brittleeallen

This Pregnancy Isn’t About Me

This Pregnancy Isn’t About Me

I wanted to share an update but felt unsure of how. The typical “Baby Allen coming soon!” announcement just isn’t within our reach. We hope the above statement is true, but only God knows. So, this is the best way I found to say…we’re pregnant again.

I was hesitant to share this. I feared what people would think of my decision to announce our fourth pregnancy to the world so early, given our struggles with miscarriages. “They’ll think I’m presumptuous or just plain stupid. What if I miscarry the day after I share the news? Then I’ll be so embarrassed!” Most people would advise me to keep quiet, reminding me the world doesn’t need to know. But I feel this urgency to push past the discomfort.

If I’ve learned anything in this season, it’s that pregnancy isn’t really about me anyway. It’s not about 9 months of pampering and getting everything I want, it’s not about receiving my ticket to the mom club, or the attention you get from virtually everyone—strangers included.…

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When “Thy Will Be Done” Becomes Self-Protection

When “Thy Will Be Done” Becomes Self-Protection

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.…

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Infertility and Psalm 77

Infertility and Psalm 77

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.…

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Don’t Forfeit God’s Best for Your Life

Don’t Forfeit God’s Best for Your Life

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.…

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Be Calm and Quiet My Soul

Be Calm and Quiet My Soul

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.…

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Beware the Draw of Laziness in the Midst of Suffering

Beware the Draw of Laziness in the Midst of Suffering

There’s a permanent indentation in my couch. The toll of first-trimester exhaustion from two pregnancies, as well as the miscarriages that ended them, has made its mark on our lives. That once new couch is just one evidence of it.

It’s been there from the beginning, delivered with it’s appalling “new furniture smell” as I fought off morning sickness. But as my nausea faded, along with the little life inside my womb, my body sunk deep into the fleeting comfort it provided. It comforted for a time, but as all false refuges do, it left me unsatisfied.

A Time to Mourn

As Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes, there’s a time and season for all things. Certainly, there’s a time to mourn and a season for healing, both emotionally and physically.

…a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
(Eccl. 3:4 ESV)

When sorrow swoops down like a hawk in hunting, stealing our health, taking our loved ones, and breaking our hearts, we must weep for what was lost and mourn what will never be.…

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