too much. What, really, am I comfortable with virtual strangers knowing about me, and various thoughts along a similar vein. I hadn’t found it particularly tough until today. And, being a master-procrastinator about certain things, I managed to maintain a healthy state of denial that the day was passing and I hadn’t yet blogged my third ‘momentous event’ in my previously mentioned ‘list of six’. But it’s edging closer to 11pm, so I’d better get typing, I guess. Deadlines have always been great motivators for me.
This one’s hard. It’s ‘personal’. Not that the last two weren’t, but more that… well… hmmm… how to explain? Where to start? And yes, I realise that all of this prevaricating is just using up words while I try to build up the courage to type what I had said I was going to.
Ok. Here goes. I’m going to start now.
This event, third most ‘momentous in my life’, was the day of my release. Well, the second big release in my life, actually. The first, I’ll blog about tomorrow. But this one had a longer-lasting impact.
It would have been, most likely, sometime in 2002. (I’ll have to tell you about my EXTREMELY dodgy memory, sometime!) My husband and I had been attending Glasshouse Country Baptist Church for some time, and on this particular weekend, I had decided to attend the ‘retreat’ that had been planned for the Saturday. The topic was ‘Setting the Church free’, and all the attendees were focussing on different areas in our lives where we felt that we had been hampered by emotional (or spiritual) ‘baggage’. My analytical brain (as I mentioned yesterday – ever the dispassionate observer!) was having a very interesting day, having never experienced a retreat of that nature before.
Anyway, the focus shifted from topic to topic, looking at various aspects of our lives. Witchcraft, pornography, drugs, alcohol and nicotine addictions were all discussed… and then came the ‘miscarriage / abortion’ topic.
I was immediately floored, having absolutely ZERO idea that ‘miscarriage / abortion’ could even BE an area in which you could carry ‘baggage’. Looking back now, it is obvious that it would have been included, but at that time, I felt as though I had not only been hit by a train, but that the train involved was the Brisbane – Cairns express, and I was still plastered to the front of the engine.
Seven years earlier, I had miscarried my first child. I had been 12 weeks pregnant, and just starting to celebrate getting over the ‘danger period’. Whoops. And in 2002, losing that child had been my only experience of pregnancy (to that date). And, being seven years earlier, I had thought that I had ‘dealt with it’. “Heck!” I thought to myself, sitting in that hall, “I’d had my teacher interview with Ed.Queensland two days after leaving the hospital, hadn’t I?! So of course I’m over it! I don’t need to discuss it… or think about it… I’m not carrying any ‘baggage’!” But I knew that, for all my denial, there was a massive amount of pain sitting just below the surface. That my experience of miscarriage, as traumatic as it had been, needed a lot more ‘closure’ than all the trite words of friends and family at the time, and the passage of the following seven years.
So I gave in. I’d say that it was pretty obvious, from the tears gushing down my face (as they’re starting to do again now, sitting here at my computer) and the church elders, leading the session, were able to draw me aside, and talk through it. It’s funny… until that moment, I hadn’t thought to seek counselling over my miscarriage. I had just assumed that it had been a problem with me. That my body wasn’t up to the task of carrying a child. That I wasn’t worthy. And the overwhelmingly crushing guilt that accompanied those thoughts was just something I had to get used to, and live with.
Thankfully, I had attended that retreat that day. I heard someone speak to me of another who had had a similar experience. His child had died. Not as mine had, in utero, but as a child. And this person’s thoughts, and reactions, were recorded in a source I trusted implicitly – my Bible. The person was King David, and his son had died. And his response? He tells his servants, “Can I bring him (my son) back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” This is in the book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 12, verse 23.
Wow. God’s Word was telling me that I would see my child in heaven. “I will go to my child, but my child will not return to me.” WOW. This is GOD’S WORD telling me this. GOD! Even now, I am taken aback by the wash of emotions this creates in me. That even though I never got to see my child – my little, 12 week old baby – I never got to know whether it was a girl, as I had suspected – I never got to hold her, kiss her, or gaze into her face – that I can confidently expect to meet her (or was it a him?) in heaven when I get there. Wow. Just WOW. To have that hope again. Just… wow!
Something in me was fixed that day. Not wholly, but a pretty big part that I didn’t even realise was just so darned broken. A part of my life that I had never wanted to look at, touch or probe too deeply for fear of what was there, hiding, that I knew I couldn’t deal with. Even now… as I’ve just written… the emotions are so close to the surface it surprises me. And that’s after 15 years, and three successful pregnancies. Wow.
Anyway, I look back now and am SO glad for that release. I’m also glad because, since that day, I’ve been able to share my story – and that verse – with friends who have also miscarried. And perhaps given them some reassurance that it doesn’t really have to be ‘the end’, even though it feels just so darn final.
Phew. Okay. I’m going to stop typing now. I think that’s enough emotion for one night. Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share this small part of my life’s story with you.