Monday, October 26, 2015


This week marks 1 year of trying to conceive for me and my husband. I had it marked on our calendar because I was hoping we wouldn't make it to that point, but here we are. Our story at times seems so small compared to the years of struggle other couples face, but I've come to realize it's just as much real and hard and I've learned to let God meet me there. 

I would have never imagined in a million years this would be part of our story. I never imagined the countless months of hope that led to disappointment. I never imagined the sadness I would experience when best friends and acquaintances announced pregnancies. I never imagined asking God over and over, "why?" Even when we have had questions answered, I never imagined the rejoicing that would take place in my heart all the while, crying and hoping that it would be different.  I never imagined, at the same time, how I could experience the joy in the midst of what has felt never-ending. I never imagined sharing in heartache with a good friend who has suffered lost. I never imagined what a year of TTC would have done for our marriage, drawing us toward one another in ways we never expected. I never imagined being brought low to a place of utter dependence of Jesus. I never imagined God peeling away the layers of my heart to see Him as a good God and not as a cosmic joker who is watching me and laughing at me. That's not who He is. I've come to trust that those things are not a part of His character. I'm forever changed because of that truth. 

I never imagined any of that. I imagined having a baby right now. But that's not our story. My heart is so thankful. I'm thankful because while we still hope and pray for a child, however that may come, we have a good God who weeps with us. A God who cares for us. We have a God who longs for us to find comfort in him. 

I write this not for pity but to declare the hope I have in Jesus. I write this to proclaim the goodness and graciousness of our God. I write this for women and families who feel isolated and alone in a similar struggle. I write this to rejoice with those who have struggled and now rock a sweet baby to sleep in their arms. I write this to encourage those who feel utterly hopeless--that there is hope and it's found outside of ourselves in the person and presence of Jesus. A hope that's enteral, a hope that's life giving, a hope that sustains and is never lacking. 

I write this as a testament of God's grace that he breathes life into things that were once before not found. 

So as you wait, and I wait, as we wait together, may you be reminded you aren't alone. It's okay that we are sad and that we cry out and that we ask "why?" And it's okay to ask for help and to reach out to a friend or someone you trust. 

Let's not hide. Let's talk about our hurt and our pain. Let's share in the burden of this together. I'm a woman who longs to have a baby, who struggles with infertility and who knows a fraction of what it's like to experience the cycle of disappointment. I know that I'm not alone. Let's walk through this together. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

no-bake cookies & the wilderness

Over this past year, no-bake cookies are my go-to. Not like my go-to when I’m hungry or when I want something sweet (well, maybe sometimes). But they are the treat I make in a hurry when we have friends coming over or my girlfriends and I get together to watch The Bachelor (or chocolate covered strawberries--but those are a different story). No-bake cookies are delicious and easy to make (aka hard to screw up). But in all honesty, most of the time I screw them up. I like to play this game of “Oh, I have most of the ingredients to make these. I’ll try this other thing instead of these other things and it will work great.” Except it doesn’t. It never really does. They are either too runny or too sticky. We eat them anyway. 
This happened to me just last night. For months I’ve been thinking about how my experience with no-bake cookies is much like my life in the wilderness right now. 

This past year has also been a season of waiting, disappointment and uncertainty. Dustin and I have been trying to get pregnant for just under a year. It’s not hard to bring people into this, but as a I type I am actually experiencing a tightness in my chest (or it could be the no-bakes I made last night that ended up giving me heartburn--I’m deflecting, really). It’s been a hard season. Hard, because I feel like trying for almost a year doesn’t even come close to what some couples experience. I feel the temptation to suppress or tell myself “just get over it. ______ has been trying longer” or “our experience isn’t nearly has difficult as ______.” It’s been hard because I’ve been brought low to a place where I am constantly crying out to God to give me answers and when He doesn’t, I doubt his goodness. It’s been hard because I’ve felt broken, isolated, and shameful for something I ultimately have no control over. I feel like I’m in the wilderness. Walking and wandering. Looking for a fresh spring just up the way, only to find more desert. Only to be disappointed. Only to look to Jesus to satisfy me while experiencing sorrow and frustration and fear. 

Sure, the wilderness doesn’t seemingly represent my traumatic and delicious experiences with no-bake cookies, but in many ways, it does. Every time I try and alter the ingredients just slightly, they don’t turn out how I think they would or should. They are different. They still taste good, but they are dissimilar. It’s humbling. It shows my lack of trust with a recipe, believing in those moments what I am going to come up with is so much better. As I’ve been in the wilderness this last year, I’m reminded of how I try to look to other things to satisfy, thinking at the end of the day I know what I’m doing and God doesn’t. I often don’t trust his goodness and his faithfulness so I try to conjure up my own ingredients, my own contributions, my own devices to make things the way I want them to be--it doesn’t work. It turns out messy, it turns out ugly. 

“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.  And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word  that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.” (Deut 8:2-4). 

God is a good father. That is who He is. He is faithful. He hasn’t left me (us) to ourselves.  As I continue to walk in the desert (I’m still there), I can continue to cry out and ask Him why. I can be sad and hurt and frustrated and weary. And (at the same time) I can trust him. He’s meeting me there. It’s brutal and and it’s ugly and His faithfulness still tastes so much sweeter than anything I could have come up with myself.