How Pain Taught Me To Give Away My Story (by Shea Poe) // #ScaryStories part 10

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I need a little sprinkle of Nate Berkus in every room of my house, and by sprinkle I mean Nate Berkus basically threw up in my entire house, because Nate Berkus.

My most prominent Nate-sprinkle is this wall tapestry.

My husband and I bought it 8.9 months ago on February 25th.

I know because that was 35 weeks ago.

And 35 weeks plus two days ago I was filled with hope and joy and a baby.

A baby I was supposed to have this Halloween.

The baby my husband and I had been hoping and praying and begging and waiting 3 years to have.

A baby that took 3 doctors, 2 surgeries, dozens of meds, an armful of appointments and a jar full of tears to get to.

A baby that only lived 5 weeks and 2 days.

This wasn’t going to be our story.  This wasn’t the story that I wrote.  The story I wrote was bright with surprises + confetti + excitement and joy.  The story I picked didn’t include the pain that swallowed us up for years and years.  It didn’t have letters like IVF and 36 NEGATIVEs.  It wasn’t supposed to be shots and pills and hormones.  Infertility has been my very worst pain.  It’s cost me my body, my sanity and thousands and thousands of dollars.

Pain has taught me to be present in the story being written for us right here, right now; and that what’s hurt and broken can be fixed.

I have a favorite songwriter who’s said, it’s when you’re breaking down, with your insides comin’ out, that’s when you find out what your heart is made of.

Infertility has made me look at what’s inside.  It’s shown me a lot of what I didn’t want to see and at the same time helped me see things I think I might have missed in the light.

Pain has taught me to be generous with my story. Tweet This

Telling my story has let me into so many other people’s incredible, horrible, beautiful and terrifying stories that I’m so thankful I didn’t miss.

It’s taught me to serve others.  Infertility is a self-consuming journey.  You trick yourself into thinking your pain is bigger and worse than anyone else’s around you, that’s not true.

It’s taught me to Trust God, Not Google. Tweet This

Pain has taught me to be present in the story being written for us right here, right now; and that what’s hurt and broken can be fixed.

I’ve learned hope isn’t just trusting or believing that eventually it will all work out how I want it to.  Hope has become a daily and constant working and re-working inside of me.

This darkness has taught me to grieve.

It’s pushed me to believe God is just as good today as he was the day we found out that little life was gone.

Pain has pried my hands from everything else and left me desperately, sometimes barely, grabbing for Him.

Our story had us hoping for a baby, then pregnant, then not, and now hoping and waiting again.

My husband and I are currently in the middle of an adoption.  All of our t’s are crossed and I’s dotted, and trust me, there were a lot of them… We’re just waiting.  We’ve found new life here, a fresh breath.  With the completion of our first set of paperwork, laughter entered our home again.  Smiles + joy + excitement.  We’re in some way free to dream and hope once more.

3 weeks ago I was walking through Target, I know, I know, Nate Berkus is a seductive-homes-temptress, dressed in flannel sheets, rolled in printed throw rugs, I can’t stay away.

I was walking through Target and I saw a onesie hanging on an end cap that said “My First Halloween”. My heart sank.  My watery eyes took me by surprise.

I thought I could avoid October 31st.  I thought the weeks of counting milestones that never came had passed.  I thought my joy and excitement for this baby could somehow numb the pain of all that was lost. Some pain never leaves you, it demands to be felt.

Instead of dressing myself up in avoidance and bitterness this Halloween, I want to celebrate that little life that very much deserves celebrating.  Some people release a balloon or plant a tree or do a number of things on their due dates to remember their lost babes.  I want to honor ours by honoring all of you.

On the day we found out we were pregnant we went on a YES tour.  We had sweet texts pouring in all day hoping and praying with us for that long awaited POSITIVE test.  After 3 years of NO, a text just didn’t seem right to share the very best YES.  So we spent the whole afternoon and evening taking pictures as we showed up at people’s houses and face-timing them with our most joyful news.

Every now and again I come across all those photos on my phone or computer and I get that shock of pain, that sinking feeling in my stomach.  I’ve never known what to do with all these smiling faces and tears of joy and thankfulness.

If pain has taught me anything, if it’s changed me and grown me in any way, it is has been in learning what it means to share it with others.  These are the people who fed me, and watched my dog, and brought me gifts and hoped and prayed with every surgery and procedure.  They cheered for me and hoped for me when mine was all used up.  These people were the ones that reminded me that hope can grow in dark places.

Here’s to you little one, and all those that prayed for you and celebrated you and loved you so much.  

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Shea Poe is a writer, creator, and discipleship catalyzer in Kansas City. She blogs at The Poe Project. She and her husband Derek are near the finish line for their adoption fundraiser. Check it out here.

How do you see your pain pushing you to be generous with your story? Tweet This

Read more Scary Stories.

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October 29, 2015