It’s my first Mother’s Day with a baby on my hip and we’re in self-isolation. I hadn’t even thought about it until others brought it to my attention. And truly, it makes no difference to me. But many women are saddened by the reality that they can’t attend church on this special day. I’ve been thinking about this holiday in years past and how hard it was at times. I was pondering what I might feel if I was still struggling with childlessness.
While some women might be sad about missing church on Mother’s Day this year, I know some of you are relieved.
This is the first year you don’t have to make the hard decision to either stay home for fear of salt being poured in your wound, or go knowing you’ll have to hide your grief until you’ve found a safe place to cry out, “how long, O Lord?”…
Have you ever had to choose between gasoline and food? I have. Have you ever had to overdraft your account to be able to eat? I have.
As a new believer, I was entered immediately into a series of trials. I was single, healing from the heartbreak of a broken engagement, working two jobs that barely paid more than minimum wage, and not just struggling to pay my bills—failing to pay them. I couldn’t afford rent, let alone car insurance, so when I was pulled over for expired tags (something that completely slipped my mind), I had nothing to show for coverage. One court date later and I no longer had a license.
How was I supposed to pay my rent if I couldn’t drive to work?
Things were tough. I thought my life was falling apart, but truly, God was using these things to put me back together.
The Lord Provides
Looking back, I’m amazed at the ways God provided during that time.…
I was restless. Many thoughts bouncing from one side of my head to the other, colliding and creating more thoughts. Silently, I watched the Black-Capped Chickadees dash across the yard into the white spruce right outside the window, their quickness mimicking the questions and fears racing through my mind.
How do you keep bringing your broken heart before the God who allowed it to be shattered?
That’s what I found myself wondering. It just seems easier to keep our distance and bury our longings in the tomb with all that’s been lost.
The Idol of Self-Protection
Praying for things we desire comes naturally for many people but for me, it’s a struggle. I fear my heart’s quick reaction to such prayers—how it turns my requests into idols. I don’t want to desire the created thing more than the Creator, so I don’t ask. But in not taking my supplications to him, I keep back a part of my heart from him, and therefore, provide fresh soil for the roots of another idol to deepen.…
I’m writing today with an honesty that many may judge as unwise. A person who has never experienced deep grief may write it off as unbiblical. Modern-day stoics might question where my faith lies. However, a quick look at the Psalms would shed light on what it looks like to lament before God. Before you are words I long to say to the girl who is facing a similar road as me—the girl whose heart feels shattered under the weight of longing for motherhood. I write it for her, not me. And I write with tears for all of us: those who can’t conceive and those whose babies are in heaven.
Dear friend, who feels crushed by the negative pregnancy test in her hand, I weep with you. To those who haven’t experienced this grief, it may seem like one test—better luck next month. But to us who are walking through the thorn-filled path of sorrow called infertility, it acts as a dagger which pricks our heart, exposing the deep grief that lies within.…
My throat tightened, but tears failed to follow. You know that old feeling…when sadness wedges itself in your throat, making it hard to breathe. It’s like a century passes before you’re able to swallow down the sorrow. Behold the sign of familiar pain—the kind that almost always lingers in the background like a pilot light.
It’s a symptom of a heart that longs, a heart that’s sick, a heart where waiting feels endless.
Forfeiting God’s Best
Ever since I can remember, I’ve run away from pain. I try to avoid it at all costs, seeking ways to maneuver about unscathed by it.
My mind flashes back to another time—a time where a little girl carried on because she couldn’t swallow the pill her mom gave her. Her legs kicking, eyes swollen with monstrous tears. She—I—didn’t want to take the pill. I knew my body needed it. I knew my mom was only trying to provide what would heal my sickness.…
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Psalm 131:1-2)
I read these words from Psalm 131 and immediately the claws of conviction gripped my heart. I had been spending my time in the high and lofty places where “why’s” and “what if’s” permeate the air. It’s where weary souls go to question and demand knowledge which belongs only to the sovereign God of the universe. My pride was exposed; my distrust on display.
To be honest, the future scares me. I’m well aware of the risks at hand in this season we’re walking through. Some possibilities are small in the grand scheme of could be’s while others are life-altering. All of them, though, tempt me to fear the future.…