Raw, empty and hopeful

Four years ago, during the Christmas season, I lost my dad. For some reason, I thought that would be the numbest Christmas–the weirdest–I would ever experience. By experience, this year I am discovering this is not the case, and there may be harder Christmases to come. This is not our home.
We like to think we can create magical reproductions of childhood at Christmastime. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” We try to create a heaven on earth only to remember…this is not our home.
We practice the anticipation and plan and dream only to experience the let down when things do not go our way–family spats, unfulfilling gifts, unfulfilling reactions to gifts, sickness, busyness that wears us completely down. This is not our hope. This is not our home.
This week, Greg and I have come to the end of our part in the fertility quest with our infertility doctor. A disappointing not pregnant after three rounds of injectable hormones and IUIs. When I went off birth control nearly five years ago, I would have never pictured this outcome. My heart is heavy–when I am not trying to crack jokes and make it okay for everyone else around me. This is not our home.
This heaviness ironically fell deeply upon me as I helped to lead worship for our Christmas eve service last night. Christmas is a lonely time for those without children–I am beginning to realize. As I saw the excitement in the children’s faces last night, the beautiful dresses on little girls, the packs of extended families, my heart felt raw. I honestly felt like life moved on and left us standing confused. I know this is not the truth, but it is what I felt–what I continue to feel today. Christmas is one of the only if not the only times where there is such a concentrated family connection in your face. It seems through this whole process that the not pregnants have come coupled with joyous times for other people. An opportunity to rejoice with those who rejoice while I mourn. This is simply one of the hardest of those. This is not our home.
Greg and I are alone this morning with our sweet sleeping dog, Bailey, and will feast with my family later today and see his tomorrow. I pray for strength to be weak but not full of self-pity. I pray for strength to respond in kind and in courage when people talk about stories of others who got pregnant after a spell like this or who have an incredible story of adoption or who say this is not the end. This is not to say any of those are untrue–just not what I need to hear right now. I need to hear just what our dear friend and pastor, Rick, shared with me last night–take the time you need to mourn to grieve in truth as a couple. I simply cannot keep this monthly roller-coaster up. God is in charge of my womb. I put my hope in Him in whatever His plan is. I trust Him, but I have to let go in my heart of hanging on each month. My worth and purpose is not found in this. This circumstance is not my comfort. This is not our home.
What a gift in the last few days to talk with young women old and new who need love and comfort and truth to be shared with them. I am thankful God has given me eyes to see this opportunity and gift He has given me to love them in His truth and His name. What a reminder that others are in deep pain and need–we do not exist apart from others. He has called us to love Him fully and others as ourselves. To remind them that this is not our home.
My prayer is that I rest in the truth of the gift in Christ–the immeasurable riches of God’s grace in kindness poured out on us in Christ Jesus. May I mourn as one with hope, not for a child, but for fulfillment in our Eternal King. May I remember, this world is not my home. My home is a place where mourning is no more–where I will be made whole.

Published by jenpinkner

45 years old Married Mom to 2 From Tennessee

10 thoughts on “Raw, empty and hopeful

  1. I don’t have an appropriate response, or something “right” to say, but I just wanted you to know that my heart is heavy for you as you struggle and grow through this. We love you guys, and are continuing to pray that God gives you strength, understading and continued trust in him. Thanks for the reminder that this is not our home, and praise our great God that it’s not!

  2. My heart is heavy for you as everything you stated is something I have felt. I remember running out of church on Mother’s Day for several years (even though I was so happy to have my mother), trying to smile at baby shower’s while crying inside, and the hurt we felt month after month when we learned that the fertility “techniques” were not working. Unless you have indeed experienced this, no one understands the pain. My prayers will be with you both in the days to come. If you ever need to talk, I would be glad to listen!

  3. As always, your transparency is heart-breaking and so convicting. I think we all get too attached at one point or another to this, our Earthly dwelling, which is, not our home. Thanks for the poignant reminder and direction in my prayers for you.

  4. Thank you all for your prayers, heavy hearts and kind words. God has blessed us with those who love and pray for us when we are weak.

  5. I accidentally came upon your blog as I was posting on my blog regarding the scripture”Enter in By the Narrow Gate” and I was struck by your fertility struggle and your staunch stand to trust God at any cost.

    Certainly you have entered in by the Narrow Gate and are walking the strait path of true discipleship. I believe in my heart that the Lord will bless your stand for Him and His Word and will ultimately bless you and your husband.

    It is this waiting on God that is so trying. But those who wait upon the lord will rise up with Eagles wings – so stand fast – wait upon the Lord and He will bless you!

    Your trials at this time of the year brings to mind the nativity story in Luke when the when the angel appeared to Mary to announce God’s purpose for her – to bear a son by the Holy Spirit, she, in her heart was astonished but willing to accept God’s will or her. Yet she was curious as to God would bring this about since she did not have husband. The angel then told her that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and she would bring forth a son who was to be named Jesus and will be called the Son of God. Then, in order to bolster her faith, he continued saying to her, “Even now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:36-37)

    I believe this Word is for you and I stand in the gap in prayer for you believing with you that “Nothing is impossible for God!”

    May the Lord manifest himself mightily in your life and may His Life bring life into your womb at this very moment! May God Bless you!

    Bartimaeus [www.quietplace4prayer.wordpress.com]

  6. What a courageous and God trusting stand you have taken to open your heart and shared your pain with us. May the God of all comfort hold you and protect your mind and heart in Christ Jesus.
    As I read: “This is not our home”…”you need to mourn to grieve in truth as a couple”…what came to my mind was Shadrac, Meshac and Abednego and the thought of expectations (whether yours or of those around you) making you bow to an idol. Only God can give life and whether He does or doesn´t, He is able to save you from the bondage that those expectations can have on you. When God united you and Greg as one flesh, He made you a family. Children are always welcome additions to the family but they do not make you a family.
    This is a hard path that your loving ABBA is asking you to travel and not only is He holding your hand every step of the way but while you are in the furnace, He will dance with you. He will also call you out of the furnace and there would be not even the smell of smoke on you. You are the fragrance of Christ!
    I am crying with you…I love you, Simi

  7. THe “betsy” that commented to you On Dec. 28th is my precious daughter.As I shared the journey with her, I know it made us stronger in our faith and stronger as a mother and daughter.Each time I injected that medicine into heer hip, I cried with her.This is something I never thought we would share.No one until they walk in the shoes and no mother knows until she walks with her daughter.After reading your blog I feel I know you.Betsy and I want to reach out and hold the hands of those suffering.Sometime when you are ready I wish you could hear the rest of her story.Our word is and was “BELIEVE”,first in our Father then in all the things He wants us to Believe in.God bless you and your hubby and we will be remembering in you and always “BELIEVE”. Bobbye Carol Click

  8. Wow…as always your posts are incredibly passionate, tender…and COURAGEOUS!

    I am so humbled as I read about how you continue to trust Him through this painful season of waiting, and how you look beyond yourself and into eternity and what He has promised for us there! I remember when I was going through a season of infertility where God kept revealing other women around me who were getting pregnant and who had no regard for Him as a Creator and who callously referred to it as some “biology thing” and not a miracle. Oh, how my heart racked with pain and my eyes smarted with tears as I looked on that woman with great envy who was moving onto pregnancy number 3 with a lack luster, laissez-faire attitude!!

    But instead of wallowing in bitterness, I am so blessed to see how in your season of waiting and grieving, God is very much at work as I see how, in faith, you have made your life about Christ and making Him known and how your teaching and testimonies continue to be used to draw others closer to Him.

    Thank you for your posts which offer a tangible way for me to see how you are living out the 1 Peter 1:3-5 life for, in, and by Christ: “According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, and kept in heaven for us and which by God’s power is being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

    My heart aches for you also! Praying with you…still!


    P.S. I agree with these sisters. Our incredible God does incredible things all the time!

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