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Blog

Grace Upon Grace

Ally Carmichael

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Here it is, the blog post I have been dreading writing the most. Since I stared this blog this post has been burning in the back of my mind. I’ve pushed it back and pushed it back but I can’t ignore it anymore. 

I know you are thinking, “Then don’t write it, talk about something else.” That would be the smart thing to do and for sure the easy thing to do but that’s not why I’m here. I start praying for these posts as soon as I finish my last one. I start asking God what is He wants brought to the table. If it was up to me I wouldn’t of shared anything that I have already shared with you all, I’m just selfish like that.

This subject I feel is kept in the dark and needs to be brought to the light and talked about more. I’m probably making this a much bigger deal than it is so I’m going to shut up now and get into it. 

This year has been tough. I've talked a little about this in previous posts so I won't harp on it much but overall it's just been a weird and trying year for Luke and myself. I think in many ways it is what has influenced me to start this blog. I need a space to turn to and share my thoughts and feelings because I'll admit I am full of those. Let’s start with the good, everyone likes good stuff. In many ways this year has been great. Luke is amazing (I have to add that in at least once each post), God is doing cool stuff with us and with people that we love, our dog is pretty cool, we have great friends, families and jobs. We really have a lot going for us and I do not discount any of these things.

As many things are going great for us there are some things working against us as well. I've questioned where my life is going and what career I should pursue more times than I can count. Life has been overwhelmingly busy for the both of us. Luke is filming 36 weddings this year so it's rare that he isn't at a wedding or working on one. I started and ended a job faster than I can type this blog post, and overall a lot of pieces of life just don't seem to be falling into place. All of which I know doesn't seem so tough. Here's where it gets personal. 

Added to all these things we decided as a couple that we thought it was time to start trying for a baby. The idea of adding to our little family was so exciting and it is still so amazing to think about. We kept itnon the down low, we didn't want to get anyones hopes up and in return get ours up so we kept it just between us for a long while. If you have ever been in the trying phase you know how consuming it can be. I suddenly got obsessed with watching the days tick by and waiting for the day I could test in hopes it would be positive. It's the definition of an emotional roller coaster. This went on for a few months and the obsession kept growing stronger for both of us. 

On May 11th, 2017 the day we had been waiting and praying for came. I tested positive, YAY! Even took another test just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Again if you have been in this position you know the excitement of that babe coming in 9 months starts almost immediately. We were so excited and we couldn't keep it in so we told both sets of our parents.

Without going into too much detail fast forward to that following Sunday, Mothers Day. All of those dreams above, shattered. I have actually left out a lot of detail in this part but it's not what I want to focus on. 

From Thursday to Sunday we had been planning and dreaming. We were so excited and so incredibly naive. It doesn't seem like a long time but for someone who has been there maybe you can validate that even 4 days seems like an eternity. You are suddenly extremely happy to be thinking of the months ahead and extremely terrified that you don't have what it takes to be parents. I started thinking about the ways to tell my friends and the rest of my family, dreaming up nurseries and suddenly questioning every food and drink choice I made. The emotional roller coaster ride continued. 

So, along with the initial excitement being ripped away, so came a ton of confusion. I'm new to this whole baby world so I didn't exactly understand what was happening in my own body. What had just happened? Was I still pregnant? Is there something wrong with me? All the questions were flooding my mind. With the confusion was also a ton of sadness and guilt. 

Here's where I want to stay and chat awhile. Even if you haven't been in this situation I think you may be able to relate here. I started crying Sunday when this was all happening and as soon as the tears started flowing a wave of guilt hit me. I started thinking of people that I had known who had carried babies for a month, months and even full term and then to loose them. I started thinking about all the things in my life that I have that people did have and no longer do or maybe never had. Then the feelings of shame set in. I started feeling ashamed of my sadness and pain. I thought that I was unworthy to be sad. I even started feeling guilty for even thinking I had the right to be sad. I didn't know where to turn because I didn't necessarily know anyone else who would understand. I mentioned in another post that the days of figuring out what was going on in my mind with anxiety were some of the loneliest I had ever had. Those were nothing compared to this. 

A dear friend of mine Mindy, was one of the only people I told at the time about what had happened. I spilled everything to her, the situation, the confusion, the feelings that I am not allowed to take time and deal with this (that's what I do best you know, bottle feelings up until one day they lead me to write down every feeling I've ever had in blog form and make people read it). But I gave her the unedited version of what I was thinking and you know what she said? "Ally, you need to show yourself some grace and let yourself be sad." She didn't condemn me, she didn't dismiss what had happened. She said words that I desperately needed to hear. Even if I didn't know how bad I needed to hear them until now. 

I have thought about that single line she spoke to me so much since she said it. I have thought about the idea of showing yourself grace so much since that day, because it just makes so much sense. The thing is we are all different. We all process things in our own special way. I am sure there are people who will think topics like this are not meant for a setting like this. When things happen people are going to try and tell you what's happening to you. They will try and tell you how you should feel and how you shouldn't feel. The truth is we serve a God who is so giving and has so much overflowing grace for us. If our goal is to be more like Christ then we should practice showing others grace and maybe even more importantly show ourselves a little grace. That statement makes sense doesn't it? If God shows us so much undeserving grace why are we so hesitant to show ourselves even just a little grace?

I didn't myself any grace. I gave myself approximately one day to be sad and then I told myself I needed to move on and that's what I did. When Luke would bring it up I would push it away which was damaging to not only myself but to him as well. I didn't talk about it, I fought back tears, I tried as hard as I could not to even think about it. I did this for so long that I became numb. The thing about numbness though is that it wears off. Just like when you visit the dentist and your mouth feels all funny for a while afterwards and you think you'll never be able to talk normal again. Eventually your mouth regains feeling and eventually you will regain feeling. It of course all caught up to me, at the worst possible moment might I add. I won't go into that.

That's why I'm here, maybe you are going through something similar or maybe it's not similar at all. I believe though at some point in your life you will be hurting and I just want to pass along the wisdom that was passed along to me. GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE. 

Process things in your own way and give yourself some time to get back on your feet. Another thing that was crazy helpful was surrounding myself with people who have been there. They understand your hurt in a way no one else could. Most importantly cling so tight to Christ. Usually when God is bringing you through something at least I have found this true for me, it's because He is about to show you a whole other beautiful side of Him. 

This was and is probably the hardest thing that Luke and I have gone through together as a couple. I will say that not once did we question God's goodness in this. I believe a baby is in our future, I believe God is going to see that vision through. Even if He doesn't I will choose to continue to believe in His goodness because in many times and in many areas of my life He has shown Himself to be worthy of all praise. My belief in His love and goodness is not circumstantial. My prayer and focus is that it stays this way for all my days. 

* I know some of you won't like that I didn't clear up exactly what happened so I'll tell ya. I went to the doctor a few weeks later and she confirmed that it was something called a Chemical Pregnancy. In other terms, a very early miscarriage. 

Love you all,

-Ally