When you have been traumatized, it seems like you’re always expected more of the same. Being in a good place in your life can be scary because you’re waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. This has been my state of mind recently and I’m trying to work through it in counseling.
In 2013, I had everything I could have ever dreamed of in life. I had a career I loved working as a night shift labor and delivery nurse. I had an amazing husband. I had a sweet, happy baby. We were buying a beautiful home that was super close to our church. My dad was alive. I remember thinking how blessed I was. I literally had everything I wanted in life.
It was bliss. Days were filled with caring for a sweet baby girl. Evenings not at work were spent playing board games with my hubby and often friends, too. Our home was filled with laughter and joy. On quieter nights, we’d put Abigale to bed and snuggle on the couch to watch Deep Space Nine or the BBC’s Sherlock. Weekends were filled with family time and church. My work was fulfilling—there is nothing quite like helping someone as they welcome a new baby into the world.
In 2014 my world began to crumble. First was a miscarriage and then two days later, my dad’s death. Just four months later, while carrying another baby, my husband of eight years and two weeks died in a car wreck. To say I was shocked and shattered would be an understatement. You cannot imagine the grief, the pregnancy pains, the mothering a toddler alone, unless you’ve been there in my shoes. It was the deepest of deep sorrows.
My life went on despite the feeling that the world should have ceased to turn after Chris’ untimely death. I cared for Abbi, I birthed Aurora, I cared for my two babies. I worked. I went to church. I was going through the motions, hoping that it would eventually feel like living again.
Years passed. Eventually I met Don and we fell in love. We got married, shared a home, raised our girls together. He adopted Abigale and Aurora. They are no longer fatherless—not in their minds or in legalities. Nevaeh came into our lives, a wonderful bonus daughter for me and a great big sister to my girls.
I got my bachelor’s degree in nursing and then began my master’s. Don was supportive through it all, including the long clinical hours and the nights I had to spend away at the hospital. I finished school and passed boards. I became a midwife. I signed a contract for my first midwifery job, to begin later in the Fall.
Don and I decided to have a baby and I was quickly pregnant. A couple weeks ago, we looked at a possible house to buy. Our lives have all these big, positive changes right now. I should be happy, right?
My trauma doesn’t want me to feel blessed or happy. My trauma wants me to stand at attention, ready for the worst. Will I have a late miscarriage? Will my husband die? Will I lose my mom? Will the job fall through? Will my health decline to the point I cannot work? Anxious thought after anxious thought fills my head because somewhere deep inside, I do not believe I can have a life of anything but constant tragedy. My nights are filled with dreams of death and destruction, so I wake up feeling fatigued.
I want to believe that I, a modern-day Job, am living in the beautiful epilogue of that book. I want to believe that what is in store for me will be more joy than heartache. I want to believe I will have healthy, godly children, a husband that grows old with me, a career in which I can leave a lasting positive impact.
Having faith is hard after so much trauma. But really, is it ever easy to step out on faith? The whole concept behind faith is that we are trusting in something or someone without visible evidence to fall back on. I’m doing my best to walk in faith right now. After all, I know that God is good, whether circumstances reflect that or not. He has carried me this far, so why would I think He’d give up on me now?