When I was eight I fell in love with a fairy tale, a happily ever after. A story etched on the hearts of young girls and women around the world. A simple story of falling in love, getting married and having a family. This fairy tale was more than my first love: it was my first dream and my first plan and I surrendered my unguarded heart to this happy tale. But, unlike other childhood passions – like learning the flute or having a pet, this love was not fleeting or fickle, it grew with me, burying deeper into my heart, my thoughts and my dreams. I fell head over heels in love with this fairy tale, with this happily ever after and I believed that it would just happen. That life would float by and carry me safely towards my happy ending.
The fairy tale ended when I was thirty, curled up on the toilet floor of a Virgin Pendolino travelling home to Chester. My concerned husband scooped me up at the station and drove me to the hospital where the doctor confirmed my miscarriage. We returned home where I sat silently cradling a hot water bottle, slowly realising that the story I had fallen for was not coming true.
With each miscarriage my fairy tale became warped and twisted – no longer full of hope and new life, but dark with death and despair. Instead of bringing joy, the story I had fallen in love with left me feeling empty, lacking. It defined me and isolated me as I retreated from those who were living out the ‘happily ever after’ I had given my heart to. A story of lament repeatedly written onto my heart with each birth announcement and each of my miscarriages, my hopes for the future dressed in mourning. But what I’d forgotten is that in every fairy tale there is a fight, the story doesn’t just move from the beginning straight to a happily ever after.
A good fairytale does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure, it embraces it, celebrating the ways that struggle can shape and change the protagonist for good, building towards an ending that catches your breath and lifts your heart. I used to believe that struggle meant failure but now I know it’s the opposite, the struggle is what makes the story worth telling.
That is such a great way of putting it. I am still battling to get well after my second miscarriage in a row due to complications. Like you, the plot thickens but hopefully one day there will be a happy ending and it will be so much sweeter for the battle and twists and turns. May God bless you. V
Hey Verity, thanks so much for your comment. I’m so sorry you’re struggling, it can take so much longer than you think for your body to recover and for your heart to begin to find healing. I’ve had some complications after some of my miscarriages and it’s taken months to feel like my body’s even starting to get back to normal. Please know I’m standing with you in the pain, I hope you’re being well looked after. No experience we have is irredeemable and my prayer is that you will one day be able to celebrate how God has redeemed your experience of miscarriage, making your story even more precious. Sending lots of love xxxxxx
Fairy tales always have that point where you think it’s not going to end well, don’t they?
One big difference to them and real life is that we are able to put a bit of choice into how we deal with our fights, and our endings, whereas they’re just characters in a story. We’re real people and we have the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit on our side – if we’ll let God be on our side. 😉
Love to you, Lizzie, and to Dave.
Thanks Lou, for your comments and your support. xxx
[…] My heart has broken over the tears of my friends as I have heard their aching stories. And I have read the words of pain expressed by women I don’t even know. I am well aware that each day I have with this […]
Hi Dawn, thanks for your contribution. We started this blog as a result of the new found confidence gifted to us from a few women who hadn’t experienced miscarriage or infertility but who’s hearts were broken for our story. Their compassion and empathy helped us find a path to healing and they became advocates for those who struggle in their own communities. I believe you too can have the same impact, those with soft hearts can help bring healing to the broken and I’m certain God has given this to you as a gift. Much love xxx