The Presence Of Pain

I could’ve sworn this time I was.

I was so freaked out that I couldn’t even take the test for fear of a positive sign.

But, I am baffled by my fear. Isn’t this what we’ve been hoping for these last 5 years?

My sheer terror tells me that it’s still less about the baby and more about the “no”.

I hurt less because of empty arms and more because of the ever-elusive answer.

Why on earth, not??

And then there’s the surge of guilt because my arms aren’t actually empty. In fact, they’re not empty at all. My arms are full with Him and His plentiful gifts. 

My pain is muted by Presence.

The Presence of One who sees me in my pain and uses my pain to produce a whole host of things. The presence of dear ones who think to ask and pause to pray. And most tangibly, the presence of two darling children who fill our hearts and home to the brim. I am totally satisfied and complete. Until I’m not.

Because there’s still pain.

I’m the girl who starts her period at baby showers. On Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Valentine’s. The cycle of hope and despair is relentless. It’s unstoppable really. And if I don’t have my eyes locked on Him it all just feels mean. 

So, here I sit after 40 minutes of just staring out the window. Trying to lock my eyes with His but making peace with just glazing over in the darkness of early morning. His eyes haven’t moved from me. I can rest in the darkness snuggled and comforted by my well-worn quilt that has faithfully softened the blows.These squares of fabric have been my physical reminder that His banner over me isn’t mean, it’s love. The stillness and quiet help me linger. I’m begging for light to delay its coming.

Daylight means productivity. Productivity and pain don’t mingle well.

But, daylight also means perspective and life and peace and a perfect plan.The Presence Of Pain

So, I think I’ll ease into the day leaning into the pain instead of judging it. I’ll try and attend to the freedom and need I have to be gentle with myself. I’ll share my pain with others, even when and especially when it’s tiring and embarrassing. (Blogging can be this sheepishly weary person’s best way to be vulnerable :) And I’ll choose to pleasure in His Presence in the presence of pain

22 thoughts on “The Presence Of Pain”

  1. I hesitated to comment, because after 3 years of infertility and 2 losses, I was so sick and tired of people telling me to try one thing or another, and just wanted people to feel bad with me. But I also hate to see others struggle, because I know that pain, and I wish I had found this sooner.

    I found out about NaproTechnology a year ago and have worked with a doctor in Memphis since then. It was the first time I felt like a doctor was trying to determine the cause of my infertility rather than just trying to get me pregnant and shove me out the door. I was skeptical because I assumed the fertility clinic had already looked at everything and just determined our cause was unexplained. It turns out, it was definitely not unexplained.

    It’s worth a look if you haven’t already heard about it. In the meantime, I’m sorry for God’s “no” to you at this time and hope He fills you with many blessings. Your blog has meant a lot to me during some of the dark days of infertility.

  2. Oh girl, I am so grateful for this info! I totally get not wanting to attempt to “fix” it, but this is a safe space and I am so grateful for your perspective and insight. Especially since it’s only about an hour away! So great. How are you doing currently? Any ways I can pray? Much love and big hugs. Thank you!!!

  3. I will always think of you around this time each year b/c you documented our big day :) I haven’t had the privilege of hearing your story in detail, but thank you for your compassion and kindness. xoxo

  4. Oh, friend, I’m continually blessed by your words. I may not know pain from the same cause, but I’m acquainted with the Presence and am so grateful your words pointed me there tonight. Thank you for sharing in the midst of your pain. It’s hard and brave and if you’re anything like me, prayerfully therapeutic. Know that you’re inspiring others to take a bold step to do the same. Love you!

  5. Actually, I’m 8 weeks pregnant and have my first ultrasound this week. We are just praying for a healthy baby. We’ve never made it this far, so we are so grateful for a caring and cautious doctor.

    Being pregnant after loss or infertility is a bit different than I guess it would be for others, but I feel like God led us to this place and had we not found it, we would have continued to lose sweet babies. So while I wouldn’t want to be back in that place of questioning, I feel like I grew in the Lord and can take those lessons with me through the other trials of life that I’m sure will come.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about that practice! I will be keeping you in my prayers. :)

  6. Oh, Kitty. I so appreciate your heart and honesty. I’m glad I hopped online before heading to bed so now I can pray for you. Thank you for the reminder to lean into the pain– even when it’s hard.

  7. I hopped on to Instagram one last time before sleep and I wish I could hop in my car and come see you face to face! If David were in town, I just might have done it!! Thanks for sharing the most tender parts of your heart with us. You are loved!

  8. You have put this feeling into words so very well. And please know…that, in and of itself, is a gift and a comfort to others. I know your pain, and I’m so sorry. But this is beautiful and perfect and real and WE ALL NEED TO TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS. Thanks.

  9. “My sheer terror tells me that it’s still less about the ___ and more about the ‘no’.”

    Sometimes when I read your words I think we must share a heart…
    I think I’ve told you how your words about ‘waiting’ have matched my thoughts so many times, but how much moreso now: the thought of “no” being the answer rather than “wait”! Oh, I know the “ENCOURAGEMENT/RELIGIOUS-Hallmark-Card-Section” answer as do you…”When He closes a door He opens a window”, etc, etc, but, “NO”!? “No” is hard…and yucky and no matter what anyone says it feels final. I’ve never seen a Hallmark card read: “In sympathy over the answer of NO you got from God” (maybe we should go into business). ; )
    So, once again, you’ve managed to speak my heart–and how boldly! To put the words “terror”, “fear” and “Why not?!” in the same breath as “His Presence”. How refreshing my sweet sister. How raw and true and courageous. Do not apologize for sharing the pain because in it is the fellowship of suffering, and that only deepens my love for you and for the One whose arms in which we can fall.

  10. Ug. I feel your pain and I’m so sorry. I appreciate you getting your thoughts, feelings and emotions out there. You put to words what is so deep beneath the surface for me. Your vulnerability helps me not stay in the numbing place.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this…I know your pain and it is comforting to to hear your story! Your blog is such an encouragement.

  12. Thank you, Kara. Just read your update and am overjoyed and in prayer for y’all. Can’t wait to see what God does!!!

  13. Oh, I know you do!!! I am so glad to know it connected with your heart, wish we would meet up for a walk with you and that cute dog. xoxo

  14. I love you so much, friend. I know you’re in the thick of it all with me. Let’s keep spurring each other on our remembrance of Him! I want to read EVERYTHING you write :) xoxo

  15. Love you, Erika. So thankful God has used this bittersweet time to reconnect our hearts.

  16. You have blessed me far beyond words. I love you, friend. So grateful you’re in Oxford with me.

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