One Year Later

For most of the past year, God and I haven’t really been on cordial speaking terms. Or any sort of speaking terms, really.

Perhaps it would be better to start at the beginning, though.

It’s been a few weeks shy of one year since my miscarriage, and for nearly 11 months, I’ve sobbed and shamed and begged and bristled and masked and raged. For the first few weeks, I wondered why? with such fierce dedication that my eyes would glaze over as I contemplated the many possible reasons for my miscarriage. These are some of the best answers I could come up with:

  1. Karmic retribution. Honestly, this is the first idea I had. I haven’t always treated people with utmost kindness, so maybe miscarrying was nature’s way of restoring the pain balance.
  2. Faulty organs. This is entirely likely; I’m a 70-year-old man trapped in a twenty-something girl’s body. Had my gall bladder out at 17, then my appendix, several stress fractures, and chronic heartburn that often brings tears to my eyes. Oh, and kidney stones. So, you know, it’s highly possible that my reproductive organs just suck.
  3. Margaritas and half marathons. I’m pretty over these reasons at this point; I’m approximately 97% certain that neither contributed to my miscarriage (though closely preceding it), because science tends to rule these out as far as early-termination causes go. But still. That three percent.
  4. God. Somehow, His “scheme” for me involved body-wracking pain, vomiting in the front yard before school on a Monday in May, and an entirely new realm of self-doubt and contempt, the likes of which I’d never before experienced.

Then, I forgot. For a few months, I moved on. I convinced myself the moment had passed, I resumed drinking and eating like a normal human being, I threw myself into harvest and farm work; I feigned happiness so that others wouldn’t feel uncomfortable.

Next, I wrote. In October, I penned this post in hopes that the memories and feelings I was trying so hard to repress would experience some sort of cathartic release and I truly would be able to move on.

After that, I spent a tiny fortune on ovulation predictor kits and several days each month “symptom searching” on pregnancy forums for the earliest signs of conception. (If I could go back in time two months and kick my own ass, I would.) I wanted to believe the miscarriage was a mistake, that God would realize this and we would quickly be granted another chance.

And over the course of those eleven-ish months, my rage simmered slowly but steadily.

***

Let me be quite honest: I’ve never “heard” from God. I’ve never felt like I have a direct pathway to Him, never prayed and received some sort of instant clarity or feelings of peace afterward. I’ve always envied people who have this kind of relationship with God — they speak as though the relationship is so simple, so effortless, so readily available. And yet — I haven’t had that. Maybe it’s because my brain never stops “talking” . . . maybe I can’t be silent enough, for long enough, to hear what He has to say. Maybe my faith is too weak.

Maybe I’m not deserving. That is the hardest truth to admit, but likely the most accurate.

***

On weekends when I’m in Jetmore, I sing in the choir loft of my church, even though Zack really wishes I would sit next to him. I don’t tell him that I must sing in that loft because the harmonies, the feelings of servitude, the thrumming notes of the guitar, are the closest I feel to God. I don’t say that I must sing in the choir loft as a sort of penance for whatever crimes against God and mankind I’ve committed. I don’t tell him that I must sing in the choir because the notes from my lips make me feel worthy for just a little while.

I believe in God, and His teachings, and His love. I truly do. But for eleven months, I can’t say that I’ve trusted in God. It’s hard for me to trust His plans when I know that at any moment, those plans could contain heartbreak and grief and overwhelming disappointment. It’s hard to trust Him when I know that He is acutely aware of every self-loathing thought my brain has ever entertained, and still, He chooses to drop a miscarriage bomb on me, leading to months of renewed hatred for a body that I’ve detested since I was fourteen years old.

And for all those reading this post with a look of horror on their faces, ready to douse me in holy water, I want to know: If we can’t be mad at God, then are we truly in a relationship with Him? If we can’t scream at Him, and doubt Him sometimes, and question Him often — is it real?

***

Miscarriage ruined me, for months. I hated my body for failing me. I hated myself for the numerous ways I’d mistreated people over the years, surely coming back full-karmic-circle. I hated the excitement I’d secretly built, the dreams I’d secretly savored, the plans I’d secretly formed. And, to be honest, I blamed and begrudged God for all of the above. After all — doesn’t everything happen according to His plan?

Yes; it is clear in writing this, and reflecting upon the past year, that miscarriage ruined me.

But it is time to pick up those splintered fragments of my soul, long past time to give up that grudge I hold so well. It is time.

God, if you’re reading this . . .

 

 

 

. . . I’m ready to forgive. You, and me.

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