Unknowing

What do you do what you don’t know what to do? It’s been a paralyzing reality for me recently in ways that I never could have imagined.

I have always struggled with what my life should look like. In every phase, there are new challenges and frustrations that as soon as you are starting to understand everything changes again. This is a running theme in my life, but never has it been more obvious than in motherhood.

I have had the incredible privilege of carrying two remarkable, beautiful children to term. Healthy, born at home easily and perfectly. As much as childbirth can be easy…

The third time felt perfect also. I thought I had this down. Like I was just on repeat and I really didn’t have a whole lot of new things to learn. But that was entirely untrue. As I look back at the foolishly blissful mama I used to be I sometimes hate her. Her oblivion and naivety seem laughable to me now.

What am I hoping for as I write this? What could I have possibly told myself that would have prepared me for something like this? When we found out we’d lost that third pregnancy and that I would still have to deliver my daughter, I could not function. I actually didn’t know what to do next. In my conversations with other women since then, no one really knows what to do or to say, what to feel, or how to think. There isn’t one thing we can say to fix anything.

It comes strongly back to humility every time. That is how we grow when things that are “not supposed to happen” happen. Trusting in my God when I didn’t agree with him. Every. Day. Over and over again. Sometimes, in the beginning, I had to take a break and come back to it because my heart was going through all the “stages of grief” in ten minutes.

But my God is faithful in his pursuit of me.

Unknowns are not what they were. A couple of weeks ago my oldest daughter tripped and had to get stitches in her forehead. Peace is found in humility.

But in those beginning months, depression and anxiety were always close at hand. When I got home from the hospital with no baby, the only way I could take care of anything was giving myself physical reminders to continue to fight the darkness looming. Every morning, before I left my room I would drink 20oz of water. That is still my physical reminder to start my day strong and with intention. It gave me the strength to keep my eyes open long enough to make it downstairs to the coffee maker where I would go through the process of making Bulletproof coffee. I started yoga and gentle workouts trying to intentionally stop the thoughts from consuming me. I now love that part of my day so much, it’s a (mostly) quiet time to pray and move intentionally.

So what am I hoping for as I write this? I desperately want to pull the curtain back on “I’m fine” because there are so many people who live under that banner but have wounds and scars that no one can see. There are people fighting so hard who are survivors of unspeakable things. If that is you, I am praying daily for your secret suffering.

For everyone, please ask the questions that go deeper. To the real person behind the “fine”. And if you’re with me for a length of time I will ask you. I don’t have all the answers, but I will cry with you, or fight for you, or just pray with you and let you know you’re not doing this alone.

Samantha Hendrickson