in the clouds.

While in Hawaii a few months ago, we traveled the Waimea Canyon, stopping throughout the winding roads, walking to lookouts and rest stops. The views were spectacular, evident that there not only is a God, but that He is a powerful artist. One stop in particular stands out though and that’s because when we arrived, we were in a cloud.

As we stood at the top of the cliff, we were surrounded in white, a surreal mist-like feeling wrapped around us and we struggled to see through it. We could tell from our surroundings that there were beautiful mountains and a beach on the other side, but from where we stood, we just saw traces of color and this white fog.

I feel like I am back on that mountain again, wrapped in a cloud, unable to see the other side, slightly blind, completely helpless. And instead of the cloud rolling out, as it began to in Kauai, the cloud just seems to be getting thicker.

The doctor confirmed today what we already knew, another failed cycle, a big fat negative, more dreams snatched away. We didn’t even tell anyone we were cycling, my strength was depleted, my words few, my body exhausted. The thought of being asked one question about it, let alone having to answer it made me feel anxious and drained. So instead, we partnered up with the Lord and endured what we prayed would be a successful cycle.

And now, here I sit, not pregnant, waiting for the bleeding to start, with a stomach covered with the most massive bruises I have yet to see, colorfully reminding me in a sea of black, blue, yellow and purple that this didn’t work. And here in the cloud I sit.

I prayed walking into the appointment this morning that the blood draw would go smoothly and instead, was met with 4 painful needle sticks in order to find a vein that could produce any blood. “Your veins in your arms have formed scar tissue from overusage.”, the first nurse explained. I felt like I returned the statement with a numb smile, knowing all too well how much these arms of mine have been used for blood work.

I don’t have the strength to be angry, it’s an emotion far too exhausting. I just feel a weariness that is indescribable. People try to relate, but no one can really understand until you have been here. My heart feels battered – 6+ years of trying, 13 or 14 medicated cycles, countless IUI’s, 4 IVF cycles, 3 miscarriages, unending baby showers, newborn hospital visits, meals cooked, photos looked at on facebook and instagram, first birthday parties attended – all have taken its toll on the capacity I can hold. I. Am. So. Tired.

My friend Candice texted me last night and said “Sometimes it’s so hard to understand the story He’s asked us to receive…” and it all clicked for me. I am so tired of this being my story. I don’t want to receive it anymore. I want God to remove this burden of motherhood from my heart, to change the genre of books in my library, to reroute everything. This isn’t me! I don’t think like this, I can usually see the silver lining, but this week just seems a little harder.

And yet, as I was driving today, thinking about how I felt like I was stuck in this cloudy mountain, this chapter (Psalm 121) came to mind, spoken straight from His Spirit to mine:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—

he who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, he who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

With the simple words of “I lift my eyes up to the mountains”, I was reminded that there is something above the clouds, I just have to look up. Right now it seems that I am searching in a fog for my surroundings, but instead, God is there, reminding me that He watches over me, that none of this has escaped His sight and that there is a break from the clouds slightly above me head.

My help is not rooted in me or my capabilities to see the beach from where I stand. My Help is rooted in the one who stands above the mountains, who formed the clouds, who parts the skies and who has never left my side, even when life’s circumstances weigh on me.

In a Bible study I am doing this summer, I read these words: “God gives power to the faint. Admitting weakness gives way to God’s strength. Courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith despite fear.”

Did you need to hear that as much as I did? How many of you are standing with me in the cloud, feeling a little lost, a little overwhelmed and desperate for your story to change? Can I encourage both of us today to remember that “He who watches over you will not slumber.”? Even in the moments where is feels like all He is doing is slumbering, can we stand together in faith, believing that He is true to His word? That regardless of how we feel, feelings can’t be trusted, only He can be trusted.

To those surrounding me, can I ask (beg) you not to talk about this failed cycle with me? I am doing everything I can to gather my strength to make it through the next few days as the reminder of this failure pummels me physically. I don’t know if my heart can handle a sympathy text or “how are you?” question. (And if you do, then I will feel obligated to reply and I just don’t have it in me.) Please, just pray. If you are looking for a way to help, the greatest thing would be to join my heart in petitioning to the Lord that He allows these clouds to pass by quickly. He is faithful, even when it is hard to see. I am firmly believing that He will replenish my soul, hopefully sooner rather than later. I’m praying for you too.

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(Update: everything in me wants to yank this vulnerable post off this blog and archive it away from the public eyes. But I pray that God can use it to touch just one person reading today … If its you, it’s worth it.)

30 thoughts on “in the clouds.

  1. lloniewsky says:

    Praying for peace. . You spoke to my heart and you have a beautiful grace about you. . Allow your heart to heal but also know you are soo very encouraging even in your pain to others thru your words of truth. That’s something to be admired. The Lord is doing a great work in you. . You might not see that but you have something very special..

  2. Caroline @ In Due Time says:

    Lord, we lift up Chelsea to you knowing and trusting that you are our healer. Both physically, and emotionally Lord. We thank you for giving her the opportunity to share her feelings and lament to you, but we ask that you would give her the strength to look up, past her circumstances, and trust that you are good. We ask that you would provide her with the strength she needs to take each step. We ask that you would heal her broken heart. Lord, release a fresh revelation of the love you have for her – let her know that she is YOUR daughter and she is loved. Thank you that you are FOR and not against her. Thank you that even though it doesn’t look like it you DO have good plans for her. Comfort her. Bring her peace. Bring her joy and catch every tear she cries. We claim you are good even when you don’t make sense. We rebuke all attacks of the enemy that tell her she is anything but a child of God and command her body to be healed in Jesus’ name. Amen

  3. There Is A Chance says:

    You are a beautiful artist. The pictures and feelings you paint with your words are so amazing. I wish we could understand His ways, even just a little bit. Thank you for the reminder to look up to Him for our help and that He is above all of this.

  4. Elisha says:

    oh chels! I am just so sorry. Please do not feel like you need to comment back. I totally get it. Please know that I am praying for you. Praying, praying, praying. Praying that the sweet Lord wrap His tender mercies around you and that He give you peace, comfort, strength, and hope to keep living each and every day with the fullness of His joy. This road is not easy but ya know what? You are doing an amazing job at walking it. You have so much grace and you inspire so many. Hang in there. God is ever so faithful and what He has done for so many other women, I have faith to believe He will do for you. I am praying for complete healing of your body and heart today. xoxo

  5. Surviving Infertility says:

    I am glad you didn’t remove this post. I have been feeling pretty down today, and it helped me. The bible verses you shared give me encouragement, and your story reminds me I am not alone after our 2 failed IUI’s, 3 IVF’s, 3 miscarriages, and still no child here on this here to call our own. Although I wish we didn’t have these things in common, we do. Please know that I will pray for you as you requested. Thinking of you during this tough time.

    • Tesha says:

      I agree. Thank you for leaving this post up. This is the first time I turned to an Internet blog to help me. I’m surrounded by friends and family that do not understand. I thank God that I found this post. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you.

  6. Holly says:

    Chelsea, this is so dang honest. I think sometimes us Christian bloggers feel guilty for admitting the doubt or hurt or anger. After I lost my twins I had to get an HSG I remember forcing myself to pray it would go well and it was horrible, painful, and took 4 different doctors. That stung me-why can’t you even answer that God?? In my darkest moments and doubts I kept reminding myself He is good, He is good. You do such a beautiful job of that. I can hear your hurt, and pain, and weariness in this, but like Job, you are not cursing God. You are a gorgeous woman inside and out. I know you are tired. I know you don’t want this to be your story anymore. It’s painful and it’s long. You are so strong and brave. I had to stop attending showers/hospital visits because it just killed me, while you still shine through for others around you. Psalm 121 was ‘my verse’ as a child because I was very anxious. I would read it for peace. I know that if God didn’t have huge plans for you, He would have taken the desire away. In Exodus one of my favorite stories is when Moses couldn’t hold the rod over the red sea any longer out of weariness. His “people” had to hold his arms up because he had no more strength. I was at this point after the twins died but I knew that His people were still praying for me. Know that we are here, holding your arms up with you. I am so ready to see what God does in your life and how your story ends. I know it’s frustrating, but this. is. not. the. end. Keep doing what you do <3

  7. Dana says:

    I have never read your blog before. I just stumbled upon it tonight in a desperate attempt to find something to calm my heart. This post was written for me, i swear. After enduring a second miscarriage three weeks ago, after 4 years of infertility, with 11 medicated cycles, my sister in law broke the camels back tonight by announcing she was pregnant via group text. I meeded to hear these words. I needed to know that theres a plan, and that there is hope and comfort that can come from a never-ending strength when i am so frail and weak.

    Thank you.

  8. Amanda says:

    I prayed for you – for strength and peace. I also prayed that your desire to be a mother would stay with you, but to that would be added strength and encouragement from God. You have been such a gift of help, support, and compassion to so many, including me – I pray that you will find all that and more from the community rallying around you now. Be still and know He is God – and that he has a plan and reason for all He does. If I can pray for anything else, specifically or generically, please let me know.

  9. whattoexpectifyourenot says:

    My heart hurts for you. We are into year 7 of this journey and I was thinking similar thoughts this week: Lord send me another goal, desire, ect!!!! You are in my prayers and I really thank you for sharing. Sometimes it makes me feel less alone that I’m not the only who struggles being positive merry sunshine every minute! (Which is what I feel is expected of me…people say to me, “whatever happens just don’t get bitter!” 😕

  10. floatingonhope says:

    I’m sorry for what you are going through, Chelsea. I have been there. Felt exactly that way. Like a hamster going round and round on a wheel, but getting nowhere. Shrouded in a mist of clouds.
    All power to you for putting this vulnerable post out there… Your words and helpful (and hopeful) to anyone reading them, irrespective of their situation.
    HE works in mysterious ways.

  11. vivagood says:

    Father, this morning I lift Chelsea up to you. While we don’t know each other, I think I know too much about the pain that she is feeling. Be with her right now in this moment. May she feel your arms around her SO tangibly that she can mark this moment in time as one where your presence was so near that she could feel it. Fill her with hope, with peace and with joy. Father, we thank you that your word says that you can do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine; your word also says that hope doesn’t disappoint. So Lord, we cling to you and your promises now believing that the best is yet to come, that you will fulfill your promises to Chelsea and that you will rise with healing on your wings. Come swiftly, Lord, and heal her. Part those clouds and reveal to her all of the love and goodness and faithfulness that you are. Amen.

  12. Jojo says:

    I am praying for u girly! Take all the time u need to fully heal ur heart. I know our hearts won’t fully heal but those scars will make us stronger.

  13. Erin says:

    I’ve thought of you, and pleaded to God so many times this week sweet friend. You are one of my greatest inspirations and models of faith. I pray that the Father holds you closer than ever before as you navigate through this. You are so loved.

  14. Katie says:

    This…what a blessing for me in this moment. I’m currently in my office at church, wanting to go home, feeling so depleted…I just can’t be the smiling, happy minister today. Did a google search for infertility blogs and came across yours. Tears filling my eyes as I realize I am not alone in this journey. Holding close to me today your words written above, “God is faithful, even when it is hard to see.” Thank you.

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