Emmanuel.

I wrote a blog post today and while editing, was surprised at how bitter I sounded. (It got erased.) It was cathartic to write but painful to read back. Because that’s not me. I am not bitter. Who stepped in and wrote these words?

I sounded sour. I was stewing over the fact that had our March miscarriage not happened, our baby would be 3 weeks old. I had just gotten off Facebook where I was reminded that I can’t take my kids to see Santa, strategically place an Elf on the Shelf every night, or cuddle with them while watching Christmas movies. I was weary about hearing about how wonderful grandchildren are and tired of listening to all the special moments “families” (read: parents with children) share in over the holidays. The whole post read “WARNING! THIS GIRL IS CRANKY.”

All of these emotions above are real. I am sure you have had them before too – sorrow, grief, anger, frustration, impatience, and bitterness. It’s hard when you don’t feel like anyone understands or tries to validate that it can be tough work to face into triggers every single day. Once a brave face goes up, everyone expects you to be fine. No relapses allowed. Let’s just talk about children.

Christmas time can be a struggle for those struggling with infertility, however, friends, let’s not live in that struggle. I know, this is hard. It’s hard for me to type this after a morning of feeling defeated and left out. But God is so faithful. He patiently reminded me that as believers, we aren’t defined by what we don’t have, we are defined by what we DO have and that’s Him.

I know you may not have expected to be spending Christmas this way (again). But we serve a good God, a God of miracles, a God who cares and sees every tear and a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son to earth for us. You see, Christmas is one of the most beautiful reminders that God can do and will do anything for His children. But so often I can forget that while waiting. I love what Louis Giglio says in Waiting Here for You:

But Jesus didn’t arrive without a wait. While you and I simply turn the page, moving effortlessly from the end of the Old Testament promises to the opening of Matthew’s Gospel, it wasn’t quite that easy. Four hundred years of silence spanned the gap between the final prophecies spoken in Malachi (the last Old Testament book) and the birth of Christ… Imagine the agony of waiting, the struggle to keep faith in the promises given long before.”

You see, God can work and move suddenly. Because after that long gap of silence, Matthew 1 came. “The wait was over. The silence was broken. Heaven unleashed thunderous applause. And in a messy manager, Jesus was born. God in human flesh! The Son of God had become the Son of Man. Emmanuel – God with us.”

We can cling to that Good News this Christmas season. God with us. We never have to fight our emotions and longings alone. He knows them well. Whatever battle you are facing today that’s making Christmas a little tough, whether it’s singleness, illness, infertility, finances, wayward family members, or _____, take comfort knowing that we have the presence of an Almighty, Holy, caring God standing with us.

I don’t know about you, but my heart needed to be reminded today that Christmas is much more than Santa coming or a Christmas card with a pregnancy announcement. Christmas celebrates something far more eternal than our earthly minds can process – it celebrates His faithfulness to fulfill what He promised. It reminds us that God has never abandoned His children and He won’t start now. Let’s not grieve this season as if we have no Hope. JESUS offers us REAL Hope born out of His great love for us.

Let’s savor the ability to make Christmas special just as we are. Let’s celebrate what we do have instead of mourning only over what we don’t. Let’s praise the One who gave His Son for us. To Him be the glory!

photography: Gina Ziedler

Truly, I have so much to be thankful for. I love this little family of mine more than words can say! Photo by: Gina Zeidler