How was your Thanksgiving? I hope your Holiday was filled with family, friends, thankfulness, rest, and food! I know ours was! We spent lots of time with out of town family, had a family photo shoot (I can't WAIT to see our pictures... I'll share them soon!), cooked lots of food, ate lots of food, and stayed as far away from Black Friday shopping as we could! We actually have found the same, if not better deals in the last day than we would have had we gotten up at 3am.
Though our Thanksgiving was restful and fun, I found myself feeling much like I did throughout all of the Holidays before we brought Hannah home; do you know what I mean? If so, then I'm so sorry and I'm right there with you.
Holidays are so joyous and fun but they bring with them a feeling of emptiness and longing when you're waiting for a child. I also know firsthand that the feelings are the same when you've lost someone you love; the Holidays are so hard!
I remember the Thanksgiving and Christmas before we brought Hannah home. We were right in the middle of infertility treatments and our 'test' day always seemed to fall annoyingly close to those Holidays. This was tough because we were so hopeful that we would get our BFP (big fat positive) in time to share our exciting news with our families when we were all together. In reality, we always ended up needing to push aside our broken hearts and spirits in order to appear happy and excited about the Holidays... all I really wanted to do after getting BFN after BFN was crawl into bed until next month when we would do it all over again. Are you famliar with the cycle I'm talking about? I'm sorry, friend.
The shower is my place of refuge and it's where Jesus and I have our best talks. I remember crying every night when I took my shower. It's cheesy but I always felt relief when I got out, knowing that my tears and grief had been washed away. The pain took longer to go away but eventually it became so dull that I was ready to move forward and look to the next round of whatever phase of infertility treatments we were going through. The pessimist in me knew that I would be seeking the refuge of my shower the next month, too but sometimes it's nice to have some hope to hold on to.
I don't think it matters if you're waiting for your first, second, or tenth child... the Holidays make it more difficult. Though ours are always full and rich (especially now with Hannah), I can't stop myself from envisioning the rest of our family and wanting so badly for them to be here with us. Patience is hard enough to come by and the Holiday's don't help. I've never been good at memorizing verses but for some reason, Psalm 37:7 has been echoing through my head this week...
"Be still in the Lord and wait patiently for Him..."
What does it mean to you to be still in the Lord? I think it's different for everyone. For me, this verse challenges me to stop the voices in my head (that's how Satan gets to me) and to take time out of every day to sit in the quiet and really listen for what God needs to tell me. I don't hear Him every day but when I do, His words do carry me through until He speaks again.
The rest of this verse is what has shaken me to my core this week. I will share more when the time is right, because I feel that our experiences are learning opportunities and they have the ability to make you stronger or shatter you; only you can decide what you will allow them to do to you. Right now, I am desperately fighting the part of me that wants to choose to shatter... and I have learned that that is OK; for a little while.
Have you ever been on a missions trip and experienced the power and the closeness to Jesus that comes after sacrificing and serving Him and Him only? It has always disappointed me how that 'high' gradually wears off when you return home. I don't want the same thing to happen this Thanksgiving and Holiday season. I have so much to be grateful for and it seems that the list gets longer and longer each year... for THAT, I am truly thankful!
Please pray for us this week... and I will be lifting you up, as well :-)