Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finding The Good Things

It was one year ago today that I wrote my first blog post. After debating with myself for a couple of weeks, I finally decided to give blogging a try. I'm sure that many of us can think of pros and cons that go along with it, especially if your main focus is on something that is a painful subject to think and write about. I'm glad to say that I can look back on the year with joy and gratitude. It has been a year of growth and change for me, and writing about it has been a true form of therapy.

The first post I wrote was called "Why Blog?" It was pretty brief, but I had so much more that I needed to say! I knew that day that even if no one ever read a word of it, I had made the right choice to put all of it down. It's interesting to look back on those first thoughts. It wasn't the beginning of my journey with infertility and miscarriage, but it was definitely a new chapter. Here is what I wrote in that first post:

I decided to start a blog mainly to have a place where I could just sit down and write about some of the feelings that accompany recurrent miscarriage. I thought that if I put it out there, maybe it could encourage someone else who might feel that they are alone. Infertility can be a very lonely battle, even for married couples who are in it together and people who have great families and friends. It’s hard to find others who feel the way you feel.The other reason I wanted to blog at this time is because I’m in the thick of it. I’m not looking back at a dark time in my life while standing on the other side. I’m in the valley now. Maybe you’re like me and you find it easier to hear someone who’s in the valley with you. I hope to someday be on the other side of this horrible problem. But I thought the time to write about it was now.The last thing I want to do is use this as a place to air all of my grievances and hurts! Sure, those may come out here and there, but what I want to do is try to create a well-balanced and honest picture of what we’ve been through. My aim is to not focus on all the bad stuff but to just be honest. Believe it or not, there are good things too! Sometimes they are hard to find but I’ve spent years trying to discover them and hold on to those good things.

A year ago I had no idea what the "good things" might turn out to be! I didn't know that I would get to know some incredible people who share so many of the same hurts. I certainly never imagined the strong bonds of friendship that have been formed over the past 12 months. Each and every person I have "met" through this blog has been one of those unexpected good things!

Last August I came across Beth's blog Walking the Journey. I read a post she had written called "I Know" and it touched my heart in such a real way. Soon after that, we began corresponding by e-mail and we continued to get to know each other through our blogs as well. Our relationship quickly developed into a close friendship, especially while my husband and I were away from home during a very stressful evacuation from Hurricane Ike last September. Beth's unwavering prayers and support during that time were invaluable. Over the past nine months (interesting, right?) we have begun to see how the Lord put us together at the right time, and we have been able to encourage one another during some very hard times. We could see that, although our paths were different, we were more or less on the same journey.

I've been away from blogging for a few weeks because my husband and I were on vacation all last week with my family. We had such a great time enjoying the beautiful Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and just being together! (More to come on our vacation soon.)

On Thursday of our vacation week, Chuck and I hopped in the car and drove a couple of hours east to meet up with Beth and her husband Kevin in person. What a blessing it was to hug her neck and visit in their living room! For me, it was like this whole blogging experience had come full circle. It was the second time I'd been able to meet a blog friend in real life (read about when I met Tammy HERE), and it just reassures me that none of this is accidental. I'm so fortunate to be able to develop what I know are lifelong friends. Even though this is a struggle, it is so good for my soul to know that amazing things can come out of it.

We had a great evening in downtown Asheville with Kevin and Beth. They treated us to an awesome dinner, but it was the company that made it so special. It was hard to leave after just a few hours together. Beth sent me away with a beautiful plant that now resides on my favorite desk in my living room. It was a great visit, and a great reminder that there are blessings to be found even in the midst of trials.

Stacey and Beth in Asheville, NC

Beth, your friendship is so precious to me! Thank you for welcoming us into your home and into your lives. We love you both.

(You can read Beth's post about our meeting HERE.)


Michelle said...

Happy One Year Blog Anniversary! I second your sentiments exactly. No one WANTS to go through what we are, but no one can relate to us or understand what we are going through than each other. I am so glad to have found every blogger "friend" I have and consider each one a blessing. So, thank you for being a part of my life! :)

andrea_jennine said...

Happy Blogiversary! That picture is darling.

A said...

There are definitely good things and blessings to be found and celebrated on this difficult journey. I have really tried to find them in the midst of whatever we're dealing with. We've just gotten a nudge (I feel) towards a biological baby, and for that I am so grateful- for so long I could not get any direction out of God! Or maybe, I should clarify that He has always been leading, but I miss things sometimes ;-)

How fun to meet fellow bloggers! It sounds like you had a blast!

twondra said...

So glad you got to meet her! I know when I met you, you were talking about wanting to meet her and I'm so glad you were able to. :) Yay!!

Love ya! (((HUGS))) Happy 1 year blogoversy. :)

Tanner's said...

Is it sad to say this is my fave post because I am in it??? It is really my fave because of meeting you, thank you will never say how I truly feel about you, and our friendship!!!
Love you,

Jenn said...

I missed you glad you're back to blogging! Happy Anniversary to you. I know this is a very special time for you. Sounds like you and Beth and y'all's guys had a great time. I definitely think it was God-ordained! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

See, even more in common, my blog is also approaching its one year anniversary!
And I agree, its brought some pretty amazing people into our lives!

Amber said...

Happy 1 yr anniversary. Its so great to meet others because no one knows what we are going through except those who are experiencing the same thing.

Kathryn said...

Happy anniversary! I've been blessed to get to know you a little & be the recipient of your kind & thoughtful comments.

How funny, we're headed for the Smokey Mountains in a week. We might spend an afternoon in Asheville. My husband has never seen the area & i'm hoping we'll have a lovely time driving thru.

Glad you had a good visit. :)

prayerfuljourney said...

Good to hear from you! My dh and I drove through the Smok.ey Mtns when we drove down to FL. It was somewhat scary especially on our way back home when it was dark. Boy, we got a beautiful view of the city of Memphis(I think) when we got the top of the mtns and stared our decent down. Our stomachs were in our throats but other than that...we enjoyed the views. Happy Blog anniversary! It is an amazing avenue to talk to others who share your journey in many more ways than one! Look forward to reading more on your thoughts in the future. Blessings!

Alicia said...

Happy blogiversary :) Its so amazing how God brought you and Beth together via blog world to encourage and befriend one another!

Your wrote:
"I thought that if I put it out there, maybe it could encourage someone else who might feel that they are alone."

And the truth is I was feeling alone and you have let me know that I'm not. SO thank you for all of your encouragement brought by your thoughtful writings.

God Bless you sister :)

Erin said...

Stacey, your posts are always so timely. Coincidence maybe but I'd like to think it's for a reason. Finding the good in all the IF madness is hard, but some of the good is so darn good that it's got to be acknowledged.

So glad you got a chance to meet up. There is something special about friends who read blog posts and just get it. They are gems.

Anonymous said...

I'm just starting both my blog and my IF journey. I've found so much comfort and strenght from others like you who have shared their story, and a community of amazing women! Thanks!

TRS said...

Hi Stacey.
I revisited this post on CJane - and not knowing if others in the bloggy world run into the same stuff as I have...I wanted to share it with you.
Because I thought of you while reading it... especially the part about 'Knowing'.

God Bless you over and over again!