This is me, or at least it was once. This picture was taken earlier this year on July 4th -- Paul and I were celebrating fourteen years together, two of them as husband and wife and on our baby-moon. We were so excited, happier, and so eager for the future that was quickly approaching us within the next couple of months. Our little one was going to join and be with us very soon. We were going to be parents, finally. And this was our first Fourth of July holiday as a small, growing family with our babe kicking and stretching actively inside my womb.
As I was searching back in my phone's camera roll to look for a photo or photos of the person I used to be, I resonated with this one. I came across difficulty when thinking about what to write for today's post and prayed that the Holy Spirit help me with what to write and to enlighten my vulnerable heart for today's theme on, 'Consciously Becoming'.
I know that I am not the woman I see in the photo anymore. As I stare at her, I see a stranger. I see a joyous, fearless, confident young woman excitedly becoming a mother. I look at her eyes, her smile, and her hands over her belly and see the amazing gift of life. Two beautiful lives at that.
I miss her, the old me. I miss the smiley, innocent, carefree woman in this photo. A woman that knows no sorrow, pain, or heartache. The woman whose heart is filled with life, love, and laughter. The woman who believes in happy endings and happily ever afters. I miss her resilience, work-ethic, and positive energy. I miss the sunshine my old self did her best to carry wherever she went. I miss it all.
Today, I look into the mirror and see the new me. She is quieter, softer, and spacey. I see a different story in her eyes -- one of pain, tragedy, and the unconditional love and longing of a mother for her heaven child. I see more strength, bravery, and a deeper openness + honesty in this woman. The day that Haven arrived, I was changed. I am older, my soul feels ancient (perhaps by ten years), wiser, and brokenhearted.
I miss the innocence, light, and heart the old me possessed. I am still learning everyday to love, accept, and be gentler on this new me and her body. Yes, I am sad often, but I am also happy. I am not sure who I am becoming or what lies ahead for me next, but I am thankful for the tiniest set of hands that hold my heart. Grateful to be longing for someone and some place that are both out of my reach because they both remind me that this place is not my home. Thankful to be re-focusing my time, heart and energy on the things that eternally matter. Grateful to now know that less is very much indeed more and that this new me is not fixated on the minimal, miniscule, and temporary things and worries about this life. Thankful that whomever I am becoming and wherever it is that I may be going, I have a special angel constantly watching over me and my next steps.
I am a woman that feels empty but at the same time whose heart is yet so full. I am more passionate, motivated, and moved to learn about the parenting of a child that is in Heaven, breaking the silence, helping raise awareness (about Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), Incompetent Cervix (IC), and Infant Loss), and openly share my life-long grief journey with whomever wants to read or listen. I am not who I used to be -- but that doesn't make me any less, just different. And sometimes, different can be and is good. I am someone who is trying to be strong, hopeful in and faithful to my God and his work, and grateful for the things that I do physically have. I am trying, accepting, and working on consciously becoming the woman and the mother that my Haven Faith is proud to call her own. She is my reason now and she will always be.
And if you are reading this and going through your own loss, I pray that you can try, accept and on work on this too.
Children change you whether they are alive or have passed away.