Project Alicia : The Big Picture

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Big Picture

Wouldn't it be great if we could see the big picture? You know, the map of our life laid out ever so neatly before us? I'm not really a big fan of the unknown, not to mention how much easier decision making would be, especially the big ones... Which degree should I seek? Who should I choose as a spouse? How many children should we have? Where should we live that would make us most happy?

Ok, so we all know this is not a possibility, but doesn't it sound great? I often think how much easier it would all be if I could see in that crystal ball and have all the answers.

My husband and I married very young. He was just 18 years old, just out of high school. He had just made some pretty big decisions in his life- the life altering kind, such as not going on a mormon mission, joining the Navy, getting married, and moving to Orlando to start his nuclear career.

So, you can probably imagine what the answer was when I mentioned the word baby. For a guy that is extremely mellow the majority of his life- the look that came over him was anything but. His face said it all and I knew that it was not the right time, at least for him.

I waited another two years and then we made the decision to start trying. I got pregnant almost immediately. I was elated. It was such an exciting and joyous time in our lives, we wanted to share the news with everyone.

At around 14 weeks I started spotting and having some problems that didn't seem normal. We immediately went in to be seen and after an ultrasound it was determined that the baby's heart had stopped beating at 12 weeks.

"We can do a D&C right now" were the first words uttered at the Navy Hospital that day. It had barely even registered and they were already talking about aborting the fetus. To say I was devastated would be an understatement.

Haldan left to go back out to sea almost immediately and I was left to deal with this tremendous loss, alone. It was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced.

All the joy that once was had been replaced with guilt and emptiness. Anything and everything set me off. My realtor stopped by with a baby gift, not knowing what had just happened- I cried for days.

It took a good few months to feel better and at least a year before I felt whole again.

I have often thought back to this trial that I went through. It is a trial that afflicts many, but it didn't make mine seem any less painful in that moment.

I think how I would be a mom to a 16 year old teenager right now, how drastically different the course of our life could have been.

I wonder why this happened and why it took another six years to conceive.

Being removed from it for so long has allowed me a better perspective. While we go through difficult seasons in our lives it's so hard to see the big picture, to gain an appreciation for the purpose of such things.

I guess it's been long enough that I am able to see that, and although it will always be a great loss, it also would have been a great challenge for me. My husband was gone so much those first years in the Navy that I would have been a single parent- and even though lonliness filled my days and I longed for companionship- I don't think that raising a child alone was the answer. Haldan would have missed out on most of the first 6 years of their little life.

I can see a glimpse of the big picture and I now feel peace.

I recently read my sister-in-laws blog about the place they are at in their lives and how depressed she feels. For some reason it made me think of my miscarriage. It also made me think how so many things in life seem so overwhelming and impossible, like you may never get through them...

But you do. You stress over that midterm and final exam, and what relief when it is finally completed and you passed. You worry about the birth of your child and those sleep deprived nights when you think you may go mad, but you don't- and then when you least expect it, they are sleeping through the night. You worry about the milestones and friendships and hardships your children experience, and then one day you realize that they made it over those hurdles and are onto new ones.

Life is filled with obstacles and challenges of all kinds. And although there are times we think we can't even put one foot in front of the other- we do.

I was also reminded that life is filled with "seasons"...


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

12 comments:

  1. Very recently my best friend's sister experienced a miscarriage. She is only 23 and so young, but I understand how she feels. My husband and I have been together since we were in high school and experienced our own loss. He or she would have been 15 years old now. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. At the time, I was devastated, but looking back it was what was best.

    I would love to have a 'big picture' of this life, but only of the past. I want the future to be a surprise!

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  2. I have to say...this post brings tears to my eyes. We're going through so much right now and the big picture is so foggy. Even though I know that everything happening is for the best, and everything that has happened up til now has fit into the picture...it's so scary and messy and I feel adrift. My husband told me last night to stop being "defeatist", but I can't help the despair that keeps creeping in from time to time, and I feel like it might be easier to just stop hoping.

    Sometimes it's just hard to hold on to faith. But I'm so glad to read this post and to be reminded that there IS a plan and I need to let go and let the plan work its magic. So thank you for sharing this today!

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  3. This one speaks right to my heart as well. I got a huge lump in my throat reading it. I have blogged about our miscarriage several times. I do look back and see how destroyed I was and how I didn't think I could go on. But, there truly was/is a reason. As easy as it is to say to someone there is a reason it is SO hard to believe that when you are in the moments of devastation. All I could do was rely on my faith and know He had a plan, but it still hurt. There certainly is a season for everything! Thanks for writing this!

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  4. gosh....did i know that about you? if so, i had forgotten. i am so sorry, but i am glad you have come to the point where you are ok and see there was some purpose. can't imagine the depression and lonliness you felt. love the quote from the bible, understood what it ment....but never fully got it til i started going through my own seasons....good grief, hope i'm heading into a good one!

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  5. i don't know if i knew that about you? and if i did, i had forgotten. i am so sorry!! i can't even imagine how depressed and lonely you felt! glad you have come to a point where you see there was some purpose. love the quote from the scriptures about seasons! understood it, but never got it til i started going through my own seasons of life. good grief....hope i'm going into a good season!

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  6. It sounds like this post really resonated with everyone and everyone could really relate to it. I, (like everyone else) cried when reading it too. But especially because I did feel like it was speaking right to me. It's interesting because Lauren read my blog and she brought up her miscarriage too.

    I remember when this happened. I was really young. Maybe 8 or something?? And I remember the due date was my birthday (which I thought was so cool). Whenever you speak of it I know it was such a painful time. But like you said, for some reason, things work out as they should and there is a bigger picture.

    I remember a metaphor used in church about this. It was a woman speaking and she said she used to sit on the floor and play while her mother(or grandmother) cross-stitched in a rocking chair. From beneath, the cross-stitch looked like such a chaotic mess, but her grandmother had a plan and knew she was making something beautiful. And when she was done it was a work of art.

    We do all get through it. It's just hard to see past the mess and that is where I am at right now. This is definitely not the worst bout of depression I have faced..not by a long shot...but I'm just in a state of hopelessness or something. I realize I need to have faith and that is what I'm working on now.

    Thank you so much for writing this blog and for your comments on mine. The feedback I've gotten has been wonderful. Thank you for your support.

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  7. haha....i didn't think my first one went up, so i wrote it again.

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  8. Alicia, you have such a way with words! I love reading your blog. This is a good post for those of us who are still trying to grasp "the big picture"....(at least of the past). THings do happen for a reason, and one day I may appreciate the blessings that came out of times of trials. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts! I am sorry that you experienced such a loss, but I do think you'll experience such joy when you and H. are reunited with that little soul. :) That will be a beautiful day :)

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  10. Thank you all so much for all the kind comments!

    I didn't mean to make everyone cry. It was actually meant to be more uplifting, sorta like an "ah hah moment", but it's always nice to know that you are not alone. If you take anything away from this, I hope it is that message.

    We can overcome and be better because of our trials.

    Christine, I think the idea of surprises is nice. I guess I'm more of a boring type A planner.

    Jen, good luck on your current challenges. I know it will work out in the end. I'll be thinking of you. (Thanks for the note.)

    Tayarra, sorry to hear about your miscarriage. It's so nice to connect with others who have had similar trials.

    Lisa, I thought I had shared that, but it isn't something I've talked much about to anyone really. So, maybe not. Good luck on your move. I'm sure your good season is coming.

    Anna, I can't ever believe what you remember from such a young age. The metaphor you shared is beautiful. I know that the trials you are experiencing now are but for a short season. You will overcome and conquer and be stronger for it.

    Sarah, thanks for stopping by. Appreciate you and your perspectives.

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  11. Wow - when I stopped by I wasn't expecting such a heavy post ;-) Seeing the big picture is always hard when it has to do with you. I make a habit of seeing the big picture for my sister. She hates that. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I'm now a new follower here too!

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  12. This is why I love blogging, because it has brought me touching insight into other people's lives.

    I cried when I read this. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to know what to say to someone who experienced this. Thank you for sharing.

    It would be nice to have a crystal ball. In fact, I would love one right now. The bigger picture always gives a much better perspective on things, although, in the moment the hurt doesn't go on pause until the big picture comes into view.

    I like to think everything happens for a reason and it all makes us better people. At least, that's what I hope.

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