Monday, October 29, 2012

Allume--Part One


Remember how last year I was all bent out of shape because I didn’t make it to Relevant? Well, this year I was there.

Only it’s not called Relevant anymore. Now it’s called Allume.
I think of it, affectionately, as “The Conference Formerly Known as Relevant.” (You know, like “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”!)

The point is, I went. And it was not what I expected and it was not how I imagined it would be, but it was exactly what I needed.

I’m still trying to figure out what happened to me this past weekend.

I was looking forward to it ahead of time. Kind of. I signed up at the end of February. I was trying to blog more often then and I thought I needed to take my blog to the next level. At the same time, I was working out my book deal. I still love blogging now, it’s just that the book has been more consuming than I dreamed it would be and it has drawn me back to my “other writing”. The kind of writing that doesn’t end up published for the world within 24 hours of spewing the words out onto a screen.

I just kind of forgot about Twitter this summer. And that’s where I made most of my connections with people going to Allume.

And then I had a roller coaster of an autumn.

I don't know how candidly God wants me to share about this, but Saturday night, Ann Voskamp told me (and 400 other women) to “write your broken-hearted story.”

Ann Voskamp speaking at Allume

A few weeks ago, my heart broke into a million little pieces.

The list of things I haven’t been through just got shorter.

Childhood Sexual Abuse.
Kidnapping/Attempted rape

The latest installment:
Miscarriage

That’s one I never wanted to live through. (Not that I was hoping to experience the others.) It’s been a fear in the back of my head for many years. So many women I love have lost a baby. So many women God loves have lost babies. Why should I be exempt?

When I was pregnant with Camilla, God told me in a dream that He wanted me to trust Him. That I wasn’t going to walk the path I feared. That time.

When I was pregnant with Adrian, I wasn’t afraid.

When I was pregnant a month ago, I was afraid. Very. But I tried to put it aside. I tried to trust God. I told myself there was nothing I could do anyway, and no way I could know . . . so why not just imagine that everything would be fine and at the end of May we would welcome our third healthy child?

But God didn’t give me a dream this time. And we won’t be having a baby in May. That baby is with Him.

I was pretty pissed off at Him for that. Because as many times as I told myself I wasn’t exempt, it didn’t prepare me for my baby dying inside my womb.

As often as it had happened to other women, it hadn’t happened to me.

I thought He loved me.

I’d walked with Jesus long enough to know how His love feels and that’s not how this felt. It felt like Him taking my heart and mashing it to a pulp and throwing it against the wall.

So I wasn’t scouring Twitter and checking the Allume page on Facebook in the two weeks leading up to the conference.

I was recovering and grieving.

And then all of a sudden it was time for Allume and there really was no reason not to go. But I was more than a little nervous. What if I spent the whole weekend by myself? I tweeted some people. I packed my stuff. Then I got into the car and drove to Harrisburg.

I’ve been thinking about when a friend died fourteen years ago. Jeff was only 25 and at his funeral, his brother, speaking about Job, said, “We can’t curse God and die because we still won’t have Jeff and we won’t have God either.”

I went into a downward spiral after that. I knew God was good, but somehow I let myself think—or I let someone trick me into thinking—that He’s a sinister prankster who sets us up for disappointment knowing that we have nowhere to turn but to Him.

But I've known Him long enough to know that’s not who He is.
So I can be totally pissed off at Him.
Yet I still know He’s good. I still know He loves me.
I just don’t understand.

That’s what I told Him on the way to Allume. In the midst of worship music and tears.

I got out of the car in Harrisburg knowing He loves me and my family and the baby we never held. Knowing that I was broken and hurting and so not-healed.

But knowing that I trust Him.

For what? Not to make everything okay here. On earth.
Just that His heart is good.
It was shaky. But it was faith. And that's how I arrived at Allume.

Allume Community

22 comments:

  1. Your honesty and bravery are beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Paula. This was not an easy post. I can never thank you and Judy enough for listening to me and letting me be a crazy woman and spill out my pain as soon as I met you. (Not that you had much of a choice, but at least you didn't avoid me the rest of the weekend!)

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    1. Thanks, Judy. I do know that, it just doesn't always feel like it. Thank you for being a conduit of His love to me this past weekend.

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  3. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. I wish our paths would have crossed at Allume! I hope you were blessed.

    PS-Congrats on the book deal!!! That has been a {secret} dream of mine for as long as I can remember.

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    1. Not a secret any more! Hope it comes true for you as well. Too bad we didn't get to meet at Allume.

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    2. I say secret because it's always been the dream of my heart. But so far out of reach I never really put it into words. But, recently, I've decided to claim it! (Maybe typing "the end" for the first time after 65,000 words had something to do with it! lol)

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    3. Awesome, Crystal! Good for you! Let me know when your book comes out. I will buy it!

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  4. Oh Alison...I know that kind of deep hurting pain and you're so right...He can handle it. Praying He'll continue to knit your heart back together with His love and that He'll give you the strength to continue "pouring out your heart to Him" ~ Psalm 62:8

    And just know...it's okay to be not-healed.
    You can be right with God and also be living with a heavy sorrow.
    We're too quick in our society (and the church in general here) to rush past the heartache, to try to avoid it...not that we wallow and stay there...but we rush through almost everything too quickly, I think.

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    1. I completely agree with you, Kara. There's such pressure to "be okay" or even to "be happy". Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

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  5. Oh, there is healing to be found in the sharing of our stories, so I am so thankful that you were brave enough to hit publish on this. The Sunday after I miscarried our first baby, my husband preached on John 11:35, "Jesus wept". And it was so comforting to me. Knowing the end of the story, that he would raise Lazarus back to life, he wept because of the heartache around him. I love that picture of him weeping with me and I pray that you will be able to feel that as well in this deep sorrow. Much love to you!

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    1. What a beautiful thought. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  6. Thank you for that. That's exactly why we need to be a community, loving and helping other through our brokenness.

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    1. Yes. Community has been crucial as I walk through this. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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  7. This is so beautiful, raw and honest. Thank you for sharing your heart. jana

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    1. Thank you, Jana. Heading over to check out your blog.

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  8. Beautiful words. As a mom who has also lost a child I can relate to the pain and the grief you have been feeling. I can also attest to the goodness of God. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Thank you for linking up at FunkiPlanet.com

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    1. Thank you for the opportunity! And the kind words. So sorry you know this pain, too.

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  9. I know I'm late in reading this, but I've had it open for weeks now...I've been a little behind to say the least (I literally...last night, just finally got completely unpacked! lol!) I can so relate to your words friend. I lost my second baby in June...i lost my first before I had any children. I still don't understand, but I just trust. I know so many many good mama's who have lost sweet babes, but I just try to remember that there are things we can never understand, and maybe our children were so perfect he wanted them for a better purpose with him! I always wanted 6 children, but I never though 2 of them would be waiting for me in heaven. :( I am so sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

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    1. Thank you, Kelley. I think you have four good excuses for being a little behind. :-) So glad you left my page up and came back and read it. I still need words like these. So sorry for the loss you've experienced as well.

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