My Journey to Grace Entry 1.0 written by Zulay Henao

Zulay_Henao_Pregnancy_Blog_Modern_MuzeGrace is defined as, "poise, elegance, forgiveness, or a blessing." 
 
In this, my first pregnancy journal, I will address forgiveness, forgiveness of self, and the power it unleashed into my life.
 
Before we get started, I wanted to thank you for being here, and for giving me a chunk of your beloved time as it is our most precious commodity. I decided to write about this experience because I was so afraid to. I am still fearful of opening up and spilling my own tea, and telling you about the not so pretty parts of this journey.  Nonetheless, I will, because I must, and because everything I have ever done has brought me here to this moment of pure joy, reflection, and exhilaration.
 
I am "with child!" (lol)  I love this phrase!  I am exactly 21 weeks into this most amazing journey! I am co-creating life with the ultimate Creator, and bringing to fruition what has inevitably always been a part of my plan (His plan). But wait!  Let’s go back.. way back!  Damn it!  I wanted to keep this light, and tell you solely about my experience carrying this baby, the morning sickness, the sleepless nights, the weight gain,and the thrill of it all. But, it wouldn't really pierce your soul in the way it has mine. Mine has absolutely been reshaped and redefined through this experience.
 
You see, before we get to the hair ties, baby shower ideas, and cupcakes, I must address my darkness if this blog is to be celebratory, and worthy of ten minutes of your time. Motherhood has always been for me the pinnacle of womanhood (key words: FOR ME).  This isn't to say at all that all women must become mothers to reach the heights and wonders of their feminine journey.  I know so many wonderful, joyous, and fulfilled women who decided to be lifetime aunties, God mothers, and live blissfully in their voyage through life. If this is you, I applaud you for not caving into the societal pressures so unfairly placed on us from the time we are young girls, and for not following this blueprint that doesn't fit your vision for YOUR life.  I SEE you, and I ADMIRE you. Rock on, babe!
 

For the rest of us, our journey to motherhood comes in complex packages, all individually and uniquely demanding, and well, different (for a lack of a better word). I remember turning 35, looking around, and really taking stock of my life in a way that felt almost foreign.  I wasn't taking inventory of what I had done in life up that time, my finances, how I was showing up in my career, or my relationships like I usually had.  This time, I looked at myself, and felt that I had (up until that moment) really not shown up for the one thing I knew would change my life forever: becoming a mom. I also knew that was something I had been putting off thinking about because I was afraid.  Let me be clear. I wasn't afraid that having a child would somehow rob me of a life I loved, I was fearful of
something far more ridiculous and unsettling: Motherhood might not be something God had not planned out for me. Why do you ask? That topic will be for another blog (a much more vulnerable one). Suffice it to say that had been a dark place for me for a long time growing up in a very religious household, being a non-married woman, and having all of these haunting indoctrination of sorts. I had to shed a lot of fear and shame, and ultimately, forgive myself. This is where GRACE comes in.

For so long, I had lived a self created sort of inner hell where I felt so undeserving.  I went through a period of a lot of self reflection, alone time, therapy, shedding of antiquated (just flat out erroneous) ideas of God, and really coming to understand the truth of God's unconditional, radical and unrelentless love for me. Then, my life changed. I don’t want to make this discourse about that.  Like I said, there is a lot more to the story, but I felt it important to at least mention my mental state for a period of time.  Who knows?  That may be a book idea for me in the future!  For now, let’s move on! Having a new sense of self, of my Creator's deep love, and never-ending fire for me, I took action. I began to actively speak motherhood into my life in all the ways possible!  I would see a woman with a stroller and declare, “That is for ME!" and I would say things like, “When I become a mom!”  I introduced the idea into every meditation, and launched it into the field of all possibility on a daily basis.  It became a part of me, and no longer something I feared was out of my reach. I envisioned myself in the role of mommy, and in a solid relationship where I was free, safe to explore, and voice my inner most desires.  I met a wonderful man who wanted the same things I did, who wasn't afraid of telling me so, and who welcomed my vulnerability like the superpower it is.  It was powerful stuff to be empowered by self-love, to look myself in the eyes, and claim the desires of my heart as valid and real. (Louise Haye has a wonderful exercise for this) Here is the link!

Everyday, in every way, I became more alive viscerally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically on my journey to motherhood.  Here I am today in my second trimester, living my dream out loud, and in full vivid color. Let’s stop here for now, and let's call this my prologue to the blog. The story continues on to: facing the truths and realities of female fertility, the depths and pain of miscarriage, letting go, forgiveness (again), surviving, thriving, and GRACE (always more Grace).

I love you all.  See you all next week!
Zulay

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