i fall to my knees, i cry, “Lord, please take this bitter cup from me, i don’t want to drink it any more. give me something pleasing, some wine to refresh my soul, some water for my parched lips.”
my feet drag, my breath comes in huffs. I sigh as i walk, burdened by my sorrows, clouded by their weight. morning dawns as i make my way, slowly, through these quiet streets. this familiar morning rhythm wakes me, tugging the sleep from my bones.
It seems most writers equate success with being read. But I'm just not sure that's what it's about. I just have to believe that, at least for me, writing is about more than simply how many people notice my words or click on my blog or like my post.
I turned thirty this week. For me, birthdays come with an increase in introspection, but this birthday came unexpectedly with some grief. This year, rather than rejoicing over another year and a new decade of life, my thoughts swam with I-wish-I-could-have's and I-thought-by-now-I-would-have's. I thought by now we would have a family, my arms filled with littles. I wish I could be living overseas. I'd hoped we could settle and buy a house. I thought by now we'd have a little more figured out.
The nature of writing and sharing publicly compels me to consider my heart behind why I do it. Here are some questions I return to when I consider why and when to share my writing publicly.
Keep me close. Hold me fast. These prayers have become my exhales; as natural as breathing. With each passing moment, with each mountain and valley, I become more acutely aware that there is nothing in me that can sustain my own faith.
Maybe today is a hard day for you. Maybe today reminds you of a loss of a child, a loss that felt like your very heart being ripped from your chest. Maybe today intensifies the longing you feel for a child and the grief that follows you because of this unfulfilled desire. Maybe today reminds you of the broken relationship you have with your children and your desire for redemption. Maybe today reminds you of the strained relationship you have with your own mother.
Even when I am bowed down by the weight of this world's brokenness (and my own), even when I see no way to fix my current situation or the world's fragile and hopeless state, I can look to my God, who sees all, who controls all, and who cares deeply about it all. Even when it seems like there is no hope for goodness in this world, even then he is actively working towards the redemption and restoration of it all.
Infertility is the singular most difficult and lonely things I have yet to walk through. And that's one of the reasons why I've chosen to write about it. Because I know there are women (and men) in similar seasons of grief and waiting. And because I hope that the Lord somehow uses my words to meet you in this difficult place. So here is a jumbled assortment of some honest thoughts I've had [a stream-of-conscience-type-assortment], as well as some things I have sought to hold onto as I've tried to walk through this journey of infertility well. I pray my words would help you to feel known and remind you that even in the midst of your pain, there is hope.
This rhythm of hope and grief, hope and grief, hope and grief... it is growing a callous of trust in my heart. The skin is getting thicker. My spiritual muscles toughen as again I am invited to hope, again I am invited to lament, again I am invited to trust God more this month than I did last month.
I've been holding a lot of hopes this year. A lot of expectations of what I had hoped 2020 would hold (a church, a baby, a home). At the same time I've been seeking to learn how to hope in a way that is true and brave and not fearful. Trying to not allow disappointment to make me hesitant to hope. The Advent season somewhat intensified these feelings, as I felt the expectation of this time of year.
"Don't jinx it," I say to myself, "Don't get your hopes up. Don't think about it too much. Don't plan on it happening because then it won't happen." I find that when it comes to hope, my hopes range wildly between incredibly naively high to buried so low that they're practically non-existent. I have such a hard time finding an appropriate balance of hoping.
Vulnerability is terrifying. There's nothing like exposing the desires and fears of your heart (especially on social media) to make you feel like you're standing naked on a stage in a room full of people. That's how I felt when I shared a few week's ago about our journey of infertility. But I chose to invite you in, and this is why.
I share this journey tentatively, my heart a tangle of nerves as I present what still feels raw and unprocessed and unfinished. Most days my faith feels shaky and I'm not quite sure I fully believe the things I know to be true about God. But I share this journey in hopes that those of you who are in a similar place of waiting will know that you are not alone.
Our ministry is not what enables our intimacy with the Lord... rather it is our personal intimacy with the Lord that enables and empowers our ministry. So friends, do not neglect spending time with the Lord. He is your lifeline, your strength, and your daily sustenance.