This may be an odd title for a post, but it is on my heart to share with you today.
How many times has God asked us to do something or tell someone something, we don’t follow through?
Lately, I have been feeling stuck. I have been praying and praying for direction, what to focus on in my life, but nothing clear.
Then I realized yesterday, it has been clear for a long time, but I was choosing to ignore God’s direction.
The Miscarriage Project
Most of you know of my recently published book, The Miscarriage Project: Testimonials of Parents of Who Found Hope in God.
Finally becoming a published author is a dream come true for me!
However, I didn’t expect the before, during, and after process to be so hard! To name a few challenges:
First, you have to write your manuscript. Short like a children’s book, or long like a novel, both take a lot of time to brainstorm, write, edit, rewrite, etc.
Next, finding a publisher willing to publish your work is the hardest part. This is something I had to do a lot of research to find.
The publishing process is such a waiting game and is necessary to have business and marketing knowledge (or know someone who does), I’ve had to learn most of this from scratch – research and asking others a lot of questions.
Once you are published (and beforehand), comes the marketing. This, for me, has been the most challenging part.
How do I help people find out about my book without breaking the bank? How do I convince them to then read it?
Asking the Wrong Questions
I will be the first to admit, it is so easy to get caught up in the ways of the world.
Be this way, and people will love you.
Make this sacrifice, and it will be worth it. Your family will understand.
You have to work 24/7 to make any dent in your business.
You will never make it in this business, unless you take shortcuts, compromise relationships for progress, and think of yourself first.
None of these statements are true, but we believe them so easily.
Instead of writing to make money or to sell books (to provide for my family), I am only effective if I use my gifts for God’s glory.
The world makes so many empty promises. Why do we continue to believe them?
Our true purpose of our existence is not to spend our lives afraid of insignificance, and striving for impossible perfection, according to the world’s ever-changing standards.
We have God-given purpose – to love God, to love others.
The world leads us to believe we deserve whatever we want. As long as we work hard enough, we can do or be anything we want.
This is faulty logic, when God really created us for a specific purpose.
No matter how hard I want to be perfect, only Christ is perfect. Only through Him can we be sanctified – continually made more and more like Christ in his attributes.
The God-Shaped Hole
When I think of this concept, I think of these song lyrics, “there’s a God-shaped hole in all of us.”
There is always this lingering emptiness in our hearts. A desire to matter, to be whole, to find peace.
The world offers so many counterfeits to fill this whole, but only our true Lord and Savior, Messiah and friend, can fill it and truly complete us.
We lost this fullness and unbroken connection with God when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Ever since then, we have lived lives of brokenness, sin, and chaos.
However, our story doesn’t end there. Jesus Christ made this connection possible yet again with his death on the cross, and resurrection to the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
Hope in the Struggle
The amazing news: God doesn’t leave us alone in our pain and struggles. We have hope of a new, eternal future:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Rev 21:4 NLT)
Now that is the true “happily ever after” you’ve been waiting for.
I don’t know about you, but I am glad 2019 is over!
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all bad, but has been a huge struggle for me.
This year, I published my first book (The Miscarriage Project), launched my new business brand, Bold and Beautiful. My husband graduated with his MA, and honestly, forgot this until I was reminded, because this year has been so full – the good, the bad, and the ugly!
This year I struggled. This has been the hardest year in terms of dealing with anxiety. I don’t know which is worse, the anxiety or the depression. Either your’e too sad and sluggish to get out of bed, or you’re too jittery and scared to go to bed. It’s a toss up.
Just within 2019, we lost so many people. In our church congregation, there were 12 funerals. I lost my one and only college roommate to cancer, and one of our college brother-floor guys committed suicide, both just before Thanksgiving. One grandma-in-law died in August, and the other, was admitted to the nursing home 2 days before Christmas. Not to mention all of the miscarriages, (of people I know), experienced this year.
This was a sad, sad year people. Tears well up in my eyes as think about the preceding paragraph. So much loss.
However, every new year brings a fresh new season of hope.
In 2020, I hope to:
Beat anxiety and depression, as I gradually go off my meds.
Invest in my personal and spiritual health.
Be more intentional making “breathing room” in my and my families lives and schedules.
Publish 1-2 more books this year.
Not avoid what God has me to do, but boldly charge ahead to fulfill the call.
Fully grieve those I’ve lost.
For myself, I know I have so many goals and hopes for this new year, and probably by next December, I will have forgotten them. Although, if I press on, be consistent, and remind myself what I’m aiming for, then I will stay focused on the prize ahead.
“God, please help me to have a more calm and peaceful year. Give me eyes to see those I am to help, and give me strength to say no to those things that will steal my time, joy, and family time. Sustain me every moment with your love, peace, comfort, and joy. Protect me as I follow you, and watch over my family. Give me the boldness to follow your calling for my life this year. In Jesus name, Amen.“
Hooray! My first ever book release party is in the books!
First, I want to give a special thank you and shout out to Eric and Kristen Meeter, owners of Pressed Studio + Store in downtown Spencer. You both were an amazing couple to work with, and am so thankful for your wisdom, guidance, and hospitality.
Second, I want to thank Bri Schubert, owner of Bri Lifestyle Photography, for capturing the evening on film. Those pictures to come later, but so thankful for her willingness to be a part of the night.
Last but not least, I want to thank my friends and family, as well as everyone else who was in attendance. As the author, I was so blessed to see the faces of those who the book will be impacting and I pray it is a blessing to each and everyone who reads it.
As I reflect on the events of last night’s book release party, I find myself both joyous and thankful, as well as resistant and distant to God. Let me explain why.
The Due Date
As some of you know, yesterday was not only the book release party, but it was also my son’s due date, three years ago. Some asked if I did this on purpose, but I myself didn’t realize it until after the event had been scheduled.
When I realized the common date, I felt this sense of awe and deep sadness. What a better way to honor his memory, on his due date anniversary, than to share his story, our story, to those who need it most.
As a grieving mom, I am so thankful for the growth and healing that has taken place since then.
Vulnerable to Resentment
Yet, there is still part of me that is vulnerable, angry, and resentful. Just because I published a book about my experience, does not mean I stopped struggling with these feelings.
No matter how much I’ve already written about our miscarriage, it still stings. No matter how many times I’ve poured my heart and soul out, sharing with someone, there is still a somberness that remains. Can anybody relate?
Have in Common
As I was talking to several women and couples at the signing, I began to see a pattern among their experiences.
Not so Comforting Words
First, words from others can be more hurtful than helpful. If you haven’t been through it, don’t pretend to understand. Don’t try to fix it – because let’s face it, you’re not God – and you can’t.
Never assume it’s anyone’s fault but Satan, the deviser of evil, destruction, death, and despair. Who are you to know the true reason a baby dies? Who are you to yoke someone in despair, with an impossibly heavy burden?
From many women I’ve talked to, several have made comments about their husbands or significant other’s reaction to the miscarriage.
Sadly, many say their husband dismisses it and disregards the wife’s feelings about the loss of their child.
After talking to my husband on several occasions, I have some compassion for these dads. My husband explained he didn’t get a chance to bond with our son. As such, his grieving looked much different than mine, and lasted much less time.
However, I urge husbands to have compassion on your wives. Don’t push her away because you are afraid to be vulnerable with her, or to seem weak. She needs to see you are hurting, so she knows she isn’t alone. You are the father, you are the only one she can truly share this baby with, and the loss of them.
To be honest, I have struggled for weeks with anxiety and worrying about this release party. Not because of anything circumstantial, but simply because of my inner struggle.
Yesterday, I was finally about to put that to rest. Those who attending the party blessed me with their stories and support. I am truly thankful for the treasure God produced out of our tragedy.
*I dedicate the party and this post to our son. We love you Sweetheart!*
For those of you who’ve been following my writing and publishing journey, of The Miscarriage Project, I have exciting news!!
After a three-and-a-half-year long journey, The Miscarriage Project is finally published and to purchase, as of yesterday!!
Behind the Cover
Here is the official Cover Reveal for my special blog readers:
It may seem a bit simplistic, but that is how I intended it to be. I didn’t want to trigger anyone who might read the book, with anything too sentimental or graphic.
Instead, the idea came to me of the three hearts, you see above.
Red & Black Hearts
The red heart signifies the life of the child, but also the love of the parents for the child. The black heart signifies the death of the child, as well as the grief, pain, and loss experienced by the parents.
However, my favorite heart is the gold heart, which signifies the eternal life with Jesus that child has, as well as the hope parents can have in Jesus Christ, their ultimate Healer and Comforter.
I Have a Story…
Since God gave me this idea for the cover, rich with symbolism, an awesome coincidence happened.
While I was running an errand for a friend, in an office, I spotted something – and what do you suppose I saw?
You got it! Three hearts, colored with the exact three colors you see above! This decoration had an arrow through it, which looked quite exciting in my opinion.
Words of Wisdom
However, after consulting some trusted people in my life, I decided to not include the arrow, because it may give the wrong message.
I though it would be neat, because the Bible talks about children being like arrows in the quiver of a warrior, and I loved the symbolism there .
Even though we lost these children, their lives still matter and matter for God’s eternal kingdom.
Although, to others, it may represent their death and pain, and that was not what I wanted for my readers.
My vision for this book is to help as many parents as possible!
Here’s how you can help:
1 – First and foremost, you can pray. Pray for the book to reach the people who so desperately need it. Pray it is a comfort for them.
2 – Purchase a book for yourself or a friend. This way, you can share this wonderful resource and pass the word, so the book can reach farther than we can imagine! Here is the current link to purchase the book:
God is so amazing! He even worked out for a friend I met through B.S.F. (Bible Study Fellowship) last year, to contact me. It just so happens she works for our local hospital’s OB department, and is in charge of their bereavement services.
Thanks be to God!
Can I get an Amen to that?! I am so beyond blessed by God’s faithfulness and I pray our pain and sorrow can ease someone else’s.
Thank you for your prayers and support through this journey! I am so excited to see God’s impact with this book and how He will transform lives for the glory of His name.