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

 

14 thoughts on “Emmanuel.

  1. Caroline @ In Due Time says:

    So beautiful!!! I am so glad there is so much grace and forgiveness when the crankiness sets in. I am also glad we have a heavenly father so much that he sets the path before us as we seek Him! Waiting with you friend.. through the hard holidays… through all the days. Lord, we ask for your supernatural peace to reside in Chelsea. We ask that you would perform a miracle and that you would expand the household of this family. Thank you that you have good plans for Chelsea and Josh. We wait expectantly for you to break through for them!

  2. Crystal says:

    I recall a Christmas not long ago……..celebrating the season at a party with dear friends and not one, but two people announced they were pregnant with their second child. I had been doing okay up to that point and had bottled it all up even though the pain was incredible. You see, we had been trying for our first longer than it had taken them to have one and then conceive another. That was it for me, huddled in the bathroom I couldn’t control my tears, they just wouldn’t stop. I was happy for my friends and I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t gain control over my emotions.

    They went on to have those second children and we went on struggling. We had resolved that we would have a child no matter what and that gave me comfort. It was not long after that night, with a miscarriage sprinkled in the mix, that we finally conceived our miracle.

    Maybe my story will help and maybe it won’t, but I wanted to share and provide some encouragement as you patiently wait with strength, anger at times, and any other emotions that you need to feel to get through this part of your journey. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I trust you provide a source of strength for others.

    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

  3. Marixsa says:

    Yours was just the post I needed to read today! I too was ready to post something that, after re-reading it, I realized was full of bitterness. You see, my brother just had his 4th child today, only weeks after our miscarriage, and it just plain hurt. Thank You for your encouraging words and MUCH-needed reminder that God’s promises and His presence in our lives are the real reason for Christmas and are far important than my little feelings of jealousy or sadness. I do love your posts, they help me so much :)

  4. Natalie Brenner says:

    This is perfect and beautiful. Our March miscarriage should also be about 5 weeks old as well and yes…it still hurts. My friend Annie had a baby around my due date and I haven’t been able to meet her precious little one. Anyways, you are so real and so beautiful and so beloved. Thank you for being brave and tender.

  5. Vicki says:

    Thank you for this post. This week has been particularly hard for me emotionally & I’ve been feeling exactly how you described as Christmas approaches. Sometimes it’s really difficult to move past all of the negative feelings. But like you, I’ve also been reading about the real gift & meaning of Christmas. God has also reminded me a few times this week that my hope should continue to remain in Him & nothing else. Knowing this gives me hope & faith in His mighty works & the strength to continue following after His heart, trusting Him completely.
    Have a very Merry Christmas Chelsea! We are truly blessed!!!

  6. Jaimee says:

    I remember one piece of advice I received in our wait was to go ahead and feel every emotion, including the bad ones, but don’t sit in them. It was nice to hear it’s okay to be sad, bitter, jealous, angry- but that I didn’t need to make that a part of who I was. I’m always praying for you.

  7. drsatterfield13 says:

    This post is beautiful! It is exactly what I needed to read right now. It has been a rough week of pregnancy announcements and not great health news for me, so it is nice to be reminded that while I am not where I want to be, I am where he wants me to be right now. Bless you!

  8. mandaevey says:

    Beautiful and real as always. I struggle with trying to find joy during the holidays. I lost my mom two weeks before Thanksgiving 6 years ago. I was hoping to have the “news” this year as a Christmas gift to our families. I love the waiting for Jesus and the hope and joy of advent. God Bless all who are reading this.

  9. Sara Hopper says:

    The holidays are hard when you’re missing your child/children. Good job finding the Rock to stand on anyways. You will be celebrating with that sweet baby in heaven for so much longer than this life will last.

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