This is the backstory to why I've not set goals since 2008... Last weekend I set my first set of goals for this year and to be downright real, I haven't set goals since I left Pulte Homes in 2008. With our life, uprooting to North East Italy due to J's Military career, my career and my life took a backseat, especially after being in the country two weeks and finding out I was pregnant. I felt my job was to fit into this culture I knew absolutely nothing about and support him like every other wife did with their husband. After accepting a job, I did nothing but to cling to my job so that I could master it...and even though it was a dead-end Marketing job with no benefits or 401K, it was still a job to be proud of and a place where I could have my own identity away from being Sergent So & So's Wife. That dead-end job that I speak about ended up adding to the very vast experience I now have in Marketing, that I am forever grateful for but then the loss of Max happened (my first ectopic).
What level I had thought I figured out life and God on in the last 25 years was hit deep at the base, and it fell...and to be honest everything fell. Even though I worked and dabbled in freelance work, it was not feeding this "need to fix" feeling that stemmed from loss of Max, from physical pains to emotional hurts to my damaged relationship with God. I eventually repaired those items just enough to get by, mainly because everything that I experienced with Max including the physical after effects were rare. Just a side note, when you're trying to fix something back into "perfect" condition hearing this is rare, is not what you want to hear because it doesn't help you fix what you feel is broken. So I worked, I went to a counselor and the Doctor like I was advised. I lived a new life and I did what felt like a new normal... you know, that normal that others expect from you after tragedy... the one that hides what pain is still lingering from what you just went through.
Then in July of 2010 after the loss we decided to try again, the doctor even said it would be 5-8 months before I got pregnant due to the loss of my tube, so I set no plans, I mean when you're trying to make a baby, how can you? Then the loss of Ethan happened, and my heart sank...the biggest thing I said back then to myself was "why make plans when they never work?, why set goals if they're not going to be met?"..."God I just don't get it, what are you doing? Did you skip out on me?" I truly felt these walls come up, you know the walls we build to protect yourself, yep those ones. All I could see from the medical doctors that would look me in the eyes was sympathy and sometimes even empathy. I had one person even ask how can something like this keep happening if nothing is wrong with you? I had no words... the once strong, egotistical woman that I once was had absolutely no words, no hope, no goals, no real focus other than a thought of now being damaged goods.
Seven weeks later, after a very judgmental experience in the work place after I lost Ethan I found out that I was expecting, but what I thought would make me elated with joy, put me on edge. I was now in this super sensitive survival mode and at 12 weeks I gladly quit my job with my end goal being taking this baby home with me. My pregnancy was watched very carefully and at 14 weeks I started to bleed again while J was back in the USA on duty. I remember the sheer fear going through my brain and heart, especially after being put on immediate bed-rest while having a toddler while J was back in the USA. We finally got to the 20 weeks and then our end goal of at least 36 weeks and then that fear was struck again with having a 5lb baby with low amniotic fluid which put the remainder of my pregnancy under even more of a higher watch. I remember holding on tight, trying to be sure that she was okay and that J would be there for her delivery because under the then current conflict, he was locked up in a room, overseeing aircraft fly to destinations I knew nothing about. Having that baby was my goal, she was what I felt would help me get on with life and get past the grief I felt. After delivering her I felt this relief of "I am not damaged goods", "I am truly a woman", and "I can finally move on" come over me but I didn't know what would hit me in the next 48 hours. After delivering Ellie I returned back to my room with my hospital roommate and in those next 24 hours I watched someone battle with Postpartum issues, to the point where I choose to check out at 3:45am to only find out that she died not long after. I remember feeling that sense of hopelessness, especially after calling everyone I knew to call to get her help and most of all I remember standing there with a less than two-week old and a two-year old sobbing as I listened to TAPs. That grief, that pain, that helplessness was still there...even after having my sweet Ellie. After that experience I went into this deep survival mode and this mode of why set forth plans when they always get shattered, why, why why why is always what I asked. I would do things with no end goal just because I was afraid they would get shattered by some tragedy, tragedy always happens. That trust in Gods plans was not there at all.
Once we landed in California we were faced with dealing with the pain that we experienced in Italy and I was in this mode of I am going to help change this culture in which I live in but I later found that you cannot change dry cement and some things are set that way for a reason (that reason being that it is not Gods time). I remember laying in bed many nights and asking God to just teach me whatever he wanted to and for him to use me for your glory. Then, as I watched J struggle with the pain and wonder of God after the losses...I truly wondered what God was doing in my home. Then September happened and I feel like it was the light at the end of a dark tunnel. We were blessed with another pregnancy and as we drove here and there those next few days just talking about how God can bring good after such pain. Then Sunday came...and I remember just knowing something was wrong. I remember as we drove to the hospital after leaving church how much hope J kept that nothing was wrong and I remember saying to him that even if I were to lose again that my God is no different than before I lost (unlike the first time) and that even if I were to lose God will use this to change me to be more like his image, he will use this for good. That was before my surgery happened and before the Doctor delivered the not so fortunate news of what damage this pregnancy loss caused but still all I can say is that this time is different, I've walked this path of grief with God in a whole new light.
With that being said, since that night my God has not changed and my God has put this steadfast desire for him and his word in me that is drawing me out of this quiet behind the scenes girl to be so, so much more. I feel him with me daily, I feel this constant conversation with him, I feel him pushing me where he wants me to be and I find him showing me favor, grace and mercy in the most delicate situations. I find when I have no words he is supplying me with them. I feel that God has changed me through allowing me to experience these losses, alone, in this desert called Antelope Valley. So here I am, it's March I am choosing to live joyfully within this season of grief and I've actually set goals for this year (just last weekend, don't get too excited) and I am starting Laura Casey's PowerSheets and I am living all in for him. I mean this year, no matter what tragedy strikes, where ever I end up I know that the holy spirit is within in me and God will use these goals, my heart, my voice and it will be all for his glory.