Miscarriage Awareness Month: Alyssa Brooks
As I write this I don't write this with ease but with difficulty. It is difficult because although the Lord has brought me a long way on my journey to healing there still exists the pain of loss. Yet, I continue to write because there is hope. I continue to write because I am not where I once was. And although sometimes I still experience pain I have hope because Jesus Christ is by my side every step of the way on my journey toward healing. And I continue to write because I know that God can use every experience both good and bad, both joyful and painful for someone else's healing. In fact, I believe that God has given my pain purpose. So I write for the one who has experienced loss whether it be due to miscarriage or giving birth to your still born baby. I write for you. In hopes and belief that God can use my story to encourage you and give you that bit of hope to keep going. To look forward to the future. Whatever it may hold. So with no further delay here is my story:
My name is Alyssa Brooks. I am currently 24 years old and my husband and I will celebrate 5 years married this January 7, 2017! Praise be to God.
We got married in January of 2012 at the young ages of 20 and 22 years old. We were truly just kids but we knew that God has purposed us for one another. We knew that our desire to get married was God given and we knew that we loved each other unconditionally. And God opened door after door for us to get married so we stepped in despite the nay sayers and those that looked down on us because we were young.
We both shared the same love for family and shared the same dream of getting married and having a family of our own. After all for us family is probably one of the greatest gifts that God can bestow upon us. But we did agree that we had time before we wanted to start having children. We wanted to dedicate the first few years of our marriage to just us. After all once you have children you can't go back. We also wanted to give ourselves some time to get more established. So when we found out that we were pregnant about 2 years into our marriage it was definitely a surprise.
I remember the date! It was December 29, 2013. My period had been late and so my husband and I decided it was a good idea to just take a pregnancy test and make sure that I wasn't pregnant. We were not expecting anything to come of it because I had been late for my period before and nothing ever came of it. My cycle would change quite often. I remember going to take the test and going back to check after those long awaited 3 minutes. To our surprise and great joy the test was positive! My goodness we were so filled with joy! We weren't planning but man we couldn't help but to feel this excitement. I was so elated and overwhelmed with this immediate love for the being dwelling in my womb that as I showed my husband the test I began to cry and we just embraced one another in shock and joy.
During my pregnancy things were not so easy going. Before I became pregnant I suffered heavily from insomnia, anxiety and depression. All three monsters continued to rear their heads into my spirit during my pregnancy. I was concerned that it would affect my baby but the doctor didn't raise much concern. Throughout my pregnancy my baby had a strong heart beat and there were no major complications. The only concern that was ever raised was that my baby seemed smaller than the time period of gestation. At that point they actually determined the baby to be younger in gestation and pushed my due date further back than the original estimate. Other than my own struggles mentally, emotional and spiritually with anxiety and depression there were no major physical issues or symptoms suggesting that anything was wrong with my baby. In fact, my baby was my source of hope and motivation to keep fighting against those feelings of depression that weighed heavy on me. My baby gave me a reason to be joyful and to keep pushing on.
On April 11, 2014, about 18-19 weeks into, my husband and I went to the hospital for a special sonogram during which we were told we could find out the sex of the baby. Unfortunately, we found out that our baby didn't have a heartbeat instead. I can say this was the most devastating and painful moment of my life. I had never experienced loss. I've never had to deal with the loss of someone close to me or the grief that came with it. I didn't know what it was like to have my heart shattered in pieces and then have to figure out how to keep living. I was so unfamiliar with miscarriage. I was so confused. So overwhelmed. So distraught. So overcome by despair. I mean this was a Friday and I had just been in for a check up with my regular doctor that Monday in which my baby's heartbeat was fine. What happened? How did this happen? There were no signs. I didn't bleed or even have a cramp. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Was it my anxiety? Was it my stress from insomnia and depression? Endless questions and a complete sense of helplessness ran through my head.
My doctors explained to me that sometimes miscarriage occurs and they don't know why. They couldn't tell me why this happened. They told me that it wasn't my anxiety or depression. It was just simply inexplicable and very unfortunate turn of events that happens much more often than I realized.
Goodness, if I thought I was depressed before I had another thing coming to me. After my miscarriage, I fell to the lowest, darkest, most hopeless place of my life. I was drowning in a sea of grief. I was trying to hold on to the Lord but I was so angry. I asked him why he did this to me. I asked him why did he let this happen. I was so frustrated, angry and confused. I had been praying and praying and praying for breakthrough from my battle with the anxiety and depression that was beating down on my spirit. Instead, I felt like he answered me with more pain and hopelessness. I was having a hard time finding joy as it was and now this? Why? I questioned God. How could you call yourself good? I wrote him many nasty letters. I was so torn because I knew I needed Him so desperately for He was my rock and my refuge yet I was so mad at him for allowing this tragedy to happen to me. Although I was angry I kept pressing in to talk to Him because I knew that as much as I wanted to harden myself to Him I knew if I did I would only make it worse. I would then truly be alone. Because he was and is my rock and refuge. Who else can I give my deepest pain to? Who else loved me like He did? Who else could heal me from this?
Let me tell you, I am so grateful for my God! He truly is faithful. He is truly the lover and healer of my soul. I am so grateful for how patient He was with me even in my anger, how he loved me through my sorrow, how he kept me, how he has healed me. I know for a fact it was God because it is inexplicable. I have no idea how I made it through that dark storm except that God brought me through. He listened to every groan, every cry. He dealt with me blaming him and questioning him. He loved me through the pain. He brought people into my life like my Pastor Maria Durso to walk with me through the storm; to listen to my pain, give me guidance, to help me understand, to pray with me and to help me adjust my perspective. He gave me Pastor Becky Holmes who also experienced miscarriage to come along side me and encourage me and give me hope. He showed me so many people who I knew had been through what I had been through. He showed me that I wasn't alone and that He cared for me. I want to make it clear that it was not easy to overcome the depression, despair and hopelessness that I experienced but I didn't walk through it alone. Psalm 23:4 says “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Though during the time I didn't feel this way, in retrospect I realize that my Father was with me every step of the way. He held on to me when I felt I couldn't hold on anymore. If it were not for his love and faithfulness I would not be where I am today.
After the miscarriage, my heart was heavy with the desire to have a baby. I desired to become a mother and to experience the wonder of having a baby. However, I did not want to move forward with the endeavor unless it was the Lord's will and done in his timing. I also wanted to give myself time to heal not only physically but most importantly spiritually and emotionally. I knew that having another baby would not replace the baby I had lost and I did not want that to be my motivation in having another child. In addition, I debated as to whether I should go a k to finish school or pursue my retail career and just focus on getting established. After about 5 months and much time pondering over the decision my husband and I decided we wanted to try to have a baby. Although finances and school are very important priorities, I believe the right decision for my life was to pursue my heart's desire. I believe it was a God given desire and as I said before God used that decision to aid me along in the healing process by giving me hope. We started trying in September of 2014 and by October I discovered I was pregnant!
On June 3, 2015 I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy! His name is Corey Anthony Brooks Junior, after my husband, but everyone calls him CJ. He is just about 17 months old now and he is so full of life and personality. He is handsome, funny, very intelligent and very feisty! He is the greatest gift that my husband and I could have ever been given. And He is definitely giving my husband and I a run for our money. But I absolutely love being his mommy! I love waking up to his beautiful face every single day. My heart is so completely filled with love for my son and my life would not be complete without him. He is the pride and joy of our lives and The Lord has used him to bring great joy and healing to our hearts!
Can I tell you that I am in awe of God? I am taken aback by his love and awestruck that He desires to grant me the desire of my heart. Something I always struggled with was why God loved me. I could not understand it. I would look at myself and see mess up after mess up. I would see my disobedience and my failure. I would allow guilt and condemnation to over take my mind. I had the wrong perspective of who God was. I always thought He was angry at me and couldn't fathom why He would want to bless me. In fact, I always felt like needed to suffer or be miserable because there's no way God could want for me what I want for me. Yet God proved me wrong yet again(but that's a story for another time). He is the God of grace! He is the God of unconditional love. And he desires to prosper us and not to harm us as he promises in Jeremiah 29:11. He heard the desire of my heart loud and clear. He not only gave me the desire of my heart, he expedited it! In no way did I ever expect to become pregnant that quickly but with Jesus Christ nothing is impossible. Nothing is too difficult for Him. He is faithful to His promises.
The Lord made me a promise when I was pregnant with my baby in heaven (as I call him or her since we did not get to find out the sex of the baby). He had used someone in our ministry to tell us that God said that he or she was going to be a mighty seed! When I had my miscarriage I was so confused by this. What did that mean? How could my baby be a mighty seed if he or she wasn't here to be planted? However, my vision of this promise was not God's vision. Sometimes his fulfillment of His promises don't look like how we imagine them. But the Lord kept his promise to me. My baby in heaven has truly been a mighty seed in the spirit. God has used my precious baby in heaven to be the seed of vision, hope and desire for a family that I didn't have before. My baby in heaven has been the seed that grew perseverance, strength and maturity in my spirit. My baby in heaven is the seed that grew and solidified God's will for my husband and I to have a baby. My baby in heaven is the seed that has grown the tree of purpose in me. I believe that God has given my life and my pain purpose because now He will be able to use me to speak into someone else's life who may be going through the same storm that He brought me out of. My baby in heaven is the seed that blossomed compassion and understanding for others' suffering that I did not have before. And each and every day that I am on this journey of healing God reveals to me how he has used my baby in heaven to be that mighty seed that He called him or her to be in my life. There are days where I miss my baby so much and wish that I could hold him or her in my arms but I am glad to know that he or she has been such a blessing in my life. My baby in heaven holds a unique place in my heart and so he or she is always with me. And I know that one day I will see that baby boy or girl in heaven and I know for a fact that my baby is in heaven right now surrounded by the peace, joy and absolute love of the Father. What better place to be?
Well my sisters and/or brothers we have finally made it to the end. If you're still reading I want to thank you for sticking with me through this long read. I pray that it blesses you, brings comfort, encouragement and or hope. In fact let's pray right now:
Dear Heavenly Father,
This is for my sisters who are suffering and struggling in the aftermath of loss. This is for the one who is crying right now. This is for the one whose heart is broken. This is for the one that can't see any light on the midst of the darkness. This is for the one who can't see a way out of their pain. Father your Word says in Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Jesus I declare that over my sisters who need to hear that right now. I believe it for the ones who are struggling to believe it themselves. But Lord I pray that you would empower them to have even the faith of a mustard seed to believe and know that you are with them. Jesus right now I pray that you would flood them where they are at right now as they read this with your love. Wash over them like a wave of peace and comfort. Father your presence is like a shelter to us. So I pray you would fill them up with your presence so that you might cover me and hide them in your refuge in the midst of their storm. Jesus I pray for healing over their hearts and for hope to rise up. I pray against the voice of the enemy, the evil one who would want to fill them with hopelessness and lies that say that you don't care for them. Silence the lies that say that you can't make a way for their healing and for their heart's desire. Jesus have your way! Jesus I thank you in advance for the answered prayers. For the ways that you will heal your daughters. For the ways that you will show yourself faithful and good on their lives. I pray Lord for where my words lack would you make up in the moans and groans of the Holy Spirit. I speak life over your daughters even now Lord in Jesus' matchless name Amen!