In church (place of worship), I learned to…cry in public and not worry about it.
I am blessed with a church which has a beautiful, involved community and when the congregation meets each week, I know that not only am I among friends (the people I know) and acquaintances (the people I know of) but that I am among family (my brothers and sisters in Christ). This realisation struck me quite early on when I began attending the church as an adult.
The enormity of it has stayed with me.
The practical applications are enormous.
Not only do my church family get involved with one another’s lives, they truly care, even if they don’t know a person overly well. It is an upwelling of compassion and empathy which floods through the congregation and out into the wider community and I am pleased to be a part of it.
I was pleased in particular this year, after either one of my losses or after the dreadful news that, infertility having already stricken, our two miscarried Neverborns were likely all the children we were going to parent, when I found that church was a place in which I could cry safely.
I never worried about being judged. Or questioned. Or badgered. Or tutted at.
People didn’t stare or intrude.
They let me get on with it.
And the number of songs, prayers and sermons I’ve sat through when something’s just *got* to me and I’ve felt that overwhelming grief bury me again, I’ve felt secure enough to let the tears flow.
And after each service, prayer ministry is offered, and in these times I’ve been held, brought before God for His spirit to make *something* good come of this awfulness that Husby and I are going through – *some* way that The Plan for our lives is not just a quagmire of pain, and I’ve been comforted by the people offering the prayers on my behalf as I stood, shaking and weeping and unable to join in.
I kept going back for many weeks to whoever was on the rota for prayer ministry (yes, cherry-picking those I felt most connection with, who I’d seen before and knew my story) and gradually, slowly, there began to be a lessening of the pain.
And since that time, and since my terrible, gut-wrenching decision to give up on my dream of having biological children, imperceptibly, healing has happened. My attitude has improved. I’m less panicked about the idea. I no longer feel as though I’m stuck in a pit of darkness with only Husby and two tiny graves for company.
I have found peace.
And although I went looking for it, I am quite certain that it would have been impossible in my own strength.
On the subject of infertility and miscarriage, Katia at I am the milk has been doing a series, inviting people to guest-post their stories.
I was delighted when she invited me to share my story.
Please go and read it by clicking the link below – she’s doing such marvellous work to promote awareness of these issues and to break down some of the taboos that surround them by starting conversations.
And she’s just awesome – check it out.
Now a public apology to my bloggy friends, who I confused massively this week.
It began with the germ of an idea; that I’d originally started the blog to practice writing for an audience. And that I was being rather slack in terms of stretching the ol’ creative muscles.
So I figured I’d do a series of posts (all linked into an explanatory brand-new-tab) with the aim of writing fiction in order to evoke particular feelings from my readers. Ergo the title ‘Making You Feel’.
Harmless enough, right? I couldn’t see how it could go wrong.
I was blind!
My creative, fictional piece on meeting an esteemed blogger for coffee and having it all go horribly wrong, went horribly wrong. Course, I suppose it didn’t help that the title was ‘Coffee in Real Life’. My bad.
Somehow, my link (displayed prominently enough to my mind, at the bottom of the post) was bypassed by a lot of people. Some of them caught the gist from the comments section that this was, in fact, not a rendition of an *actual* meeting.
Some of them didn’t.
So I moved the link to the Very First Thing in the post.
It still got missed.
I still got comments about how awful it must’ve been and how the commenter really felt for me.
On the one hand, I am a little bit pleased (okay, a lot pleased) that my creative writing exercise in Making Them Feel was so effective.
On the other hand, I took a bunch of dear people through the wringer and hope I didn’t upset them too much when they discovered it was not real.
My friends, I’m so sorry. I’ll do better next time to give the heads-up.
I’ve been joining in with Yeah Write’s challenges and finding them super-fun.
This week’s entry in particular – I discovered, quite by accident, that I’m totally hooked on comments.
A bit shameful, a bit funny, and a whole lot of fun.
And guess what – I had *SO* many comments (some ironic) from people who read me and understood and agreed that maybe they were a little bit of a comment box whore as well!
Are you one too? See what you think and let me know.
I GOT THE JOB I WANTED! And extended last weekend’s Ten Things of Thankful on account of it. And wrote a massive post about it. And it’s STILL gonna be in this weekend’s Ten Things.
The water quality in the tank is now A+, perfect, crystal beautifulness. So today, it was FISHY TIME!!!
With Niece and Neff in tow, Husby and I made the trek out to Aquajardin to buy six very cute, very awesome, Gold Ring Danios.
This week the danios; next week CAMEROON FAN SHRIMP!