I’ve been pretty quiet about the struggle these past few months. I’ve been quiet because life has been moving fast! We packed up our life, said goodbye to Senegal, to full-time ministry, we traveled back to America, moved to Colorado, found a house, unpacked, went to the beach, came back… but the silence doesn’t mean that the struggle isn’t real. It is. Too real, sometimes.
The struggle is a mix of so many different things:
Lies that God somehow forgot about us. That he somehow doesn’t hear our prayers. He remembered to bless everyone else, what about us? The other day I was in an airport gift shop and I saw a really cute baby bib (of all things – they’re not usually the kind of thing one would rave about – but it was really cute – it could have easily been a bestseller on etsy) and it said “Babies are life’s biggest blessing.” And I mean… they are! But what about me?! Do I not deserve to be blessed? Are we not loved enough, worthy enough for that kind of a blessing? These are, of course, lies. But the struggle is real. Why are THEY blessed, and we’re not?
The struggle is an identity crisis. Our culture tries to tell us that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. Well, what if it doesn’t? What if life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to? Or the way we think it should? We women who don’t or can’t have children, and we women who do have children, and we single women, all of us . . . we ALL have to realize that our identity is in Christ. It’s not a title or an accomplishment or a place in life or a season we’re in. It’s Christ. It’s our deep worth because of who he is. No matter where we come from or what path we find ourselves on.
But the struggle and the pain show back up and then we feel weary. That’s grief though. It’s unpredictable. It’s back and forth. It comes out of nowhere sometimes. It’s exhausting.
Faith, can be exhausting. When friends are sitting around the table talking about how many more kids they want to have, it’s hard to choose faith. It’s hard to, in faith, remind ourselves that God does love us, that he will never forget about us, that he has blessed us (more than we deserve), and that he has us where we are for a reason. It’s hard in those moments of ‘returning grief’ to remember that maybe his plan is to use us as a married couple without kids, or to teach us what it means to be brave in trusting God with our circumstances, or to learn what grief feels like so that we can better relate to others. Who knows! Maybe he wants to teach us what brave faith looks like through the ups and downs of unknown infertility. Maybe bravery is going against the flow of what our culture says. Even on those days that we doubt, question, and feel weary. What if, when the struggle is all too real, we find a new way of looking at it? That’s our hope. That even when the struggle is real, there’s purpose.