It has been a long year. Back in May I shared that we began the process of embryo adoption with the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. On November 15, we travelled to Knoxville and I received an amazing birthday present, one I thought for so long impossible – I became a mom. Just these last few weeks have been nerve-wracking with many emotional highs and lows, joys and fears. And a long path still lies before us, full of unknowns. But the Lord knows, He hears us and He cares for us. And as we pray, we pray that above all else God would be glorified through this journey.
Below is Ben’s summary of the process to date. We appreciate all your prayers. Continue reading
When Ben and I married eight years ago, I never expected to struggle with infertility. I assumed, as most young couples do, children would come along easily when we wanted them. When our trouble started about five years ago, I found myself shocked and dismayed, my dream of a family shattered. Continue reading
Rain for Roots is a music group of three women (all connected to Indelible Grace projects) that wanted to write good children’s music. I wouldn’t normally choose to listen to children’s music because I have no need to, but a friend introduced me to the group insisting that it is good music that is great for kids too. She said it was difficult to find children’s music that was enjoyable for adults to listen to, but Rain for Roots accomplished that. And she’s right – I got their first two albums and listen to them often.
Last year, Rain for Roots came out with a Christmas album, Waiting Songs. The songs focus on the advent season, that period of celebration of Christ’s first coming and anticipation of His second. They have done their own versions of traditional Christmas songs and written new ones about Bible stories surrounding Jesus’ birth narrative. It has become my favorite Christmas album. Not only is it fun, well-crafted music, but the songs also teach solid theology. And, what I find most compelling of all, is that they express that longing all of us feel, children and adults, for all the sad, hard things in this world to be no more. The songs acknowledge that burden of sorrow but also rejoice in and remind us of the truth that Jesus will make all things right when He returns. Until then, we wait with joy.
“Come thou long expected Jesus…joy of every longing heart.”
I turned thirty this week. Friends and family have been teasing me about getting older, sprouting gray hairs, and how “it’s all down hill from here.” But I have been rather looking forward to it. The twenties is such a fluctuating period – beginning under the shelter and idealism of college and your parents’ roof, then striking out on your own with weighty responsibilities and commitments, while trying to figure out your life purpose and goals. For me this transition looked like getting married, my first full-time job, moving cross country from the only place I’d ever lived, and back again. It was also a period where I had to deal with the fact that my life would look nothing like I desired – I had hoped to have a couple kids by the time I was thirty because the internet and everyone says I’m running out of time – and figure out what it would look like instead. All year I have been eagerly anticipating the start of a new decade, when I will finally be an adult. People will finally stop treating twenty-nine-year old me like the child I was at twenty. Life will finally be stable as I am settled in my identity, marriage, and life. I could’t wait to transition from the volatile, find-yourself phase of a twenty-something to the finally-an-adult decade. I was ready to be finished growing up. Continue reading
The other day my husband and I were exchanging stories about some of the blatantly foolish and mean misdeeds from our childhood. Though embarrassing, the years in between have made us able to laugh at our silly selves. There was, though, still a sense of shame in remembering being disobedient, bullying, and conniving – I was appalled at some of the things the younger me did. My actions could be excused because I was an immature child. But truthfully, looking back on my younger self with a bit more knowledge, I see those actions were just the logical outward manifestations of a heart that didn’t love Jesus. Now that I do love Jesus, it saddens me to see what I used to be. Continue reading
A blog that I enjoy called The Carry Camp did a post this week for those dealing with infertility or miscarriage about how to get through Mother’s Day. In response to a reader’s question, the author offers ways to cope with this difficult day ranging from escaping through pampering and distraction to processing the grief and working towards healing. I greatly appreciate the acknowledgment that sadness is ok and the encouragement to ask loved ones to pray for you and be with you throughout the day. These are very helpful reminders as Sunday approaches.
I read a short little novel the other day called A World Lost by Wendell Berry. Following the murder of the narrator’s beloved uncle, he stands outside the killer’s jail cell, powerless to do anything to rectify the situation. He reflects that “for a long time there was nothing to be done but stand there in the large silence and the falling light, and know and know the thing we knew.” What he knew was tragedy, inexpressible grief and loss of a loved one. Even as he stood facing the cause of his heartache, there was nothing he could do but acknowledge that the pain was there and that the world had suddenly changed. Continue reading
Sometimes I will present signs of stress before I am even aware that I am stressed. This has been the case the past couple weeks – I’ve been biting my lip, sleeping restlessly, picking my fingernails to the quicks, and avoiding responsibilities. Yet, even once I recognized the signs, I couldn’t put my worry into words. Anxiety hung on me, a weight just on the peripheral of my comprehension.
Then I stumbled upon the book of Habakkuk, and it seemed to clear my muddled mind. I suddenly saw the source of my anxiety: fear.
The Valley of Vision
“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.”
Valley of Vision, Banner of Truth
The valley – the depths where we feel our need of Jesus – has been on my mind a lot lately. Feeling my inadequacy is not a comfortable place to be for someone who loves independence and self-sufficiency.
But the valley is where we find our richest joy because it is there that we see clearly our great need and our great Savior. It is the kindness of the Lord to remind us of our need so that we come to Him, acknowledging He alone can meet it. Do not hide from your sin. The guilt and shame of it has already been dealt with by Jesus. Take every opportunity to confess sin to God and remember the righteousness of Christ in which you now stand.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret
2 Corinthians 7:10
Saturday my husband preached the funeral of a beloved church member that unexpectedly passed last week. Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of Ben’s brother many years ago. This coming Saturday we will attend another funeral for another saint. The past couple weeks have been a particularly difficult time of mourning for me in the midst of our infertility journey.
It feels as if grief is everywhere, pressing in on all sides. Some fresh sorrow, some old, yet all the same – engulfing, unrelenting. Continue reading