On September 29th, 2016, my world changed. After 3 years of trying and a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, I found myself staring in disbelief at a positive pregnancy test. I had to go outside in the backyard and start screaming, I couldn't contain my overwhelming joy.
Then on October 31st, 2016, my world changed again. The doctor could no longer detect a heartbeat on the ultrasound. A doctor's office has never felt so small, and I had to run outside to weep, weep harder than I've ever done in all my life.
It's been a little over 2 months since that day, and the overwhelming weight of grief has subsided. The unexpected waves that hit are fewer and fewer. But my front row seat with pain and heartbreak will always be there. It's part of my story now.
Several weeks ago I awoke in the middle of the night with a clear vision that I needed to bring to life. So often since the miscarriage I've felt myself just wanting to grasp and grasp to get this baby back. It felt like a desperate effort, that no matter how hard I grasped, it was impossible. I was grasping at the wind. And I began to think of so many of you who have dreams for your life that just aren't possible right now. And I asked many of my friends what some of those dreams were that you've had to surrender. Through that, this photo shoot was born.
I wanted a way to acknowledge the painful things we face today, in surrendering the things we have no control over. For me, it was a baby long awaited for and taken far too soon. For others it's having a job that you love and are passionate about. For many of you it's traveling the world, getting married, owning a home, or having a relationship with a dad you never knew. A mom who left you, or a spouse taken too soon.
There are seasons of life that joy and all manner of good things abound. And there are seasons where your heart is attuned to pain and suffering. I'm in that latter season - my heart is fully attuned to those around me grieving in one way or another. I've allowed myself to feel pain to it's fullest and not hide from it (My heart is also full with the good, good gift of the sweet kindness and presence of Jesus, given so abundantly to me when I don't deserve it).
So to those of you having to surrender dreams, to those of you facing unimaginable heartache and suffering, this is for you. I also listened to this incredible podcast from Jenna Kutcher and Emily Meyers, about handling grief publicly. I could NOT have gotten through these past couple of months without being so open and vulnerable about our pain. If you're facing terrible grief right now, I don't want you to be stuck in that place. Talk to me, talk to someone - just don't face it alone anymore. I pray you find hope in the midst of your great grief.