“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Four years ago, on New Year's Eve, my husband rushed me to the hospital because I was pregnant and heavily bleeding. In that moment, I had an awful feeling that I would loose our baby, and sadly, I was correct. Sitting there in the hospital, I never thought that I would get over that trauma, and leaving was probably the most vulnerable moment of my life. As soon as we exited our room, I felt the nurses watching us walking through the corridor with their sympathetic gazes. I wanted to run. I couldn't wait to be in a place where no one would know the details of what we just went through.
We had gone through what no couple would ever wish upon their worst enemy, and the worst part was that it happened to us on a holiday where you're supposed to look forward to the coming year. Needless to say, it was hard to be hopeful for 2012 when you had a miscarriage on the first day of that year. But as a couple and as a family, we got through it. It was hard telling our friends and extended families, but we were so blessed with their added support. It was shortly into the year that we also decided we were going start living more in the moment and stop putting things off, and as part of that new mantra, we packed up and hit Disney World and visited both sides of our families with the boys.
As you can imagine, as the New Year holiday approaches each year, it is bittersweet. I have wonderful memories of New Year parties from my childhood, but that dark spot from 2012 is still there. But with each time I talk about our experience and each passing year, that spot becomes a little smaller. And with each passing year, I can see God's plan working in a way that I wasn't able to see before.
I know it sounds crazy, but I truly believe that God intended for me to have a miscarriage. At the time, I questioned everything I knew about God. I asked him how he could be real if He could allow things like this to happen to our family. And then, one of my best friends had a miscarriage. Instantly, I sprung into action by helping her with her children, comforting her, and making a meal for her family - the things that I wish had been done for me but no one thought to do or could do due to distance. It was the first time I had been thankful that I had been in her position. Even though I couldn't offer much, I was able to offer her comfort because I knew exactly what she was feeling and some of what she needed to hear. As time went on, it happened to a few other friends and I realize that one in four women will have a miscarriage. I realized that just simply sharing my story could help other women move on.
So every New Year's, instead of being sad that I had something horrible happen to me on the holiday, I show gratitude that I can help so many women move past one of the worst things that will ever happen to them, and I understand the emotions that they have to work through to be happy again. Each year, I will begin my year being grateful for my bad experience, as crazy as that sounds. I will remind myself every year that it is important to show gratitude for both the good and the bad, which is why this year, I have chosen the word Gratitude for my 2016 mantra. In life, we all have to work through hardships, but in doing so, we learn important lessons that cause not only us to grow, but also give us the opportunity to share our stories and help others grow from hearing our experiences as well.
I hope that everyone has a joyous and grateful 2016! Namaste.