Have you ever walked into church, and thought your Pastor was speaking directly to you? That he was looking straight into your eyes, and his lips were saying one thing but all you heard was, "Jenna, this is God, and I'm speaking to you." (Well, I know your name isn't Jenna so let's just enter your name there.)
Today that happened. I walked in and my mind was as clear as it's been in a very long time. It felt empty and ready to soak up whatever it was that God wanted to say. Our Pastor Zach started talking, and I couldn't help but feel he was looking directly at me. Thank you, Zach for your words today. God is definitely working through you and this was a sermon my heart needed to hear.
The truth is that I have two blog posts written and saved but I have yet to hit the publish button. Lately, I've been feeling like my feed has been nothing but sorrow, dark, and full of sadness. I have become scared. I'm scared of what you may think, what my family may think, or if I've really become the person that my husband said is full of emotions and he just doesn't know what to do with them. He meant it in a nice and loving way, but definitely said, "I just don't know what to do with you!" We laughed it off because I agree with him. What do we do with this new Jenna? This new normal?
I've been back and forth on sticking to my promise of walking through my grief with you all. I mean why would anyone want to know? Do they think I'm too depressing? Would I have something encouraging to say even though I'm not on the other side of grief yet? Would they worry?
The truth is that my story is good news. As Zach has said many times in his sermons, (side note if you don't know Summit Church, you need to. Look up the Podcast if anything and listen. A.S.A.P.)
"Your story told truthfully is good news,
to those that do not know Jesus,
and to those that do."
Do you have a name that you feel like you have to live up to?
Unbroken. Happy. Together.
My reality is that I am broken, I am happy AND sad, but I definitely do not have it together but I'm doing okay.
I've been afraid to share the grief with you all because I'm scared that you'll think grief has taken all the good from Jenna, but the truth is that grief has created an all new better, Jenna. I'm functioning through my grief. Actually, truth is that I smile more than I cry but when I cry I've learned to just let it come. So if you're ever around when that happens, just let me cry. I have more good days than bad, but the bad days do come at least once a week, and although I'm having a good day, that doesn't mean I'm not hurting. That doesn't mean that something you may say may remind me of the hole in my heart and I may ache, but you'll probably never know. But it's time I tell you. I'm okay in my grief. I'm hurting but I'm smiling. I'm broken but my life is just beginning. I do not have it together and truthfully, I never have! I probably won't ever have it all together either. And that's okay. (I am a working Mom of two with a husband that works 24/7. Who would have it together with this schedule anyway?)
We need to un-hero ourselves. Some of you have been following my story and send me the sweetest texts or comments telling me how I've been helping others or even yourselves, but let me remind you I'm no hero. I'm just broken but I'm learning to be okay with that and so should you. I'm not sure the day that the pressure to be perfect started in my life or even in yours. I do remember a time when I didn't care what others thought and my house was far from a Pinterest Pin. But today there's a pressure there. A pressure to please, perform and be a hero that I was never intended to be. Grief is a real thing, an awful thing, but a necessary one. One day you will understand and when you do, my story will be good news.
Today, I'm going to un-hero myself and stop living up to the names I've given myself. My story told TRUTHFULLY is good news to you, to your sister, to your friend.... to the one in four women that have experienced a loss of an infant, stillbirth, or miscarriage, and to the woman that will experience it. I am one in four now and my story will be good news.
As is yours.
Grief has taught me to look at people through a new perspective. Truthfully I used to look at the way you parented. I looked at how you decorated your house, the words you spoke, and the life you lived. But today I see your heart. I know how your heart feels when you're at the grocery store, kids screaming and you can't focus on your list. I know your heart. I know how your heart feels when you're putting your little one to sleep and you realize you won't ever get the chance to put your baby to sleep because they are gone. I know your heart. I know how your heart feels when you walk into a room that was supposed to be a nursery filled with baby giggles and the room is still the same as before you went to the hospital. I know your heart. I know how your heart feels when a year has almost passed since you last kissed your baby and you're wondering, "Now what?" I know your heart.
God has been tugging at my heart telling me to get moving, share, and be truthful. Be broken, be happy and sad, and to not have it together but to have Him guide me.
He wants me to encourage you to share your story because as much as your heart may need mine, I need yours as well.
At Summit Church we've been walking through Romans together. We've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. We've witnessed sin and admitted our own. We've realized we're in a battle but through Jesus we've gone from a battle we cannot win, to a battle we will not lose. Friends, a battle we will not lose is still a battle. I will not lose to grief but I'm still in grief. I'm not a hero, but I have one.
Today marks a year from when my water broke. I have been flashing back to that moment all day. I had two pregnancies prior to the boys where my water was broken by a doctor in the hospital preparing me for labor. When my water broke due to surgery, I was instantly in a battle that I could not win. The second I felt the water fill my sheets as I slept in my grandparent's house I instantly thought I had lost my sons. Why this thought crossed my mind, I'm still not sure. I remember holding my stomach yelling, "My babies" as they escorted me to the ambulance. I remember thinking they were already gone. This was a moment that I dreamed of for an entire month. I would wake up feeling the sheets below me scared to death that it happened again. I was tortured. But Jesus, oh sweet Jesus turned my battle from one that I could not win to one I cannot lose. My boys did end up leaving me, but not without a purpose. God has placed it on my heart to not only help the mom's that know the hole in my heart all too well but those on bed rest praying they'll never have to. God has a plan through Grady and Ryder, and although I may not have it all together, He's guiding me. He's helping me tell my story when I'm scared, and He's delivering me from my story.
"Thanks be to God who delivers me."
Friend, where is your heart today? What is happening in your story? What memories are flashing through your mind? Remember, God is at work in you and through you. It's okay to not be a hero. It's okay to not be perfect. It's okay to not please. It's okay to be in a battle. Good news, it's okay.