From Ruby

Ruby's Letter

Ruby’s Letter (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Translation: “Dear Mom,

My reading program says to [write] and send a letter to my favorite author. (That’s you).

I love you. Your book is a good book (well, the parts I’ve read, that is).

-Ruby”

Happy Tuesday!  This made my day!  🙂

The link to my book is here: “Across the Street From Normal”.

I have absolutely no regrets about leaving the abusive situation that we were in all those years ago.  Instead of seeing her mother as a victim, Ruby sees me as an author, an income earner, a society contributor, and a confident woman who is loved by God and her husband.  That’s all I ever wanted.

Today, I feel like I have what I wanted.

Love, faith, family, friends, and confidence.

 

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“The Cake is Old and Moldy”

My emotions took their toll yesterday and I surrendered to the tears…in the shower.  (I have my pride and stalwart…fine, I was proud.)  So proud, in fact that it was time for a gentle humbling.  Last night, after the kids went to bed, I began reading the last few posts to James.  He listened attentively, and was so compassionate that I began to weep.  (Please don’t think that our marriage and our relationship is perfect.  It’s not.  We’re perfect for each other, but we are definitely human beings who prefer our own way.  Selflessness is a learned discipline…and we are both slow learners sometimes.  I just made a commitment to NOT air our differences online unless I have his permission, I am pointing out my fault and his, and it’s at least a few days since the incident so that I have time to cool down.  Life is simply too short to alienate and hurt the one who has vowed to be the closest one to you.)

So, there I was weeping and an unattractive mess.  I apologized through short breaths, but then explained.  “My uterus held our babies.  My sweet little Sammy and Lilly were both inside there.  Now it’s going to be removed.  I am losing the part of me that held them!”

He tenderly and thoughtfully responded, “You have a poem that I wrote about Sammy, and you have dreams that were given to you about both of them.  Your blog posts and writings are preserved so that you can remember them.  Your uterus is a tool given by God, a temporary, and [he referred to this Fall’s international project] a “dedicated” place where He created and knit together the children within your womb.  It wasn’t designed by Him to be their permanent home.  Your love still holds them even if your womb is gone.  Think about our wedding for a moment.  We have the pictures, and the clothes, and the memories of that day to serve as a reminder to us. We both wear the rings as an everyday reminder.  Your uterus was a temporary reminder of the temporary place that our babies were created in.   It doesn’t change what happened there, it doesn’t change your “motherhood” or your heart if it’s gone.  Right now, the “reminder” of the babies is ceasing to function properly.  It’s hindering your health and holding you back.  It’s time to remove the broken reminder.”

Cake. old. moldy. (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

I sniffled and said, “Kind of like if we had saved a slice of cake from our wedding but discovered that it was old and moldy?”

He grinned, “Exactly, baby!  Eating it would be silly, keeping it would be ridiculous.  It would be time to discard the reminder, but it wouldn’t change the reality that we are married.  Just because the reminder is gone, or getting “aged” and past its prime, it doesn’t mean that you stop loving our kids or having your “Mother Heart”.  You are still mom to 8 of our kids.”

I smirked and added, “And besides, my cake ‘is old and moldy’, as they say in ‘Encino Man'” .

We laughed hard through the tears, he held me, and I decided that it’s time to let go of my rundown reminder and embrace my reality.

I included the clip from “Encino Man” below, in case you need a chuckle today as well.

Feel free to contact me if you wish for sympathy, empathy, laughter and/or prayer.

Love,

Gracie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZA1DuB8NIE

A Fear Realized

A Fear Realized (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

A Fear Realized (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

A cold sweat gripped me as I gasped for air.  James traced his finger gently on my shoulder. “Baby, I’m here. You’re safe.  What’s wrong?”  I groggily wiped the tears off my cheeks.  I mumbled, “Bad dream again”.  He wrapped me up in his arms until I fell asleep.

My body is a constant enigma for the medical community.  I react to medications that most people can tolerate without blinking.  For instance, whenever I am on antibiotics, I need around-the-clock antihistamines or else I quickly become covered in hives.

I am thankful for the ability to heal and be on antibiotics, and I also understand from prior experience that my nightly dose of antihistamine produces terrifying nightmares.  Lately, my nightmares have been exposing my fears.

This particular nightmare consisted of me being shut-into our home, helplessly on the couch as life spun on around me.  James continually flitted in and out, kissing me on the head as he said goodbye.  Every effort that I made to get off the couch and join him found me in the same position, unable to move.  I was stuck.

I reached constantly after James and the children, but I couldn’t get my legs to budge.  I felt abandoned, overlooked, and burdensome.

When I divulged my nightmare  to James that morning, I discovered how terrified I am that my health will cause me to miss out on the new and exciting chapters of life that we plan to start together this Fall.

He reassured me that he wants to share all of our chapters with me, and that he is not going anywhere.  He gently reminded me of our honeymoon, when he pushed me around the Colorado Mountains while I was in a wheelchair. I scrunched up my nose and said, “I know, but I didn’t want to make it a tradition!” He laughed and hugged me.

In looking over our options, I can either choose the current state which has me barely functioning, or in constant pain, or medicated and halfway functioning; or I can choose surgery to alleviate the pain, with the hope that I will improve.

The question is, where on the calendar do I even possess 6 or so weeks for recovery? Also, how do I continue to be involved in the life of my family…from bed, or the couch?

I don’t want to be the woman that holds her family back.  I want to be their biggest cheerleader, encouragement, and prayer supporter.  I want to exude love and acceptance.

Ironic that I accept them with injury without any hesitation, yet I can’t quite receive myself with open arms.

James deftly called me out last night.  He reminded me that it’s a privilege for him to care for me, that he takes great joy in meeting my needs.

Throughout my life, I have been deeply blessed by many friends and family members who are “differently-abled” than society’s norm.  Their joy, love of life, and simple faith constantly pushes me onward in my own journey.  Again, I unhesitatingly accept them with their “limitations”…so why can’t I accept myself?

Pensive (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

Pensive (c)Gracie K. Harold 2014

If I openly admit that I am limited, if I confess that I am physically imperfect, my facade crumbles.  I will then have to admit that I am the one in need.

I am. I hurt.  I am in pain.  I am in need of surgery, and I am a bit scared.  I don’t want to overburden James at such a crucial point in our life, just when things are changing and starting in a new direction.

It’s humbling to need others.  It requires honesty, but also trust.

God pretty much took my breath away this morning when I read the following blog post:

“Ever Upward – Isaiah” by Justine Froelker  

Justine reminded me that He has this.  When I speak the truth about my pain, my fears, and even my insecurities; then I courageously disarm the shame that goes along with silence.

So, my name is Gracie K. Harold.  I have a “mild” case of Ehler-Danlos syndrome, type 3.  I have recently come to appreciate my uterus for the 5 children that it has harbored and held, even if I never got to embrace two of the babies which were embraced by it.  I am planning to undergo a hysterectomy before the age of 40.  One of my ovaries will hopefully be allowed to stay, but the other one has no possibility of not causing me more pain and damage.

I realized this weekend that when there’s an empty space, and I turn my face to God in expectation of His Goodness;  He enlarges my heart and fills me with more than I ever could have imagined.

Don’t believe me? My next post on Monday will give more details. *

Meanwhile, until then, feel free to read my previous posts as you wrestle through to see the Goodness.

I’ll be praying that He enlarges your heart and then makes you speechless as he pours Goodness into your emptiness.

Love,

Gracie

*Please note that this link will not work until Monday, August 11, 2014 around 8 am EST, but the other two links are available right now! =)*

Matthew’s Joke

stairs

Our son Matthew had a hard time accepting humor at first.  He would laugh at funny things on television or in movies; but he did not understand how to process teasing.  This brought on some very tense moments which required an extra dose of compassion and patience on our part.  We are, by nature, a family that thrives on practical jokes…and gentle teasing is one of our love languages.

By gentle teasing, I mean the following example: Rex walked into the house yesterday after playing out in the dirt.  I smiled widely, winked obviously and said, “So, mister man; were you going to wash the backyard off your legs?” He giggled, shook his head and said, “Ummmm, nope! Uh-uh. I wanted to keep it on me to remember the yard!”.  We laughed together as he walked out to clean up.

This whole interchange was a completely foreign concept to Matthew until a few months ago.  I remember one of the first “humor breakthroughs”.  I was driving alone in the car with Matthew and Marissa.  Matthew made an outrageous statement about something, and without thinking, I teasingly said, “Ohhhh, I see, Mr. Spoofer.  You are telling a Tall Tale!” as I winked at him in the rear view mirror.  *Cue tears.*  I felt awful.  He said, “My name is Matthew, not Mr. Spoofer!”.

I explained that Daddy and I called each other silly names just to show that we love each other…not mean names, but silly ones, like “Little Miss Pees a lot” or “Mr. I had Onions tonight”.  I explained that if the names change, the person still stays the same in their heart.  With a sinking feeling of dread in my gut, I asked him if he was starting to understand.  “*Sniff* I think so…since I was pretending to cry, Mom! I knew you were kidding!”

He got me.

About a week later, the five youngest kiddos were heading upstairs to bed.  It was a chilly night, so I hollered up to ask who needed an extra blanket.  3 little voices answered that they did.  I went all the way to the far corner of the basement to retrieve the warm layers.  My arms were heavy laden when I tromped back up the two flights of stairs.  I handed out two of the blankets, and went from room to room asking who requested the third one.  Total silence.  James said, “Are you sure that you counted right?”  I replied, “Three of the kids answered me.”  We heard snickering behind us, and turned to see the cherubic face of Matthew, dissolving into giggles. “Ha! I got you, MOM!  I asked for the blanket but then acted like I didn’t. I.TEASED.YOU!”

James and I shook our heads as we smiled.  “You sure did get me, buddy!  Way to go!”

That boy.  What a Spoofer!

Thankful Thursday July 3

I am thankful for

#Freedom #Soldiers @GracieKHarold 2014

#ThankfulThursdays @GracieKHarold 2014

 

 

Love, plain and simple. @GracieKHarold 2014

 

Same Purpose, Different Appearance. @GracieKHarold 2014

Same Purpose, Different Appearance. @GracieKHarold 2014

If you are feeling thankful, share it!  #ThankfulThursday

Facebook: Gracie K Harold

Twitter #ThankfulThursday @GracieKHarold

or comment below =)

Opaque Windows

rustic reflection @GracieKHarold 2014

rustic reflection @GracieKHarold 2014

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” – Anais Nin

Sometimes life is viewed through an opaque window.  Different things obscure our vision.  Many moments in our life recently have looked grimy, tumultuous, and overwhelming.

Two of our sons recently had appointments with a specialist team.  There have been some nagging symptoms that we have been monitoring for the last couple years, and one of our Doctors felt it was worth the consultation.

Pardon my lack of eloquence and please forgive my blunt way of proceeding.  Three of our children have at least a mild form of a connective tissue disorder.  It is genetic, it is carried by the female, and there is a 50% chance of developing the syndrome.

I am the carrier.  Our sons have it, as does our daughter.

The emotions that I have experienced run the gamut; no pattern, no rhyme or reason.

Guilt.  I feel guilty in some very dark moments for carrying this and not knowing it.  I was an athletic trainer, for God’s sake.  How could I not have caught this sooner?

Anger.  I calmly yet sternly asked God why he would allow this so soon after finding out that two of our children have outgrown some allergies.

Dichotomy.  I believe and trust that God is good.  I now see that this reality is painful, hurtful, and far from perfect.  Yet, I resolutely and deliberately (and even sometimes intentionally) declare that “[I will] give thanks to the LORD, for HE is good, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1 English Standard Version, emphasis mine).

Relief. We now know the why behind their symptoms.

Frustration.  New limitations are in place.  More caution is required with certain physical activities.

Anxiety.  This is the beast that I must overcome most often.  Keeping all of the “what if’s’ in check is only done when I stand fully aware of who God truly is.  Until I direct my gaze to HIM, to His unchangeable Love and Acceptance, to His Goodness, I can’t move on in faith.

Grief and self-pity.  This is often short-lived as I refuse to be an “Eeyore™” of a person.  A.A. Milne’s book, “Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner” features the glum character, Eeyore™.  The following sums up his outlook on life perfectly: “Eeyore,” said Owl, “Christopher Robin is giving a party.”  “Very interesting,” said Eeyore.  “I suppose they will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on. Kind and Thoughtful.  Not at all, don’t mention it.”

It would be easy to slip into that pity-filled existence; but honestly I don’t want to be stuck in the muck and mire of the “poor, poor me” mentality.  If I did that, my gaze would have to be directed at myself.

No thank you.

I’m familiar with how I feel right now, and I would rather not be consumed with my feelings.  In my previous post, “Wildflower Tenacity”,

https://adjustmentstonormal.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/wildflower-tenacity/

I explained how our grief is like a puppy on a leash.  We need to walk the puppy instead of letting the puppy walk us.  We’ve also expanded the illustration for our children so that it is used for their emotions and their hormones.  The other day, I looked at our son David as he became caught up in an adolescent whirlwind and I said, “Walk the dog, bud. WALK. THE. DOG.”  He quipped, “Mom, it’s a Great Dane!”  James and I laughed, and James reassured him, “Yup, it is, son.  That’s why you have a BIG God who gave you the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the leash.  Let God walk the dog for you.”

It takes effort to “walk the dog”.  It takes a deliberate decision to step forward in faith, even when the reality is not what we want to embrace.

“We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance.  We err because this is more comfortable.” – Alexander Solzhenitzyn.

He’s right.  It’s easy to blame and stay angry at this reality.  The truth, though, is that God did NOT cause this.  The truth is that we live in a crooked, sinful world.  Sin always causes brokenness.  God is love.  God is Holy. God is Whole.  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away, and look, new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17  (Holman Christian Standard).

If I believe in Christ, if I have made Him my “boss”, then I am not the same broken person anymore.  I am made new by His sacrifice for me.  I am now seen by God the Father as holy, whole, and complete.  When God looks at me, He sees Jesus’ blood and perfection.

This is oftentimes a hard truth to embrace.  In order to be made whole, I first need to admit that I am broken and stuck in a hopeless mess without Christ.  Humility is never an easy decision.  Pride is much more comfortable…until you truly turn your gaze to that nagging sickly feeling in the pit of your gut.  That place where you feel that something is missing, that something is a little off-kilter.

When you stay in that off-kilter place, it’s as if you are attempting to look through an opaque window.  You seek to see out of it, but the view is obscured.

Opaque Window @GracieKHarold 2014

Opaque Window @GracieKHarold 2014

When you surrender fully to Christ, and allow Him to make you new, your eyes are adjusted.  You finally realize that the purpose of the opaque window isn’t for you to see out.  The purpose of the opaque window is for the light to gloriously display the brilliant colors in a new way.

“Why let what you see get in the way?” – Joyce Kellock

Go ahead.  Let Him open your eyes.

 

 

Pigs in the Blanket

The humidity was high, the a.c. was cranked, and our house was packed with our 5 kids who ALL wanted some “date time” with mom…as I was attempting to finish the final edits on my book.  There is nothing like a deadline to bring out the insatiable, unquenchable desire in every family member for personal, uninterrupted attention.

I grabbed Marissa and Ruby, our daughters, and announced; “If you girls want to spend time with me before I start the final edits; please grab a pan and start greasing!”  They obliged, and we started pulling apart the pre-made dough and rolling up the breakfast sausages.  We giggled and teased each other as we worked, simply enjoying each other’s company.

Ruby whipped through her assignment quickly and hurried to take her turn with the video game controller.  Marissa and I continued wrapping the “pigs”, and then discovered that we had one extra chunk of dough left.  Marissa was quick to suggest that we give it to James, since he is the “Daddy who takes care of us all!”.

I agreed, and her next idea triggered a string of snickers from me.

“Let’s make it into a beer bottle, so he can have a biscuit and beer at the same time!”

We crafted our “beer biscuit”, and I obligingly carved into it with a knife so it read; “Dad only”.

beer biscuit

 

I love the creativity and imagination of children!

We placed the pans in the fridge, the girls snuggled in to watch a movie; and I was soon tapping away on the laptop right in between them.

James taught me a while back that headphones are indeed a gift of God.  I turned on my ‘get off your butt and write” playlist (seriously, that’s really what it’s called), and got to work.

I am not exaggerating when I say that every 90 seconds or so Marissa proceeded to air type over my keys, or say, “Mom!  Did you see that? Pretty cool movie, huh?”

Each time I would gently poke her or hug her or tickle her or mess up her hair and after answering her question I would say, “I see you , love.  I am right here.  Even though I have to work, I still love you and I am SO Glad that you are our daughter!  We are so glad that you are ours!”

There are a lot of different issues at play in her life right now.  She finally opened up to me a bit, and then after supper, James and I took her on a walk so we could dig deeper into what is bothering her.

Through our talk, we realized that adjustments take many different forms.  All parties involved need to consciously be aware of other people and their feelings.  One child may very well have needs that are completely different from another.  I need things that James doesn’t.

That’s okay; it’s all part of adjusting to normal.

Maybe I spent too much time yesterday in the air conditioning, but it seems to me that our individual needs are kind of like the pigs in the blanket.  Some of them had an extra thick blanket of dough wrapped around them, some were exactly symmetrical, some had barely any dough around them.  We all followed the same recipe and instructions, but our individual personalities shone through.

That’s what family is like.  We all are following the same guidelines, but we need to be aware that we will not all look the same, or share the same exact needs.  It’s been fun to rediscover that truth this week as we have learned how to serve and love one another individually.  I understand that there will be moments when it doesn’t seem like any forward progress is being made, moments when the kids forget that they are to think of each other first; but all in all, I think we are becoming a “pigs in the blanket” family! (Beer biscuits and all!)

Pigs in the blanket

Pigs in the blanket

 

Spring Fever

2014-05-06 06.37.43

Have you ever bounced a Superball® in a hallway?  That’s what it was like watching three of our children wait for the bus this morning!  They could not sit still for the life of them!  They were seriously engaged in a samurai-inspired slow motion tableau involving three backpacks, a medicine bag, and a plastic hanger.  I am NOT kidding; I didn’t know whether to laugh louder or hide all traces of sugar from the cupboards!

In addition to their exploding anticipation for the holiday weekend; Rex had to take an extra dose of antihistamine this morning due to his allergies.  Most children would get sleepy or lethargic with said medicine; but Rex becomes more hyper!  He seriously lets loose like a bottle rocket!

In speaking with David’s Middle School teacher about our children’s inability to focus lately; she explained the phenomenon.  Her mentor had divulged that in Middle School after Spring Break, all of the developing hormones and the weather form a sort of “emotional tornado” that appears at random times throughout the day in the classroom.

It appears at home, as well!  Our 5 youngest range in age like stair steps; and it is Spring!  I spoke with Rex’s former teacher the other morning to tell her that I was praying for her and her colleagues throughout this Spring.  She quipped, “If they haven’t learned it before Spring Break, they’re not going to learn it!” and we laughed.

My beloved theatre professor, Dr. H, used to say, “Springtime is when the boys start thinking about what the girls have been thinking about all year!”  This was, I’m fairly certain, followed by a muttered prayer under his breath.  I have recently begun the same practice of muttering prayers for sanity under my breath…(and also prayers for calorie-free chocolate!)

I’ve been trying to figure out what they’re even thinking; and the following is the best I can do at deciphering their springtime train of thought:

“Yay, it’s warm outside so I can wear shorts! Oh we have sugar cereal! Woohoo only a few more days til school is done! Wow, I’m hot! The girl/guy I like thinks so too…hahaha, just kidding. Hey I should say that out loud, but wait, is that a squirrel in our tree?  That’s so hilarious how the squirrel eats with its paws! Oh, I should eat. I think mom is talking but I’m too busy trying to remember what I was going to say out loud. This food is good. Hmm…hanger or sword? I can’t stand still!  How many days til summer? I am so glad it’s warm!  Is that the bus?”

Seriously, I think their thoughts in the springtime are like a fast-moving train on tracks.  You can try to catch a glimpse of their thoughts; as if they were flowers on the other side of the tracks, but the train (like their thoughts) is a blur.  I say it again, Lord have mercy, and God bless the teachers everywhere!


Appalling Treatment of both a Woman and her Child!

TRIGGER WORDS: Nausea inflicting lack of justice!

http://news.msn.com/world/sudan-judge-sentences-christian-woman-to-death-for-apostasy?gt1=51501

http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-sudan-court-sharia-christianity-20140515-story.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27424064

I read this story, and I can’t be silent.  We live in the year 2014; and yet, this woman is sentenced to HANG while she carries her unborn child, all because she believes differently than the judge who sentenced her.  Voltaire once said, “I may not agree with what you have to say; but I will die for your right to say it”.

Please, dear readers; be the change.  Share this story; stand beside me in the gap for our human sister and her unborn child.

Thank you,

Gracie

The Thirty Second Pregnancy

2014-04-23 10.41.56

“The 30 Second Pregnancy”

By Gracie K. Harold

Trigger word warning:  pregnancy, miscarriage, grief, expletive (bull$#*!), appalling lack of medical professionalism, hospital

My pregnancy test was positive…for a whopping thirty seconds before it faded to “not pregnant”.  This happened on a day when I was expected to be in meetings or appointments all day long.  So, I called my doctor; whose office ordered blood work at the local hospital.  I was assured that as long as I arrived before 7 pm that evening, they would receive the results as soon as possible.  We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 pm.  My lab order was nowhere to be found; and of course, it was a Friday night so the Dr.’s office was closed. We went home to wait until Monday, after being told that there was nothing else that could be done.

Meanwhile, I started spotting.  Monday morning, I called the Dr.’s office again; and the nurse asked why we hadn’t called the after-hours doctor on call.  No one had ever told me that was an option. I had asked about it at the lab in the hospital, but they informed me that they were unable to call and inquire about the lab order. So, I rushed back to the hospital for my blood work.  The lab tech was able to rush my results so that my Dr.’s office would have them within an hour.

After two hours, the office called to tell me that they wanted me to take another pregnancy test.  When I expressed my confusion after having just had blood drawn for the pregnancy test; she stumbled over her words and said, “Oh, now I see the test results. I will call you back after I read these to a Dr.”  So, I waited.  Remember that I had a miscarriage this past summer, so my fear of losing another child was palpable. A nurse called me back another hour later.

The following is a direct quote from her: “The Dr. thinks that you are getting ready to start your period, so please take some ibuprofen and rest.”  Insert Christian expletive here; no, on second thought, insert what I really said here: “This is Bull$#*!”

I had been spotting and cramping for 5 days, and had taken two different pregnancy tests which I was anxiously awaiting the results from.  Additionally, I can’t take Ibuprofen; it’s clearly documented in my chart. I re-explained the reason for the office to call me back; that I was waiting for the blood test results.  “Oh, well, the Dr. only said that you were starting your period.  Oh, wait a minute, I didn’t read the other notes from your phone calls this last week.”

Ok, time for a few sarcastic comments. I was under the impression that a professional office is expected to do all of their research BEFORE they pick up a telephone to answer a patient’s questions.  Perhaps I am anal and picky, but isn’t there a certain protocol to protect against liability? I thought that protocol usually called for a complete picture of the patient’s history and complaints.

At this point, I told the nurse that I would either drive the five minutes to their office in order to stay in the waiting room until I was seen; or she could schedule me with a provider in the next two minutes.  “Oh, I think there’s an opening.  I guess I don’t understand why you need to be seen if you’re not pregnant.”

That’s how I found out that I had a false positive on my pregnancy test.

I love my Dr., I really do.  However, as this is the second time I have experienced this gut-wrenching treatment and lack of sensitivity by the nursing staff; I can’t possibly fathom being willing to undergo this a third time. Call me a cock-eyed optimist; but I was under the impression that an Obstetrician’s office was in existence to compassionately walk alongside their patients throughout all phases of their journey to have a child; especially after the loss of a pregnancy.  Apparently I was sorely mistaken.

I curled up in my bed, and sobbed until I went to pick up James from work.  It hurt worse than a ‘hellish pain”. It was hell.  I knew all of the platitudes, all of the “reassurances”, all of the Bible verses. I hurt. I cried. I screamed and cussed. I journeyed through, accepting it as it was; how I felt right then.  It’s ok.  I am completely allowed to have a weekend of grieving over what I thought was a new life.  Likewise, I am also allowed to feel relief in alternating waves; and then come back to the grief again.

Needless to say, I now see a different Dr.  On my first visit, I told her about the false pregnancy test.  Her response was to say, “Oh my word!  That’s like…(at this point, she took her hand in an uphill motion while making an airplane-takeoff-type noise, then sharply brought it back down with a crashing noise).  I smiled through my tears and said, “That’s it exactly…and that was the absolute, most compassionate response that I have received in the last year from the medical community. Thank you for treating me as a grieving mother; and not just as another patient.”

Grief hurts, and that is ok. You have permission to grieve. Life brings joy sometimes, and that’s ok as well. You have permission to laugh. Both of them are part of the grief journey.  Every step may look different from the last; but no matter what, please know that you are not alone.  I railed at God; spewing expletives as if I were a nail gun and he were a new building under construction.  He listened.  His love for me is still here.

So even in my sadness and grief; somehow, I can cling to Him honestly through my exposed, jagged heart.  I know that He will continue to carry me on the days when it literally hurts like Hell.

Dueteronomy 33:27 states, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.”  Go ahead, join me.

****As an incredible side note, I was hiding out in my favorite writing “cave”.  Behind me was a wall.  I set about taking pictures of the stopwatch screen on an old phone that I planned to use in this post.  Below is the gallery of the progression of the photos.  IN NO WAY DID I ALTER THESE OR SUPERIMPOSE THEM!  All I did was flip between filters.  I think it’s like God is reminding me that all of my grief is covered by the cross; and He’s here to walk me through it.****