Bravery

In the last two weeks, I’ve discovered that I am not brave.

No.

I run from hard. I struggle and wrestle. I bail. I check out when things seem unimaginable.

I didn’t know this about myself. I thought I was a do-er. A jump out in faith; a run through the fields screaming; a leap off a cliff into the cold fresh waters, kind of do-er. I thought I was naturally brave. I thought that I ran to, not from. That I move forward in spite of…

But, I am not brave.

Just over a week and a half ago, I found out that I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I went in for a regular ultrasound, and instead of leaving with a picture for our refrigerator, I had to schedule a D&C for later that afternoon. The details of that day and those moments are still fresh–as if it happened just yesterday. And since then, I’ve been experiencing grief and sadness at a level that I never knew was possible. I have nothing to compare it to. No words to describe it.

I am not brave.

I’ve been grieving in private. Spending my days at home with my girl, where my heart feels safe. I’ve stepped back from our usual life routine because I can’t be genuine and I can’t pretend. Both, are too difficult for my heart, that right now feels raw, exposed, and unprotected. I had not planned on writing about this, because this feels too vulnerable. It feels too close; too open; too hard.

But, on Sunday morning, I saw that Diana Stone, from She Reads Truth, was preparing to say goodbye to her newborn baby. And as if that is not heartbreaking enough, she’s already lost twin babies. She bravely has shared her story of baby loss, and once again, was facing this unimaginable pain. But, she was openly asking the She Reads Truth community for prayer and support. Her bravery in the face of the most difficult kind of pain, prompted me to fake bravery.

I don’t think that I fell upon her life update by accident.

I don’t know how to be this person. I don’t know when I won’t feel this overwhelming sadness. A sadness that literally knocks the wind out of me. I don’t know how to reconcile this loss in my heart.

But, I am going to fake being brave.

Close friends have offered love and prayer. They’ve honestly told me that they don’t know what to say–and I’ve honestly told them that I don’t know what to say either.

I spent a week with my Mom, and her presence helped me keep it together. She allowed me to fall a part too, but I mostly just needed her to be here; to watch me do normal things, so that I could prove to myself that I could go on without running to hide underneath the bed covers. But, the moment she left, I felt the weight of my feelings. I felt ALL of the feelings. But then, my beautiful little, Miss Kinsey Hope, reminded me that there really is hope. I had just walked in my front door after dropping my Mom at the airport, and managed to dump my entire Venti iced coffee on my floor. I burst into tears, and Kinsey Hope yelled, then ran into my arms for a hug, and probably also safety from the river of coffee that was quickly spreading all over the damn place. And while it seems that every day is an emotionally exhausting one; filled with spilled coffees and difficult conversations, she lets me hold her and hug her, and I recognize that her love for me is going to be enough for my aching heart. 

I’m faking brave.

On Saturday, I went running. And though tears streamed down my face for most of it, and though I came home and ugly cried in the shower, I bravely faced myself. I forced myself to be alone…REALLY alone, and it hurt and I felt all of the feelings again, but it was a twisted kind of progress.

I continue to fake bravery.

Over the weekend, my sweet neighbor, a breast cancer survivor, and crazy amazing sort of weathered woman, asked me how my pregnancy was going. Normally, my neighbor wouldn’t have been someone that I would have shared the news of a pregnancy with so early, but, she had witnessed me gagging in my rose bushes a few weeks prior. I had to tell her about our loss-why I had been hiding in my house for the last week and a half. She hugged me tightly and shared with me that she had two miscarriages, one of which was a still-birth at 9 months. She said:

“It hurts. I know it does. But your baby had to go to heaven to be with Jesus. It was time for your baby to go. It didn’t have to live in this crooked world. Find your peace in that.”

I sobbed, standing there with my pruning shears in one hand, and my gardening gloves in the other. My face covered in dirt and sweat; my insides feeling like they were being ripped from my chest. But, I felt the slightest bit of relief.

I’ve spent days, and many sleepless nights agonizing over the battle between my faith, and medicine. My faith tells me that I lost my child. My faith tells me that our baby died. But medicine says that my body simply couldn’t make the perfect baby–so, it stopped what it was doing, and decided it would try again later. The latter is easier to process. I can feel better about that. But my faith? My faith creates a pain that I emotionally can not handle. I’ve been fighting to find reconciliation, but, I don’t want to cheat. I’m too afraid that if I choose to ignore my faith, that eventually, the lie that I’ve told myself so I can quickly heal, will rear it’s head. So while this feels impossible—I know that I have to endure it. Even if that means never feeling better.

But, this weathered, and unexpected person, spoke a peace deep into the recesses of my heart–into the places that feel nothing but sadness and hurt.

I don’t feel better; but, I feel a hope that maybe someday I will. That this sadness will fade into the dawn. That this emptiness and fear will turn whole and dauntless.

So, I will fake bravery, in hopes that if I fake it long enough, I will become brave.

I will be able to speak about the loss with confidence that our baby is held in the arms of Jesus. My voice won’t quiver when I answer the simple question of “How are you?” I won’t speed walk past the baby section at Target, and I won’t feel an emptiness in my arms when I hold my Kinsey girl. I won’t feel like something or someone is missing when I lay my head on my pillow at night. I will know, in my heart of hearts, that God’s grace is sufficient. That His power is made perfect in my weakness. I will walk and not faint. I will run and not grow weary.

I’m faking bravery. And, I’m believing that for now, that is enough.