Hey! I’m Joy Carlson! I’m a Jesus lover, presence seeker and wifey. I’m a caregiver by nature. You’ll usually find me spending most of my time with others. Can you say extrovert? Emerald green is my favorite color and Mexican food is my jam.
Let’s talk about loss.
If you’ve experienced loss of any kind, I’m sorry. My heart goes out to you and breaks with you. Know that I see you and am with you. You are on the forefront of my mind as I am writing this today. Let this be a reminder that you are not alone and you are not forgotten.
Loss is hard. Really hard. Loss is something strangely enough that we can all relate to and have experienced at some point throughout our lives. But what do we do when we experience loss? How do we navigate through these tricky waters and make it out ok on the other side? These are all questions I’ve been asking myself and God lately. A month ago and some change, my hubby and I found out on our first ultrasound that our baby had no heartbeat. Talk about a cruel April fools joke. Our hearts were devastated, afterall this was the 2ndbaby that we’ve lost. I had made it farther in this pregnancy than I had previously and was sure that our little one was going to make it into our arms. Not anymore.
Now I’ve been forced to deal with an entirely different reality. All of the feelings of anger, deep sorrow and utter numbness all rush in at once leaving me stunned, unsure of what to do next. So I take a deep breath, tears streaming down my face and say, “Help, Lord.” I suddenly found myself in the valley of the shadow of death and was frozen. I knew that this trauma could take me out or produce something greater in me than I didn’t even know was possible. I knew my only way to get through this was to literally let Jesus lead me step by step through this valley. Now listen, I am in no way claiming to have this all figured out and offer you an easy 3 step process to blow through grief and loss. But what I am offering you is the authenticity of my journey and what I’m learning so far. I think it’s so important to open up this dialogue and to create conversation around miscarriage and loss to help one another get through this maybe a little less scarred. My strategy so far has been to fight for honesty. Honesty with Jesus, my husband, family and with my close friends. It’s amazing how easy that is to shut down, to not let anyone in… and that is a dangerous breeding ground for lies and self destruction to brew.
One thing that was surprising to me on this journey is that I am experiencing soul trauma. My soul has been wounded, deeply wounded and I can’t make it hurry up and heal so I can get back to my normal. This is literally unchartered waters for me. If you think about it, we’re a triune being: spirit, soul and body, right? I’ve spent most of my life tending to my spirit and my body but haven’t really known what to do with my soul at all. It’s kinda just laid dormant in me until now. What I’ve been learning is how important our soul is to God. In Psalm 23, it says that He restores and revives my soul. He does that, not me. I can’t fix this broken part of me, only HE can. What this has looked like for me is surrender. Surrendering control, surrendering my ways, dreams and letting go so He can do the necessary work and healing in me. I’m reading this book right now called “Crushing: God turns pressure into power” by T. D. Jakes and y’all… it is totally wrecking me in a good way! If I could recommend one book to you other than the Bible to help equip you get through loss it would be this book. He talks about how the valley was never meant to be our permanent destination and because we often times don’t know how to get through it we stay there… but we don’t have to. If we put our trust in God, include Him in all of the emotions, lean on Him during setbacks, He will lead you through. He’s leading me through right now. One day at a time with Him. Take bite sized bites and bring it to Him. Let him restore your wounded soul. He cares. He’s madly in love with you, He grieves the loss with you. He will take this devastating situation and turn it around for your good and the good of others. There is HOPE for you, hope for me. We don’t have to stay broken and bruised, Let him in, let him guide you.
“He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength…” Psalm 23:2-3
Although I don’t have all of the answers, one thing I know for sure is this.
You’ll come out more beautiful and stronger than you ever imagined. He is with you.