Learning To Embrace Your Story, Even When It Hurts

Posted in Infertility, Inspiration
on March 14, 2017

Going through difficulties in our life is inevitable.  Coping during these deep, dark, life-altering days that change us forever, and learning to embrace our unique story, is the purpose of life, right?  I’ve been through times like that, and had days when I thought I couldn’t go on.  Today, I’d like to encourage you to embrace your story, even when it hurts by acknowledging your emotions; choosing grace over guilt; and walking in faith & hope.

3 Ways to Embrace Your Story, even when it's hard...

I remember the exact place I was standing when I got the call from the nurse, “Stephanie, I’m really sorry, but your levels are dropping and not rising.  We consider this a loss.”  Silence.

My world was shattered.  My heart was broken.  In an instant I was flooded with anger, confusion, & grief, so profound, that it physically hurt.

Somehow I thought that after 5 years of infertility, that I’d “paid my dues” and that this pregnancy was untouchable.  I never in a million years thought that after so many months of trying and finally getting pregnant, that it would be swiped away in an instant.

I was naive and overly confident, I guess.

I spent the next several nights in prayer.  I pleaded for my baby’s life.  I believed in miracles.  I grasped at hope.

But, after several days, my body took over.  It was finished.

Over time, I had to embrace my story, even though it hurt immensely.

I didn’t ask for this to be part of my life, and I certainly didn’t plan for it.  But, it’s a part of what makes me, me.

My miscarriage changed my perception of life.  It caused me to be more empathetic towards other moms, and to those so desperately want to start their family. I cry with those who secretly mourn, and I understand the sorrow of loosing someone so dear.

 This chapter in my life affected me in ways that I could never have imagined…some positive and some negative.

I had to learn to embrace this part of my story, because it was written into my story before the beginning of time.

I’m not an expert in dealing with grief or loss.  In fact, I still have dark days that are filled with panic and confusion.

But, can I encourage you, friend, to join me on this journey of hope?

Whether you’re dealing with infertility, miscarriage, a loss of some other kind, or another hardship in your life, let’s build each other up and learn to embrace our stories with grace and hope.

If you’re in need of a little encouragement today, then you’ve come to the right place…

{Acknowledge Your Emotions}

In the midst of a trial, we experience some of the rawest emotion.  Sorrow, anger, confusion, to name a few.  As Christians, sometimes we think we are just supposed to accept God’s plan for our life with a smile on our face, no questions asked.  But, in the Bible there are clear examples of honest, God-fearing individuals questioning God’s purpose and plan for their lives.

God doesn’t expect us to not be angered in times of trouble, or not to question what the bigger picture is.  Only He can see the end of our story, so only He can fully understand why things happen in our life.

I found it very helpful to acknowledge the emotions I was feeling during my loss.  I’d write about my thoughts…sometimes angrily with strong ink lines piercing through several sheets of paper & sometimes through tear-filled eyes that streamed down into my written words.  It helped me to process what I was feeling to see my raw, honest thoughts and feelings written on a page.  It allowed me to process them, and move on.

Acknowledging how you feel in your trial is the first step on the journey to Embracing Your Story and all of its contents.  What I found too, if that my emotions changed day-to-day.  Some days I felt hopeful and other days I did not.  Try to be gracious with yourself, and allow yourself to process those feelings however ugly they may be.

I found this promise very encouraging,

“Weaping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5

Believe me, there were times I wondered if I would ever be happy again.  But, as time went on and healing continued, I did find joy again.  The road to joy was filled with detours through forgiveness, grace, and hope….

3 Ways to Embrace Your Story, even when it's hard....

{Choose Grace Over Guilt}

I learned during this time of my life, that often these horrible days were also the days filled with the most grace.

Friends and family would write to me saying, “I’m thinking about you, and praying for you today”.  And, you know what?  I could feel that blanket of grace and love surrounding me.

I learned that times of trial and tribulation are often the places in our life where grace abounds, and it is a beautiful thing.

Have you ever noticed in your life, that when you are struggling, that is often the time when you acknowledge and talk to God the most?

The days leading up to my miscarriage, when I was awaiting the inevitable loss of my miracle baby, I’d sit on my bed at night praying and listening to worship music.  I think it was during those days that I finally began to understand what the

“Peace that Passes All Understanding” {Philippians 4:7},

meant.  I never quite knew how others went through horrific times in life, and still were able to praise God and remain positive.

I felt the peace of God blanket me in grace and love, and I truly believe it was the prayers of family and friends that kept me going during those days.

I had to learn to forgive myself, and show myself grace.  I had to release the guilt I felt.

I had thoughts like, “why would this happen to me?”, “what did I do to deserve this?”, or “what did I do wrong?”.  In my particular situation, I had a lot of guilt revolving around the loss of our pregnancy.

But, as the months went on, I realized that particular pregnancy served a purpose.  My body was healing through the process of trying to have a baby.  I saw positive changes that I knew could lead to another pregnancy.

I was able to enjoy time with my husband, which was healing to both of us as we mourned “what could have been”.  We found joy, and had a bucket list busting year as we took a break from infertility.

I tell you this, just to encourage you, that as time goes on, you may find some clarity in your pain also.  Sometimes, we get these answers and sometimes we don’t.  But, as time went on, I continually recognized hidden blessings that I wouldn’t have noticed prior to our miscarriage.

{Walk in Faith & Hope}

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “hind sight is 20/20”.  Wouldn’t it be great to see in an instant, the reason and the purpose for the pain and trials in our life.

I sometimes wonder when we get to Heaven, if there will be a big movie screen set up for us.  I picture popcorn and candy, & God sitting there allowing me to watch my life…me asking lots of questions & Him explaining the reason and purpose for anything and everything I ever questioned in my life.

I don’t think there are movie theaters in Heaven, obviously.  But, wouldn’t that be amazing to know exactly the plan for our life.  It would certainly give us the gusto to persevere through our trials, right?

Well, unfortunately, that is not how our lives were designed.  Walking by faith is not always easy.  Accepting that God has a perfect plan for our life, sometimes seems like a joke when we’re knee-deep in hard times.

My favorite verses are Jeremiah 29:11-13.  My friend shared these encouraging words with me several years ago when I was going through a dark time in my life, and these words still bring comfort to me today,

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all you heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

How many times in church do we sing the words, “It is well, with my soul?”.  I know, right?  Probably millions of times.

Is it really, though? It is really “well with you soul?”

I’m a perpetual planner, who loves having (perceived) control over every situation in my life.  Obviously, I don’t actually have any control over my life or what will happen from this day to the next, just like you don’t.

There is a Divine plan in place, and I don’t honestly know what’s right around the corner.

A friend shared this version of “It Is Well” with me recently, and it dawned on me….

Can I really say and mean it with my whole heart that whatever God’s plan is for me, that it is well with my soul?  Do I honestly believe the promises He’s made, that His plans for me are perfect and not to harm me, even when I’m hurting in the moment?

This is the contemplation that I still have days, weeks, and months after my loss.  Walking by faith in hope is not always easy, especially for control freaks like myself.  But, isn’t that the beauty of living a life of faith?

What a comfort we can have, knowing that God has already planned out our days to bring us hope and future.  Plans that are not meant to harm us.

What a relief to know that if I seek God, He will listen to me.  The All-Knowing God, the Creator of this World, will listen to me.  What a powerful promise.

I love the reflection in this song,

“Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see.  And, this mountain that’s in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on you.  And, through it all, through it all, it is well with me.”

Do you feel like you have a mountain in front of you, that you just can’t seem to climb?  Can I encourage you today, friend, that no matter what you’re going through…no matter how dark the time or how deep the hurt… that you are loved, & you have a purpose.

If you are in need of prayer and encouragement today, please leave a message in the comments below.  We would love to shower you in prayer today, dear friend.  Here’s one last verse of encouragement,

“May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope.” Romans 15:13

Learning to Embrace Your Story, one day at a time...

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  • Reply Bailey

    I so appreciate your honesty. Thank you. I have been struggling with infertility for awhile and your words are healing.

    March 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm
  • Reply Karina

    Thank you for sharing all you did. I can relate to feeling similar emotions when I experienced a miscarriage in 2013. At that time in my life, I had no answers as to why it happened, but I held on to the hope that my baby’s life did in fact had a purpose and it was fulfilled – no matter how short… and no matter how much I didn’t want that whole experience to be part of my story. I just wanted my baby. As I went through the grieving stage I too realized that every life is significant… every single one. And it made me appreciate the experience (my baby’s life purpose) and thank God that I have a newfound perspective that helps me to relate to other women and mothers in a new way – filled with a tenderness and concern I didn’t have before that “loss.” Every life changes and impacts another. And my baby’s life impacted mine, as your baby’s impacted yours. Thank you for reminding me of God’s goodness through it all – during that time, women reached out to me as well and offered encouragement and support and it helped so much knowing I wasn’t alone. We’re never alone and that is grace enough – that God places people in our lives to help us during these times. SO thankful for that.

    March 16, 2017 at 12:23 am
  • Reply Hope

    You’re right about this! I’ve been totally blind since birth, and I accept it. It’s part of me but it isn’t who I am. I’ve had a lot of trials in my life. They’ve made me become a better person, he’s transforming me to be a little bit like him each day.

    March 23, 2017 at 4:42 pm
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