This year is six years, six years since we lost our first baby, six years since the toilet clotted blood. Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week and it pulls me back to the memories like my eyes to the scene of a car crash. I can see myself on the floor. Praying. Begging. Being willing to do anything not to lose him. What kinds of bargains we try and make with God in those moments. I don’t know if it was a him, but I imagine it so. So many times I blamed myself. Shouldn’t have been working so hard.
“Why are we afraid of broken things? What if the abundance of communion is only found there in the brokenness of suffering–because suffering is where God lives? Suffering is where God gives the most healing intimacy.” -Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way- Sunset in Cape Town is like a world set on fire. The pinks and red hues dipped into the Atlantic Ocean in furious delight. The waves crashed loud and the marshy, sea salt spray filled my nostrils. Behind me, a rock called Lion’s Head because of the shape of it, and the way it drapes its mountainous body around
Around here lately, things have been tough. One of those weeks where you can feel like you’re losing your mind. I used to be afraid to say that, because aren’t I supposed to have it all together? But it was a PMS emotional migraine, sad I had to move San Francisco and leave all my friends behind, will I ever have any friends, my dog is sick, my bills are mounting, infertility sucks, am I going crazy or am I just depressed, shitty (sorry, but let’s get real) type weeks. I had to take my dog RosieTheChippin to the vet hospital
“They shared an unshakeable belief in beauty, in overflow, in everythingness, the bursting, indelible beauty in a world where there is so much suffering and wounding and pain.” –The Light of the World– Many of you know I write a lot about self care, and avoiding burnout, but I don’t want to ignore the fact that in our cross cultural work, and in life in general, suffering is inevitable. In fact, when we enter into ministry, we’re signing up to bear witness to the suffering of others. It is these two opposite poles of self-care and entering into suffering that are so
Sometimes in between the kitchen and the washing machine, doing the same acts over again with seemingly little result, I wonder if my life has purpose. I used to love my job. I used to love what I did with a kind of maniacal passion. I used to stay up late writing blog posts and used to look forward to going into the office in Uganda every day to hug each of my beautiful staff each morning. I used to love to sit under a mango tree and counsel a struggling woman. I was someone people looked to for answers, I was
“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” –Charles Dickens- I was in Target, a cart full of disheveled clothes, baggy shirts and cardigans, waiting to be tried on. I was going to use them to haphazardly hide my growing belly. The phone call came and I already knew something was wrong. I almost didn’t want to answer it. I could feel the head begin to pound and the knees weak
Most days I am fine. I get up, walk RosieTheChippin, my breath exhaling in puffs in the cool morning air as the horizon blushes pink. I wait for her to go number two. I pick it up like a good neighbor. I come back, boil water for tea and make the omelet with spinach and goat cheese. I go to the gym and burn as many calories as I can on the elliptical while mouthing Katy Perry. I lift a few weights and wonder in the mirror if I’m doing it right. I come back and sit and stare at
Hope starts small. Like a thin winged bird unfurling from its nest for the first time. I’m learning there is some kind of secret in this brokenness, something sacred to follow winding down the cave walls towards a halo in the distance. Something to be learned here. About life. About myself. In the breathing in and letting go. In the exhale. There is no short cut to happiness. You have to wake up. You have to do something every day that makes you happy. And perhaps scares you. Trying out that new trail on your own. Going to a dance
When I hold the baby and realize that it isn’t mine and I am not sure I will ever clasp feet that tiny in my hands, there is a small part of me that wants to walk to a building’s edge and simply step off and feel the fluttering of air before nothing else. It feels so similar, so close to another time when I lost everything and it is the familiarity that frightens me because it was a dream that died, never realized. Sometimes I feel what others might call me crazy for, these thoughts that tumble over each
When the mommy brigade takes over Panera with their newborns I want to run. In fact I do run, right out the front door. Tiny heads with tiny hats on them. Little animal-eared sweaters. Most days it doesn’t affect me. Most days I don’t feel like the air has been squeezed out of my chest. But today I do. Sometimes we don’t understand why. Why so many around me this year carried that hope in them, that new life, only to have it be snuffed out. Why good people, the best people, lost the most precious thing in the world.
Writer. Missionary Coach. Recovering perfectionist. I want you to know that you are loved and already good enough. I am about helping people move from brokenness into wholeness. Together, we'll make a more beautiful world.
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