Being Brave in the Hard Seasons

My baby turned five today.  It’s really hard for me to write “my baby” because he truly is my baby.  I always thought there’d be one more.  I mean, we tried three times for one more, even though two of the conceptions were definitely not planned.  Three times I faced heartbreak chasing a dream.  The plan was always four babies.  That was always the dream.  Who’d have thought getting the fourth one here would be the hardest?

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Tomorrow we turn a page.  Tomorrow we close a chapter.  Tomorrow there’s no going back.  This was also the plan.  We agreed that this time was the last- no matter the outcome.  We agreed that whether Scarlett Mae made it here or not, there would be no more tries.  I know it’s the right choice.  I know if we don’t do this, if we don’t make it permanent, in a year, I’ll want to try again.  I know I emotionally cannot handle another pregnancy, especially if the outcome is the same as the last three.  I’m barely surviving this one.  Sometimes being brave means facing the truth, no matter how devastating that truth is.  Sometimes being brave means admitting hard things to yourself.  Sometimes being brave means doing something that hurts your heart.  Sometimes being brave means doing something that feels like you’re being ripped apart on the inside.

This has not been an easy season for me.  In fact, this has hands-down been the hardest season of my life.  I faced the loss of my second daughter.  I left a job I loved to go to a different job because it’s better for my family right now.  Don’t get me wrong, my current job is a huge blessing and the best way to serve my family and others right now.  It’s one I truly enjoy, but the job I left fueled my soul in ways I never imagined it would.  I went back to working full time, losing cherished time with my boys.  And now I’m saying a permanent goodbye to ever having another babe grow in my belly.  A permanent goodbye to ever feeling first kicks and the adrenaline of finally seeing the baby you’ve grown for the last nine months.  I wish I was like those women who can say with absolute certainty that they are done with kids, who adamantly don’t want another child.  I’m not like them.  I will forever long for one more, for the one that could have been.  Sometimes being brave is allowing dreams to die.

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Mourning dreams that have died is the bravest thing I have ever done.  Turning this page tomorrow, laying a dream to rest, will forever be one of the hardest things I have ever had the courage to do.  I know deep down that allowing these dreams to die will allow for Jesus to plant and grow new dreams in my heart.  In a way, it’ll be freeing to know that a choice has been made and that there is no going back.  But willingly laying down a dream?  It’s the bravest thing you’ll ever do.

In your hardest seasons of life, I’m a firm believer you are your bravest.  You’re brave when you get through another day without the one you lost.  You’re brave when you put one foot in front of the other when you just want to stay curled up under the covers.  You’re brave when you walk a path you never imagined you’d be walking.  You’re brave because life is still happening around you.  You’re brave because the world has continued on and so must you.  You’re brave because your family needs you to be.  You’re brave because you don’t have a choice not to be.

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