I wrote and shared this post on Instagram this past Saturday, December 8, 2018, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Because many subscribers to this journal are not on Instagram, I felt the need to also share it here, as a full post.
I remember a year ago today so vividly.
A friend had told me she was pregnant, and, embarrassingly, I burst into tears, as we had been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for 6 months and I had just found out we weren’t pregnant yet again.
Then we went to mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. I could barely hold it together throughout mass.
As if going to mass specifically to celebrate Mary’s conception wasn’t enough, every song was about how good God is and His wondrous works. Boy, did that feel like salt in my wound. To be honest, in that moment, I did not feel all hunky-dory about God. It was literally hard to sing the words that God is good. I struggled to genuinely glorify God, and at the same time felt like such a fair-weather Christian. Could I only love God when things were going my way?
The next few months of continued infertility brought me face to face with hard questions like this in my own spiritual life. I grew so much in my relationship with Jesus, as I began to let Him in—to let Him console me and be with me in the pain.
If I had only known that this was a metaphorical “Good Friday” in my life, but that my “Easter Sunday” would come. Yes, I was in a season of suffering and bearing a heavy cross, but light and new life (literally!) would eventually take its place.
Today, it moves me to tears again to think of where I was a year ago—heartbroken, devastated, doubting God’s goodness and love for me—and where I am today: 37 weeks pregnant, ready to give birth to our sweet baby.
Tears of guilt and sadness that I felt anything but praise for such a good Father, who loves me so much, who wills my good always, even when I can’t see it or feel it and doubt Him.
Tears of sorrow and grief for all those who are where I was last year, still struggling with the incredible pain of infertility, waiting and hoping for the same miracle I hoped for.
Tears of joy and gratitude for this child whom I’ll soon meet, whom I prayed for for so long, for the redemption story God crafted in my life.
I‘ll never know why God allowed for this beautiful story of redemption in our life, at this time, when so many others have suffered longer or greater. All I know is that our God is deserving of all the praise and glory for it, and no matter whether you’re in a “Good Friday” or “Easter Sunday” of life—or somewhere on the Holy Saturday in between—God loves you and is with you.
*All photos by Rachel Ponstein of Rachel Gabriel Photography. If you’re in Michigan, she is an incredible wedding, engagement, and maternity photographer! I cannot recommend her enough *