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.)