The moment you wake up and realize things are not as they once were. Your view has been shifted and your outcome is no longer secure in the facts and evidence you once held in your tightly clenched hands. Where your future is now murky and your destination is anywhere but right here.
Loss is defined as the process of losing something or someone. How can something that is so personal, painful, be described so nonchalantly. Loss should be defined as the deafening pain of your future being ripped away. Because that is what it feels like, even down to the smallest of circumstances. The moment you look down and realize, your wedding ring has vanished among the crashing waves and has now become fish food, devastating. The day you show up for work, ready to dive deep and get busy, just to be told there have been another round of cuts, earth shattering. The appointment the doctor says nothing but just looks at you with those sad eyes, heart breaking. The future you had envisioned has been permanently disturbed and you have been thrown into a new dimension of life you aren’t familiar with.
Loss is not a new term for any of us. My first experience with loss was as a small child on a softball field. I’m sure there were many treasures I lost prior to this but my brain can only go back so far with accurate account. So back to the softball field, it wasn’t just the game that I lost but the joy. The confidence that I was going to be any good, because lets be real, I wasn’t. My MVP brother got all the sports genes and no matter how hard I tried, if I chose his exact number and mimicked all his moves, it was not my wheelhouse. I was not a softball player. Or a basketball player. And definitely not a volleyball player. In those moments, I lost an identity that I wanted and felt could be mine. I lost the future that I would be cheered and adorned from the sidelines, first pick in the cut throat recess games of who’s who. But what I found? What I was good at. I was cheerful, optimistic and funny. I still signed up for all the athletic stuff because, to be honest, I just liked hanging out with my friends. While I wasn’t first draft pick, I was the sideline friend that cheered and consoled my team. I was me.
Loss would take a heavy turn in the 6th grade when I would attend my first funeral of my childhood best friend to cancer. No 10 year old should no the heaviness of cancer, the deathtrap of pain left behind and the suffocation of security, but in 1993, I sat in a room of 200 plus mourners and said goodbye to Brooke Lynn Cowan. A beautiful, joyful soul that was soft spoken, kind and athletic. The loss of her would leave me confused and worrisome. This loss took away the fantasy of my future. I knew I no longer lived in a world of possibility but a world of reality where everything could be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. This loss took a precious friend and left behind the aftermath of a broken family that was never repaired. Her parents would later divorce and her twin brother would go on to blame himself for her death and self medicate. It was a devastating future all around and it all started with loss. In that loss, among the innocence, confusion and pain, I found my zest. My zest to live out the very dreams that I once believed were already true and actually make them true, because life was precious. I became an enthusiast that didn’t take no lightly and made things happen, because life is short. In this loss, I found a future of creativity, even if I had no clue in that moment of pain.
The loss continued, with more funerals, miscarriages and valued possessions. With relationships broken and pieces of my future completely erased. In the moment of pain, grief, it’s hard to see what you are taking away and that’s because you haven’t reached that point yet. The perspective of your past isn’t present until you have walked through the pain. Until you have done the hard, heart work of crying, yelling, talking, feeling. Grief, loss, pain is a life long process with no timeline. It doesn’t come with a manual and there is no therapist or pill that can fix you on the spot, while both of these can be a much needed resource to walk you through this difficult time. Loss is survived by life. Continuing to wake up and just feel it, down to your bones. Own your pain but don’t get lost in it. Feel it while working through it, not avoiding it.
The loss I feel today is bigger than the baby I carried for 9 weeks. It’s the loss of carrying any more children, being my fourth miscarriage, my heart is done. I can not walk this treacherous path again. My heart has bled dry. I must now repair it. I must embrace the 3 amazing miracles that do walk among this earth with me and sit in their joy, repairing. I must sit with my husband, letting his love shower me and I must receive it, repairing. I must listen, worship and meditate on His word, reminding me of the life I was (and was not) promised, checking my pride, repairing. There is grief in knowing I’ll never again feel the kicks of a baby in my belly or the pushing during that last contraction (lets be clear, I take all safe drugs during labor, so my euphoria of labor is most definitely scewed). Nursing a baby and watching my body grow, gone. But in this loss, I will too find something. I will too see a future that was already thought out and designed with me in mind. I can’t lay it out just yet, because I’m not there. I am still walking down the dark alley of pain but I do see a soft still light waiting for me in the distance, I know I will get there. I just have to keep walking, keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Friends, no matter where you find yourself in the realm of loss, be it a relationship, a career, a baby or just the way you thought your life would turn out….just know that you are still here, still alive. Until that loss comes that takes you home, to your heaven, your eternity, you are still making an impact and change in this life. He is not done with you yet. Life is full of disappointments and sadness but it’s also laced with happiness and hope for what’s to come. When I reach my final destination, when I go home, I will finally be able to write my last chapter. I will see the final masterpiece that was being created this whole time, dotting all my i’s and crossings all my t’s. All will be made right, all will be made new. I will laugh at all the worry I plagued my earthly self with, knowing that He had me covered and protected the whole time. I will forgive myself for all my past mistakes and realize that those too are what made me, me.
Our book is still being written. Will you keep showing up to write it?
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” Psalm 34:17-20
Cry out, He will hear you. He will deliver you. This too shall pass.
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