FREE TO BE WEAK
On a deeply humid Saturday in June, my husband and I went to a nearby lake and hiked a bit before jumping into the refreshingly cold water. Usually, I am a sucker for steep hikes. I enjoy the challenge of making my way up to the very top and pushing myself to the extreme just to know for myself, “I can do this.” Well, this time was different. I was in the very early weeks of pregnancy and my body could not handle the steep upward climb. I was literally panting and having to stop quite often. I pushed a bit harder but my husband and my body said, “No, we’re not doing this.” It was a humbling moment for me to admit that I had limits. I just needed my mind to catch up with what my heart was telling me.
Do you relate?
Days later I had a revelation about this moment in the woods. God spoke to me and said, “Hope, you’re enough. You don’t always need to get to the top. You don’t always need to push yourself so hard; trying to measure up to your own perfect standards. I love you at the bottom. I love you half way. I love you at the top. I don’t want perfection from you. All I want is you.”
Perfection. Oh gosh. That word carries a lot of weight for me as I am sure it does for you also. Perfection comes from my desire to have the world I live in be without brokenness. It comes from my passion to see wholeness in my own life, my family, my friends…and the countless situations around me. The reality, though, is that we live in a fallen world with one PERFECT SAVIOR who died for all mankind so that we could live eternally with our Heavenly Father. Nothing is perfect here on this earth. Not my body. Not my husband. Not my family. Not my neighborhood. Not my city or nation. All of us experience pain and loss. Victories and joys.
After being married for less than two months, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child! Neither one of us will forget June 6, 2019…the day we found out I was pregnant. To say that we were shocked would be an understatement. It took a good solid month of processing, sharing with family and friends to then come to the point of being really excited to start a family. Never had we planned to get pregnant so quickly into marriage but we joyfully received the news with thankfulness. Yes. We were both joyful and terrified at becoming parents. Prayers began to surround our little one growing inside of me; dedicating our first baby to the Lord. We made the first initial set of doctor’s appointments while waiting anxiously for the day to hear our baby’s heartbeat.
The day came.
And it brought unexpected news that lead us to our knees.
After two separate ultrasounds within a 5 hour time frame, we heard…nothing. There was no heartbeat and the gestational sac was seen to be irregular (or abnormal). Our midwife advised us that it was quite possible I would miscarry and waiting would be our only option. Soon after these appointments I started to show symptoms of miscarrying that increased over the next two and a half weeks. Me and my husband grieved. And we grieved some more. We prayed at home and in the emergency room while I couldn’t control anything going on inside of my body. I needed to be weak. I needed to let my husband carry me. I needed to be honest with myself and others. I needed to cry out to Jesus in the pain. I needed to surrender my will and insatiable need to have it all together.
And oh…isn’t this the forever anthem of our lives? We will forever be faced with opportunities to lay down our plan and embrace the journey of trust. If there is anything my soul is yearning to tell you, dear one, it is this:
You are FREE to be weak.
Your weakness is a gift because it reminds you of your humanity.
Friend, God loves humanity. He loves our brokenness. He loves our fractured hearts. He loves to hold us as we cry. He loves the mess within us.
I don’t know the circumstances that surround you today and I won’t offer shallow words that only cause more agitation to your open wounds. What I can offer you is sustainable through the valley and on the mountaintop: Jesus is with you in your sorrow and He is with you in your joy. And yes, it is possible to experience both at the same time. And it’s good and healthy.
To all of our family and friends who have carried us through...we love you. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and for surrounding us when we were weak. We are deeply thankful for you. To all those wondering how we are doing: We are at complete peace, knowing our baby is with Jesus.
So…I leave you today with the same words I wrote above. You are free to be weak.
To any woman who needs encouragement and comfort while walking through a miscarriage, please do not hesitate to reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are loved.