The holidays are a time for celebration. For many, it’s also a time that we mourn those we’ve lost more than ever. Being pregnant after loss has taught me that gratitude and grief can coexist. However, I believe that in the spirit of the season of thankfulness, I’ve finally reached a breakthrough. My gratitude overrides my need to understand. My gratitude overrides my sorrow. My gratitude overrides my losses.

Brittany's 26-week bump: It is well with my soul

Author’s Personal Collection/Brittany Jones

As I gathered with my family I took the time to be present.

I was not just physically present but I was aware. I was cognizant of each moment. I thought about not only the angel babies I’ve lost. I also thought about the loved ones my family has lost and the empty seats at the dinner table that were filled just last year and the year before. Life can change quite quickly. We have to be gracious and patient with ourselves and one another because we all have a sad story. That’s the evidence of being alive. Although sorrow cannot be escaped, joy can still be embraced. That’s what I’m choosing.

I’m choosing to embrace what I have and who I have. I’m choosing to be present in this very moment. I want to celebrate the holidays for their true meanings; finding the gratitude in all the life and beauty that is around me. There’s a part of me that knows my heart will always be pierced with the grief of the past but I’m choosing not to focus solely on that. I’m choosing to honor my losses by living on with gratitude for their presence and their impact, no matter how short it may have been.

Brittany's list of gratitude: it is well with my soul

Author’s Personal Collection/Brittany Jones

My family has lost so many in the past year.

I don’t understand why but if we were able to understand everything, then we wouldn’t need faith. Where my understanding fails, my faith steps in and reestablishes my trust in God. That trust gives me the strength to speak these daring words; it is well with my soul. Yes, I lost two babies back to back last year. There’s only a 1% chance of having a second miscarriage after having one. I happened to be that 1%. Even though I still count their ages month after month and think about what life would be like right now if I were able to have them, the strength of my spirit overrides the weakness of my heart and dares to say, it is well with my soul. I am grateful beyond measure for the life that I am carrying. God saw fit for this to be the appointed time for which He granted me the blessing of bringing life into this world. He granted me this miracle when it didn’t seem possible.

I didn’t know how I might approach this holiday season with all that has happened because I‘ve battled seasonal depression in the past. But I decided not to wait and see how I might feel but instead, determine my own feelings. I got ahead of my emotions and made the conscious decision that my gratitude would be so much bigger than my sorrow. I have so much to be grateful for. In all things, my prayer for my family is that gratitude will be the driving force that keeps the song in our voice, the dance in our feet, the laugh on our tongue and the peace in our hearts. We are still here. We are still alive. I will not take one moment for granted.

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