Closet Brokeness

Unfortunately, everyone has brokenness in their lives.  Ranging from divorce to loneliness to death, we are surrounded by events that can cause our faith to struggle.  Even more unfortunate is that it is sometimes hard for us to share this brokenness with others, especially in our faith community.  I don’t know why, but it’s hard to share something so incredibly personal – maybe because there really isn’t a forum for it in church.

About a week ago, I had coffee with a good friend.  With this friend we can talk about anything.  And I’m so fortunate to be able to talk to her about what I consider my brokenness to be.  As we talked about my emotions, how I was handling the fear, she mentioned that everyone has a brokenness that isn’t clear to everyone else.  Rather, it becomes a closet brokenness.  A brokenness that no one talks about in the open; rather it’s shared behind close doors.  And will maybe get shared when a situation needs to be explained.

If you follow me on Facebook or are family, then you know some of my struggles.   But I don’t always share my emotions behind it.  Part of that is because I want to protect myself.  Protect myself from being judged.  Protect myself from not acting the way others think I should act.  But most importantly, because I don’t want people to be uncomfortable around me.  I love God, I love my husband and family, and I love my community.  The last thing I want to do is for people to not know what to say around me.

The last year has been a struggle.  My relationship with Adam became even more incredible than I imagined because of it.  But most importantly, my relationship and understanding of Christ has become deepened through the events of the past year.  It would be easy for me to say I hate God; I hate Him for what he has taken away from me.  But I can’t.  His Son was taken away from Him.  I can’t imagine the loss He felt,  I can’t imagine the anger He felt.  But, I can.

I think for you to really understand my brokenness, I have to share from the very beginning.  The beginning of a journey I never would have imagined Adam and I would take on the way to becoming parents.

It all began in the Spring of 2012.  When we were married in 2008 we knew we wanted to be parents.  The desire has always been very strong.  But there were goals we wanted to meet before we started trying.  We repaired and renovated our house so it would be safe to bring an infant home and raise a child.  I don’t think asbestos is good for child development, right?  🙂  We earned our Master’s degrees so we wouldn’t have to worry about not spending time with our babies while pursuing higher education.  We began paying down our debt (student loans you are my nemesis…), but most importantly we began preparing ourselves emotionally as future parents.

Being the planners we are, we planned in the Spring of 2012 we would try to conceive in August that way I would have all of May off and really be able to have the best maternity leave.  That was our plan.  Don’t you remember what they say about plans?  If you want to make God laugh, then make plans.  I must have God rolling on the floor up in heaven.  🙂

So it came as a HUGE surprise when we got pregnant that June.  What?!  It only took a month?  It only took one month to try?!  I was shocked.  I was ecstatic.  But most importantly I couldn’t believe it.  But God was preparing me.  He was preparing for me a tough journey.  It wasn’t because of what I was feeling when I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test, but rather it was because of a voice I heard in church a month prior.  You are going to miscarry.  It was clear as day and came completely out of the blue during the last verse of a hymn.  But I didn’t want to believe it.  This was my first pregnancy.  Miscarriages don’t happen on a first pregnancy.  But it did.

Adam had left for a teacher’s conference out of state for 10 days shortly after finding out we were pregnant.  To say he was in shock was an understatement.  While he was excited, he later told me he was nervous.  Not only did Adam leave for a teacher’s conference shortly after, I left for a few days of cooking at church camp.  While I camp I didn’t have a lot of time to think of the new miracle that was growing.

But I was forced to think about it when I began spotting that next week.  I had just visited the doctor the previous day and was told that if there was any type of spotting to call.  My ignorance was trying to tell me everything was going to be alright, but there was a voice that I couldn’t shake.  This was not good.

When I arrived at the clinic, I was told my doctor wasn’t in the office.  My care was now in the hands of another doctor I had never met.  I was alone, with a doctor whose bedside manner was to be desired, and I was terrified.  Within a few hours I was told the news I knew was inevitable;  I was going to miscarry.

I will never forget the outpouring of love I received not only from my mom, but also from a dear aunt and uncle.  Remember, Adam was hours away, and I was a mess.  And if I haven’t expressed my thankfulness, please accept it now.

I had no idea how to heal from an experience like this.  It felt like all I talked about was the loss of a dream, how empty I felt, and where do I go from here.  And because I didn’t want to bother people, after awhile I kept my emotions in.  I didn’t tell people how I thought about my baby daily.  How the pregnancy would be developing, etc.  And it especially didn’t help we didn’t get pregnant for another nine months.  I couldn’t help but think if there was seriously wrong with me physically and emotional.

But then, this past Spring, two lines appeared on the pregnancy test.  Finally.  This was it.  This would be our baby.  While we were excited, there was a part of us that were holding back.  What if, what if, what if…  About the same time in the pregnancy I began spotting again.  To say I was disappointed was a complete understatement.  I was devastated.  What kind of a woman am I that I can’t protect my babies?

I was very fortunate this summer to not work.  Normally I would have worked part time hours, tried to get a few home projects done, worked on school things, and then head right back to school.  This summer has been different.  I have been forced to deal with the emotions I feel, good or bad.  I have been forced to cry at awkward times, rely on people.

I am hopeful, we are hopeful for the future.  Our doctor has told us we can continue to try.  In his words, we have just had bad luck.

God is good.

All the time God is good.

Amen.

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7 responses to “Closet Brokeness

  1. Bless you for sharing that others may know as you journey healing. You insight is awesome as you hold your faith strong. I admire you. I also ache for you, for the brokeness….you are so right, people just don’t know that there are many closet broken people around…. Be well and may God give you the blessings you deserve in His timing as He always does!

  2. Jill,
    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your brokenness. It is easy to think other people have perfect lives by what we see on Facebook/Blogs and we find ourselves feeling less than adequate or envious of others. I have a different brokenness that is hard to talk about or put into words, maybe some day I will feel brave enough to write about it as you have.
    I hope you continue to find healing and hope in Christ.
    Blessings,
    ~Gretchen

  3. Jill! Keep the faith! I had two miscarriages then three full term pregnancies! Thanks for sharing your story. It’s not always easy to talk about it.

  4. I, too, think of my baby who would have been starting his/her junior year in high school. At the time, we weren’t prepared for another baby–our second wasn’t even a year old yet. God’s timing, while rarely “good” in our shortsighted view, is perfect. Our third child came along when we (seriously) least expected, and is one of the greatest joys of our lives. We had our own challenges–three preemies (severely so)–but our faith, and the support of our families, kept us going. God’s plan may not be clear, but it is good. Hold tight to God, and to each other, and know you have our prayers.

  5. There are some people in this world that just deserve to be parents. You and Adam exceed any of those requirements. You both are such amazing people; loving, caring, GOOD people. God only, knows why he put such heartbreak and frustration in your path. Reading the Facebook posts you mentioned… were so saddening. Please know you’re in our prayers!

  6. Thanks for sharing, Jill! We pray for you and Adam. We all have things we go through that we don’t understand, and it is hard. Thanks for being so brave to share. We love you guys!

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