Black Friday this year was the worst Black Friday in the history of Black Fridays. I haven’t heard any stories of crazed shoppers fighting over the last Furby. I haven’t listened as family or friends recounted their horrific shopping experiences at *large discount retail chains.* I also haven’t heard the cries of my newborn baby, and it’s killing me.
Katie and I were due to have a baby today. We weren’t expecting to be able to travel to Florida to spend the holiday with my family. We were banking on late night feeding, the nastiest poop diapers, and we couldn’t have been more excited. For one brief week in March, we were on top of the world. That position came toppling down on the most excruciating Thursday. My vote would be for the last Thursday in March to be called Black Thursday, but I don’t want to further memorialize a day that I won’t ever forget.
Miscarriage is an interesting thing. Most people will tell you that your body is much smarter than you realize, and the female body miscarries for a lot of different reasons. Neither of these things is any condolence.
(Track with me on this one) Miscarriage is also like hitting the lottery. When people find out it has happened to you, everyone you don’t quite know or haven’t spoken to in years wants to become best friends. Obviously not seeking a piece of the prize, they want to share the intimate details of their own experience. For an introvert that was involved in an emotional landslide (who also hates crying in front of people) like Katie, it was extremely difficult. Not being introvert and always willing to cry in front of just about anyone, it was equally traumatic for me but probably easier to process.
One of the most helpful pieces of advice we received was from a fellow Portico girl that Katie grew up around. Katie was very familiar with her experience, so the advice was welcome. She told us that it is ok to be angry. She told us that there will be days that we don’t want to sit in a worship service and pretend everything is ok. There will even be days that you don’t come to church because you just can’t make yourself do it. And all of those things are ok.
Today, I am not holding my snugly, warm baby. I have not been pacing a hospital in the most intense anxiety. I am cuddled up in an uncomfortable condo bed in Florida. Katie and I have been emotionally raw for 8 months now. We have been drained. We are empty. We have very little to offer. We fight on. We fight on because running a marathon in quicksand is a horrible experience. We fight on because, though the emptiness feels like a never-ending hole, we know that only the Spirit of Christ can fill such a hole. Sometime that is hard to see or believe. Often, it is difficult to accept. This Thanksgiving holiday has been one of meager, sparse thankfulness. Today, on the Blackest of Fridays, I declare that I am thankful for a Savior that meets me in the mess, a Savior that loves me in my grief and shame, and a Savior that is a strong reminder that death is not the end. When talking about eternity, Death is only the beginning. #Death2Life
by Philip Haley