I Am 1 in 4

As many as 1 in 4 women experience a loss, whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. I had no idea about this, but I knew I was devastated. Tears flowing. Heart broken.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. For some this may not mean anything. However, to us who have experienced this loss, the grief, emotions and loss are very real.

We all will have struggles and sadness in our lives. Nobody wants it, but at some point we all experience it. The type of heartbreak that sends you to your knees. It just hurts and the tears flow without end. One of the most vivid and raw times of loss for me was my miscarriage. It’s been almost 9 years, and the tenderness of it remains. Yet my perspective and my hope is truly different.

The pregnancy was a surprise, but very much wanted. It happened between the birth of my boys. I have a daughter who is now 12 years old, a son who is 10, and my youngest son is nearly 8. I often think about that precious baby who fits perfectly between my boys. Surely, this child knows how wanted and loved they are! I remember the surprise and anticipation of telling my husband we were expecting again.

As the days unfolded, the pregnancy didn’t feel the same. As a woman, the term “feeling” makes sense to us. At the first ultrasound (8 weeks), they told me the baby was measuring 6 weeks and that I must have miscalculated how far along I was. I knew then something wasn’t right. I hadn’t miscalculated. I know my body, and I knew how far along I was. But seeing the baby’s heartbeat that day thrilled my soul, and I brushed aside any thoughts about something being wrong.  Everything looks good they said.  After all, I was probably just worrying for nothing.

6 days after my ultrasound, I began bleeding. I was devastated. My feelings had been right.

This was when all my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. Every part of me wanted to make it all okay. This can’t be happening to me. I know others who have lost a baby. Surely this is not happening to me? I remember praying. Really, I was pleading with God. I also remember the very moment I chose to let go of the control I was trying to have.

Living in this world, we will experience hardship. It’s hard to comprehend why such a tiny life was given to me for only 8 weeks. However, even in all the desperation, sadness, heartache…I remember praying that this baby’s life would have purpose. I can say I sincerely meant that. But I don’t think I truly expected to know that purpose on this side of heaven.

Fast forward to last October.

I was having my morning coffee and devotions. I remember really praying about my business and the direction God was calling me. Creating my business, Be Zestful, from the very beginning has been a complete God inspired adventure for me. I wanted to take what I’ve learned in health and wellness and make people smile. I’ve always loved trying new products and foods, and gift giving is definitely my love language.  That is why curating beautiful gift boxes was a natural fit. It made me happy to see others find enjoyment in receiving their Be Zestful box!

Then, I began to feel this gentle nudge from God that there might be more for me to do. Now I don’t know about you, but there are times when I feel I’m being called to do something specific. If it’s easy and fun, I’m in. But what I sensed He was saying to me didn’t seem fun or easy.  Because of the timing of year, my miscarriage was on my heart and mind. As a mom, I will always remember. This is when I felt God asking me to make a box for those who are going through difficult times. Not just miscarriage but any difficult and trying time. I truly in my heart told Him I couldn’t do this. I had so many concerns and questions.

  • Would this be zestful? Be Zestful is about living life with zest (great enthusiasm and excitement). I wanted to prepare boxes to make people smile. A box for difficult times didn’t sound zestful. But we all know life isn’t always exciting. Sometimes it’s hard, sad, or overwhelming. The truth is stepping back into my own grief was hard. There are times we all need to be loved on. That’s when I realized, loving on others with great passion (zest) is just as important.
  • What do you put in this type of box? A simple Google search for gift ideas brings up all kinds of things. Flowers fade and picking one thing can be difficult to express how much you care. Often time people don’t know what to say or do, so they do nothing at all.  That’s when this one simple truth became the focus: you are loved. Every single one of us wants to be loved.
  • Who is this box for? Any and every one. We all want to know we are loved. You don’t have to look very far to see someone hurting or going through a challenging time. A family member, a friend, a co-worker or even a neighbor. This is real life, and there are real needs. Letting someone know you are thinking about them and send them some love can bring hope and comfort.

It’s that simple. Love endures all things. It’s called a “Zestfully Loved” box because that is the only focus. Loving on someone with zest (greatly and fully). I’ve shared with you that out of my own grief, the opportunity to bless others has become real and tangible.

I’ve now had the privilege of shipping several Zestfully Loved boxes. Different reasons, different people…but the focus of each box is the same. You are loved.

We all know someone going through a difficult time. The loss of a loved one, cancer, a divorce, family crisis, miscarriage/infant loss, illness, etc.  It can often be we find ourselves wanting to help someone during a difficult time, but we don’t know what to say or do. Don’t do nothing out of your own uncertainty.  

Actions speak louder than words. So when you truly want to do something, to give something that can bring encouragement, there is a way. A way to Zestfully Love on someone!

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