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Journal Entry: August 31, 2016

Set Yourself Free

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Week 33

I’ve never been one to easily forgive. Granted, hashing through my issues with girlfriends over a lot of wine and time usually gets me to a neutral space of indifference for my past wrongdoers, but since finding out I was pregnant I kind of feel like I’m on the “fast track” to tidy up my life and heart. This is mostly because I’m seeing the fragility of life so clearly and also because I don’t want my past habits and baggage rearing its’ unsightly little head up into the fresh new life about to be born into this world.

My mind needs to be clean, my heart needs to be open, and my soul needs to be light. I’m doing this for myself; I want to set myself free to the love and blessings that await for me.

This last February was a difficult time in my life, to say the least. I turned 40, was dumped by my fiancé, was out of a wheelchair and fresh on my feet, found out I was pregnant, and had no source of income with all the bills from the accident and monthly household overhead on my plate. I felt rejected, abandoned, betrayed, lost, scared, alone, and unworthy of love.

Ouch. Reading that makes me want to cry for the woman I was in that moment.

So as soon as I found out I was pregnant, every day, all day, and every night, all night, I prayed one prayer over and over and over to where it became my mantra repeating in mind before every thought, and after completing every motion. “God, please give me Your grace. Soften my heart and help me forgive him for hurting me. Release these bitter and resentful feelings from my heart. Replace them with peace in my heart so that I may only feel love and joy for this moment in my life. Overwhelming love and joy for my little girl as she enters this world. A love so strong that only You can provide.”

At first, even thinking those words made me sick to my stomach and caused intense pressure in my temples and forehead. Saying the words out loud was so physically painful that I would sob until I couldn’t breath and would throw up. My heart ached so badly. I ached for the loss of my mate. I cried for the loss of a father for my little girl. I mourned the dream I had always had of being a loving, family unit when I had children.

And I kept forcing myself to pray the words. In my mind and outloud. Every day, all day. Every night, all night.

For months, I prayed and prayed until one day I found that the words rolled off my tongue easily. I continued to pray them until I felt the words ring true in my heart. I diligently pushed forward praying the words until they sang sweetly and easily in my heart with joy.

Time heals. Sometimes we can speed up the time it takes to heal by making forgiveness of others and ourselves the focus our intentions with every breath we take. Seven months ago I would not believe it was possible. But today, dear friends, I can attest that it is possible. My heart is proof.

Today I have a new prayer, a new mantra. “God, thank you for giving me forgiveness. Thank you for providing for me when I didn’t know how I was going to make it. Thank you for blessing me with a child at 40. Thank you for giving me the time alone to heal and become whole. Thank you for providing for me and my daughter.

I sing these words sweetly in my soul today as I countdown the days to my child being born into a loving life.

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016[/caption

[caption id="attachment_4775" align="alignnone" width="1068"]LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016 LaRae Lobdell maternity portrait selfie week #33, Miami FL, August 31st, 2016

Portrait Photographer, Writer, and Consultant LaRae Lobdell is an environmental portrait photographer, host, and instructor with over 20 years of experience photographing, directing, producing exhibits, and speaking in the photography industry. She focuses on providing artists, actors, models, and companies with lifestyle and conceptual imagery for promotional use and branding. Her approach is very contemporary, her work has a timeless elegance, and she represents the grace, distinction, and style that is possible in photography. Her curriculum vitae includes 21 photography exhibits of her own work, the curation of 15 exhibits for other artists’ and museums, the production of 13 private and community events, and two year’s experience as director of one of Seattle’s largest art walks. Her images have been published in The Huffington Post, Broadway World, Yale University Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine, and even aired on the Colbert Report. LaRae’s position as a lead host for online educational giants such as CreativeLive and Polaroid University gave her the unique opportunity as one of an elite group of professionals to connect a live global audience to top renowned professionals in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, software design, productivity, and lifestyle. She brought her network to BLACKRAPID as their Culture Liaison, facilitating close working relationships between influencers and organizations for promotional sales and marketing. Grateful to be a stay-at-home mom while balancing a rewarding career in the photography industry, this proud single mom enjoys a nomadic traveling lifestyle between Seattle and the Florida Keys with her daughter, Emerson.

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