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.
I didn't intend to take the whole summer off of writing, but that's what happened. This summer has been filled with change (both good and bad). God has been doing so much lately, and it hasn't all been easy. He has been changing plans and pausing dreams, revealing idols and misplaced identities, asking for surrender and deeper trust. But for some reason, even though so much has been happening, month after month, I have found myself without words.
Maybe you, like me, have had a hard time finding words to pray. Maybe this isn't unique to this time and what's going on in the world. Maybe you always find it hard to talk to God? You're not alone, and I want to share something that has proved helpful to me when I just don't have the words.
I pray that the resources I have compiled will help you as you seek to grow and develop love and understanding for your brothers and sisters of color.
Everything lately feels exceptionally heavy. The injustice and hatred I see sickens me, and my words do not feel adequate to address the brokenness of this moment. And I know my words here will be incomplete in addressing the depth of all that is happening, but for now, this is my best attempt at speaking hope into the darkness.