Christmas.

Apparently I was not the only one who thought running to Target on Sunday evening was a good idea. I am not sure if it was the extra 10% off that caused the excess crowds or if it was the fact that it was a few days before Christmas, but whatever it was, Target was a zoo.

I mean it. I saw two ladies ram carts to get to the last bag of hanging cheddar cheese. I saw a small child nearly rolled over with a cart as a man tried to maneuver something in the way back on the bottom shelf. I myself even had to use a throat cleaning technique or two as I tried to pass through the bakery scene. People were abandoning their carts and running for the items they needed. It reminded me of a scene from a store the day before Y2K. (Remember that? We all thought the world was going to end? What was going to happen to the computers!?!?)

An item on my list was bacon and I knew this would be a congested spot. I pulled up to the section and stood back quietly to watch the animals shoppers fight. As I stood aside waiting for the perfect opportunity to dart in and grab what I needed, I couldn’t help but notice an adorable little girl, about 4, standing with her mom and baby brother next to me. I smiled at her as she noticed me watching and then it came.

“Hi. Where’s your baby?”

All my mind could think was “Is this a joke?”, yet I managed to smile (as I assumed tears and a pained cry might frighten her and everyone around me) as I gritted back “Oh hi, I don’t have a baby.”

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My heart was racing. Just a few minutes earlier as I was walking through the produce, I was struggling with sadness as I remembered just last year on this day, I knew I was pregnant. Memories of surprise onsies and telling-the-parents videos had been creeping up my throat as I was shopping the aisles and the question asked was like a dagger to my heart.

But why don’t you have a baby?”

Thankfully at this point the mom became aware of the conversation and stepped in. “Honey, not everyone has a baby.” Then trying to change the subject, she turned to me and asked which brand of bacon was on the Cartwheel this week. (Answer: the sold out one). But instead of being able to answer, the little girls voice chimed in again.

But why? Why don’t you have a baby too?”

Her persistence was admirable. She wanted an answer. I now was looking a little like this:

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She must have sensed that a response was not coming. I mean, it wasn’t like I was going to sit her down and say “Well, sometimes people have a hard time making a baby. And then you need shots and pills and surgeries. And then sometimes you get a baby in your tummy and then that baby dies. Merry Christmas.” So in order to avoid any appalled looks from her Mom, I choose to stay silent, my eyes darting around trying to locate ANY bacon at this point so I could make a run for it.

Well, you should have a baby.”

Her last words were said so sweetly and with them, I grabbed some weird off brand bacon, nothing like the kind I wanted, spurt out a “bye” and ran away. (And by ran, I mean made it a foot with my cart before crashing into people waiting to get down aisles.)

My, what a year will do. For me, it’s been a tough couple days remembering this time last year. I am trying not to dwell on it, as I know it won’t change things, but still am working to acknowledge my sadness and process through it as it pops up.

This time last year, our home was filled with special memories like our first positive test, first baby bump pictures, and excited cries as we told our families. After I miscarried I thought that there would be no way that I wouldn’t be pregnant by the holidays this year because we would do whatever it took for that to happen. Well, we did whatever we could and I still sit here with the emptiness I never wanted to feel at Christmas.

Infertility at Christmas can bring out tough emotions. There seems to be something about holidays that grows an entirely new set of “what if” and “when will I” thoughts and memories. We see cousins growing up and it makes our hearts sad that the cousin won’t be close in age. We see parents, grandparents and great grandparents getting and acting older and our brains start to panic, worrying that our children will never know “this version” of them. We receive the announcement Christmas cards in the mail and we reflect back to the fact that if this or that cycle had worked, we would have been {insert number here} weeks along and sending out a similar card. We fill up our carts with gifts for nieces, nephews, and adopted families in need and wonder if we will ever be able to wrap a gift for our own child. As we sit around the Christmas tree, it stings as we realize another season is passing by in brilliant colors around us, while our colors feel a little muted and dull. The ache and longing feels like a gigantic gapping, bleeding hole and the smiles plastered on can feel so brittle that one wrong question asked and you might just crack.

Truth is, I didn’t expect to be spending Christmas this way. And I know that for many of those reading this, you weren’t expecting it for yourself either. But, I have good news… God is a God of impossibles.

Perhaps this journey has pushed you back further and you think “well if God really loved me, He would have given me a baby by now.” Don’t you wish that God was a magic genie that would just make every dream and desire come true exactly when we asked? I imagine Heaven is a mixture of praises and answered prayers, but on earth here today we are stumbling through a sinful world of imperfect people and bodies. There isn’t a “That Was Easy” button on every prayer prayed and our challenge today is to learn to be grateful and view TODAY, with your present circumstances and situation, as a day given to you out of love from our Father. May we be filled with hope that with His grace and goodness, there will be another tomorrow and with that comes the patient expectation of answered prayers and miracles worked.

You see, Christmas is one of the most beautiful reminders to me that God can do anything. Now struggling with infertility, I feel like I have a deeper significance of appreciation for the words “behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son … It doesn’t make sense. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE. Yet, it happened. So often I forget the wait that was involved prior to Mary’s pregnancy by God’s people as they waited and waited for the King to arrive. But alas, at the right time, to the right set of parents, that miracle was performed.  

The rest of the verse above (Matthew 1:23) goes on to say “…, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which means, God with us.” The great news is that God is with us. We never have to fight this battle alone. Whatever battle you are facing today, whether it’s infertility like us, or something else, we have the presence of an Almighty God standing with us.

Friends, Christmas is upon us. It may look different than what we hoped, but let us celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth, knowing that “with God, nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37) And let us bring our sadness humbly to His feet and walk away with renewed hope in the year that is to come and with gratitude for the day He has given us in today. Keep believing, keep fighting and keep praying. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas.  

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15 thoughts on “Christmas.

  1. Elisha says:

    I loved this! Such a great post! Merry Christmas! God is a God of the impossibles…it’s what He does best and He shines best when we step back and let Him be who He is! I can’t wait for Him to do the impossible in your life! I’m believing and hoping for you girlie!

  2. Kaylynn says:

    This was so beautifully written. Your strength is so inspiring. I couldn’t help but tear up reading this. This Christmas is much more painful than I imagined. Just as you said, all the questions of “will we ever…?” bounce around my head. And we all need the reminder to be grateful for the life we have today. It may not be what we imagined, but it’s the only one we have! In due time we will know the reasons. May you and Josh have a blessed Christmas!

    • chels819 says:

      Thank you for reading and sharing your heart with me! I think about you often and love being part of your journey. He has great plans ahead for you, I just know it!! Xoxo!

  3. melissavenable says:

    I am so sorry about that conversation w/ that little girl. It always amazes me how conversations like that happen! I mean, she could have asked someone who did have a baby or who at least wasn’t going through infertility!

    Thank you so much for this. Really great points about Mary & what she was told. The verse i have been holding on to is Luke 1:36-37. “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” LOVE that!! And the “old age” part helps me – i am 35, which isn’t old but feels old when you don’t have a baby yet!

    xoxo

    • chels819 says:

      I love this! The added verse means so much too. It’s a great reminder that God can do anything in all situations, regardless of age, egg quality, “logic” … Believing with you that He will do what feels impossible! Xoxo!

  4. Caroline says:

    Wow! I view this as a prophetic word from the Lord!! Interesting I got one from a 5 year old last week, who said a similar thing (but in a statement, not a question). It’s all these blessing and prophetic words that keep me steadfast in believing and knowing it’s coming! I hope you cling to that faith that the Lord speaks to others and that He desires you to be a mom too!!

    • chels819 says:

      Thanks for always speaking such Godly positivity about difficult situations Caroline! I love and appreciate your continued faithfulness and reminders. So blessed to have you in my life!

  5. Chelley says:

    This is beautifully written. We survived 7 Christmas’s while TTCing before we were finally blessed with our dream-come-true. I, too, was pregnant last Christmas but lost the baby on New Years Day. I never dreamed I wouldn’t be pregnant again by now. For these reasons and others, this post really spoke to me. Thank you.

    • chels819 says:

      I am thinking of you as New Years Day approaches. Difficult memories to relive! Thanks for reading and sharing your own journey as well. Saying a special prayer for you and your family tonight.

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