I have never been one to struggle with my identity. Before I had a child I knew that I was emotionally strong, a critical thinker, and a Christ believer. It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my first child that my identity was truly challenged. You see, I was pregnant and then all of a sudden I wasn’t. This story didn’t end with a beautiful bouncing baby like I thought. It ended in tragedy. It ended in a miscarriage.
My identity before I lost our little Peach was emotionally strong (check), a critical thinker (check), a strong believer (double check), and now a mommy. When I stared at that ultrasound screen with tears welling up in my eyes and the silence of the ultrasound tech ringing deafeningly in my ears, my identity was dissolved. Who am I? I was weak, so weak. Weaker than I’d ever been in my life. Depressed? That would have been a nice vacation from how I felt. I couldn’t begin to possibly explain the how or why this was happening to me. I questioned God. I was angry, so angry. Why, me?! Every minute was spent reflecting on what could have been. The child that I could have had. The pregnancy that I lost. I was not going to be a mama.
I was lost. For a long time I couldn’t get through the day without crying. I remember one church service the pastor was talking about joy, and why we as Christians should be joyful. I remember sitting in my seat filled with anger and sadness and shaking. Joyful? Joyful for what? How can I possibly find joy when I am in such despair?
So, there I was lost. Lost in my grief and lost in myself. After crying to my aunt one day she asked me, “how do you eat an elephant?” to which I stuttered through tears “one bite at a time.” That’s exactly how I went through my grief. One day at a time. She also gave me my favorite bible verse: Joshua 1:9. That verse says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go.” Strong and courageous. That stuck with me. I stopped trying so hard to put the pieces of my life back together myself. I stopped trying to pin down my new identity. I had to take it one day at a time. I leaned on my family and friends. I started talking to God again everyday. Slowly (very slowly) I felt stronger.
Fast forward almost two years later and I can rest comfortably in my identity. Yes, I am a critical thinker. Yes, I am a believer in Christ. Yes, I am a mom who has lost a baby. But, above all else. I am strong and courageous.