A Story of Mercy


Mercy: (especially of a journey or mission) performed out of a desire to relieve suffering; motivated by compassion

Walking through a tough season of pain, disappointment, and loss, I am feeling jaded and worn. My hallelujah is tired. I am tempted to draw a line in the sand of my faith and say, “I can’t go any further. I might even take a step back. This is TOO MUCH.”

But God is waiting in my doorway, standing on my doorstep, just waiting for me to open the door. He hasn’t left, and he hasn’t yelled to be let in. He’s just…waiting. I look out my windows at Him and contemplate the person that disappointed me. Who didn’t answer me when I called. I am angry at Him, and I am unsure of our relationship. How do I act if I let Him in? Can I hear what He has to say?

But then He sends people to me that I do trust. He softens the blow and heals my heart even though I’ve kept him standing on my doorstep. They tell me that He is waiting for me to show Him my brokenness. That if I would let him offer me mercy, He wants to relieve me of my suffering and fill me with the only things that can fill this hole in my heart. Faith, joy in suffering, and hope.

I unlock the deadbolt.

Unable to stop thinking about the storm swelling under the surface, I tell Him, “I’m not ready to let you in yet. But I’m here. I am still here.” I pull a chair up to the window and talk to Him through the door.

I ask a lot of questions, laced with distrust and anger. He listens.

I stop asking. And open the door a crack.

He reaches around the frame and holds my hand.

All he offers me is comfort. Reminders of his love for me. He tells me that His heart breaks too. That I am brave. And that the mercy of redemption is always on the table, and He is always sitting at it.

He stills sits on my doorstep, but my door is cracked a little. We are talking now. Maybe we’ll laugh some too.

But I’m not hiding anymore. My shades are not fully drawn. I’m letting the sun in, even when my skin cringes at the exposure.

{God, thank you for never withdrawing your mercy. Thank you that you never take mercy off the table for me. Help me to take it today and offer myself to follow you.}


Hope After Miscarriage

“When you’re sharing your story over and over, just filling someone in, the experience begins to lose it significance. The words lose their meaning and the sentences become mundane and distant. Like an echo that drifts further and further away and fails to retain its original sound.”

That’s what I wrote when I originally thought about writing out my story. And then I shared my story again today, and it was not that. It was not what I wrote. I suddenly realized that every time I share my story with someone new, pieces of the story change. Every time I talk about heartache, I see more beauty and I feel a little more whole. My motivation for this is not to get it off my chest once and for all, but to SHARE it over and over. To talk about it again and again and again, keeping my messy beautiful story in the light, so that it never festers, and it never grows dark or dim. It remains a story of hope, a story of healing, a story of you’re-not-alone and you’ll-be-okay-too.

We found out we were pregnant when we were just 3 weeks along. It was a crazy idea, but I took the test anyway. A story that deserves its own post, but WE WERE PREGNANT. I stared at the positive pregnancy test, jaw dropped for a long time. I set it on the counter, picked it up to look at it, half expecting the positive line to disappear, countless times over the next hour. Shocked at first, the initial holy-crap factor turned to joy which turned to tears of joy which turned to laughter.

I was  full of emotions, so excited I couldn’t WAIT to tell Geoff. When he came home, I handed him a box with the positive test in it. When he opened the box, he just stared in silence for a good 30 seconds, stood up, kissed my forehead, and sat back down. Still no words. Then we both just started laughing and smiling and “Is this REAL-ING” each other.

We decided to wait to tell our families until we saw them face to face at the end of Aug / beginning of Sep, with a few exceptions. We told friends that had visited us, as well as one of my sisters who visited, and a close friend here in MI. Other than that, no one knew, and no one would know until last weekend.

On Tuesday, I started bleeding. Just a little, but immediately my heart sunk. Grasping for faith, I was drowning in fear. I clung to promises God made to His people, promises that God made to me. I prayed for healing, for health, for what I thought was happening to not actually be happening. I was about to be 9 weeks, and I was supposed to hear my babies heartbeat in SIX DAYS. I reached out to my prayer warrior friends and we wove our prayers together and prayed for peace and His presence.

But the bleeding continued, and my emergency ultrasound revealed that there was no heartbeat, and the baby stopped growing at 6 weeks. So we waited…

I miscarried on Sunday. Contractions began naturally, I never had to have any surgical or medical intervention, thankfully. But it was done; it was over.  Most of the miscarriage happened in triage, there was too much blood and too much pain. Even the vicodine I was prescribed wasn’t enough to counteract the contractions.

“I have the amniotic sac” the midwife said.

My heart sunk. There it was. The baby that I talked to, prayed over, hoped for, dreamed about. Only 6 weeks grown, still an embryo in medical terms, but very much so our baby in my heart.  My husband sat stoically by my side, holding my hand. Eyes wide. There were no words. What words do you say? Just a flutter of emotions. Eventually, the bleeding stopped and I was sent home. We were so exhausted, we practically fell into bed that night. Geoff took off work on Monday to stay home together, best decision ever.

Just a moment to boast a bit on the man that stood next to me through the poking, prodding, and all the other things that happened that night. He was so brave, and so compassionate. If chaos and struggle reveal your inner man, my husband’s inner man is a beastly saint. He was so strong for me, but so tender and thoughtful of my needs. I could not have asked for a better partner.

Now that we’ve walked through the physical loss, we turn our hearts towards the emotional one. That’s a much longer road, and a much more complicated one. I have a lot of questions, and lot of grieving, and still, a lot of hope. I’m not sure why God answers some prayers, and not others. I do know that this world is broken, there is a ruler here that is out to kill and destroy. I know that God is still good, that He comforts me when there is struggle. We were never promised Heaven on earth, but we were promised peace that surpasses understanding, and a love that can never be taken from us. I will hold on to that, I will praise Him, and I will say “Thank You”.

When I asked off work this week, the Momma that I’m working for shared that she too had miscarried before she had her now, 5 month old. She too wrote a blog post about her experience and her struggle with faith. She reminded me that “God has not called me to be successful. God has called me to be faithful.” The wise words of Mother Teresa. I don’t have to be good at faith, I just have to show up.

So when I go for a cup of coffee and instinctively look for decaf, I remind myself that this is not the end. When my hand gravitates to my belly, I remind myself that life will again be there. When I put away the baby books and close the tabs of nursery furniture in my web browser, I breathe deep and lean into peace that surpasses understanding. I don’t understand, I don’t know. But sometimes in the midst of suffering, in the cracks of life, we get to see the beauty and restoration that we might have missed. We get to share war wounds, and war stories, and rejoice in the overcoming.


Modern Woman

I had a rough realization this morning. I AM NOT AT HOME. But, how can I be “at home” when my life demands that I be elsewhere?!

Let me explain my lingo. We are going through a “journey” at church called “A Journey Home.” It’s a series designed to help us understand how we view God and how we view ourselves all through this idea of feeling at home. The first week, we listed places that made us feel at home, like being surrounded by people we know, being with my husband, being alone in the woods. When you feel “at home”, you feel peaceful, known & loved, fully dependent on God, joyful, patient, trusting, building into friendships…When you don’t feel at home, you feel anxious, jealous, judgmental, power driven, manipulative,worried you’ll run out, passive aggressive, insecure, abandoned, alone.

This morning, Geoff had to prepare our crock pot meal while I was getting ready for work. The morning ran by fast and I just didn’t have time to put everything together. I stood in the bathroom feeling terrible. One of my GREATEST desires is to be a wife and a homemaker. Geoff gets to provide by working hard, paying for our home and providing physically. I desire to provide for our family by making meals, keeping up our house and making it into a home. But I can’t do that if I have to spend 9 hours of my day sitting at a desk in some stuffy office that makes me feel uneasy. I certainly do not feel at home here.

It is SO FRUSTRATING to feel like my only purpose right now is to pay for my student loans and I can’t do a lot of things that bring me joy. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually love cooking meals. I like learning about seasonings and how to prepare different types of food. I love being able to eat and enjoy what I prepared and seeing the look of satisfaction as my company enjoys what I made. I hate getting off work and feeling too exhausted to wipe down baseboards, do laundry or even cook dinner. How do women do it all?!

Maybe I’m just not superwoman. Maybe I’m weak or incapable of working and keeping a home. But I certainly feel like I’m failing at what brings me the most satisfaction. I know that staying at home and practicing home-cooked meals is not the fire that burns in all womens hearts, and I get that. But for me, this has been a very new and very real discovery. I see Ree Drummond (thepioneerwoman.com) and think about how BEAUTIFUL that life is! She LOVES to cook for her family and take pictures of them, soaking in the stories and moments that just happen. And she was even able to find a way to provide for them by doing so! Seems like a wild and crazy fantasy.

I want to be in a place that feels like home. But, I don’t know how to do that when I feel required to be somewhere else. I feel required to be in a job that pays well but doesn’t necessarily feed ME. If I do what I love or what I would like, then we crash financially. I’m sure there are lessons to be learned in this, but I’m mostly waiting for it to be over. Hospitality fuels me. And I feel forced away from it. Like I’m looking at this delicious apple pie and being forced to eat crackers.

There’s a lot of holes in my thoughts and a lot of things that I think / feel that I can look back on and offer my own “wisdom.” Like when Paul said that he was content whatever the circumstances. Or in Phillipiannes, when it says to be anxious about nothing, but rejoice in everything. Or when God tells us that if we delight ourselves in Him, then He will give us the desires of our hearts. Those are all the things I know, but they are not what I FEEL. I’ve always wanted people to see me as a woman who was close to God and sought his heart. Full of wisdom and knowledge. I’m kinda getting over it. If I’m never REAL, then I’m never going to be able to work through the ugly. And then it just get’s uglier. I am NOT okay with that. So, here it is, my UGLY.

I feel abandoned. I feel like God blesses all these other people and opens doors for them that help them feel satisfied and fulfilled, and I’m swimming against the current to keep my head above water. I wonder if God will ever allow me to be in a place of pure contentment; If I am worthy of providing help to people. I feel like I have to EARN EVERYTHING and if I have SOMETHING, if I don’t keep working to pay it off, it will be taken away. So this morning, I was angry at God because I feel like He is holding back on me.  I don’t feel good enough to eat the Apple Pie.

A comment was left on my blog yesterday by my WONDERFUL mother-in-law that just came to mind. “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions; wait for hope to appear.” Lam 3:28, 29. And the scripture in Luke, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Yes, God is good. I believe that He will give me hope and satisfy me. I need to lean into Him a little more and a little more often.


***P.S. If you’d like to check out more of this “Journey” I’m babbling about, you can view it here: http://makethejourneyhome.com/