My husband and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary this year, and just over six years ago we started trying to start a family. I still remember that first month, waiting breathlessly for that little blue line. We just assumed that, like so many people we knew, it would happen sort of automatically. Fast forward a few years, and we have tried just about every trick in the book, from synthetic hormones to specialty diets, from essential oils (I still love my clarycalm!) to desperate prayers. I’ve peed on more sticks than I ever imagined I would and I’ve sat on the kitchen floor weeping more nights than I ever expected. Infertility sucks. It would be impossible for me to accurately articulate the pain and disappointment I’ve lived in for the past six plus years.
We reached a turning point in our own hearts a few years ago when we started to embrace the pain of this journey. When instead of just trying to fix the problem, we faced the reality of our despair and owned it. I used to struggle to find the place for pain in my faith. The truth is, God is not afraid of the hard questions. He’s not afraid of our doubt. Our messy-processing doesn’t change his mind, or make him angry… and it doesn’t have to shatter our faith. I’ve come to know that it’s the painful paths that give birth to TRUE faith. TRUE joy. TRUE life. What are we doing if we can’t be honest with the one who created us? I’ve found that it’s not until I give myself over to the pain that God’s able to change MY mind about it. To help me see where he IS moving and not just where he seems to not be.
There’s something amazing that happens when you name the difficult stuff. You start to see the good stuff a little more clearly too. That’s why this song is called Pain and Grace. The pain is so real, so present, so persistent. But my life is not entirely defined by that pain. There’s so much grace there too. So many gifts. So much love and laughter and joy. Where one part of my life is marked by barrenness and heartache, other parts of my life are bursting with fruitfulness and bliss. It’s both. It’s always both, at least to some degree. So my hope for you as you engage with this song and this story is that you will have the courage to look your pain and disappointment in the eye. To face it. To name it. And as you do, that you’ll be able to see all that’s bursting with life and color around you as well.