love

everybody, everybody wants to love
everybody, everybody wants to be loved

happy is the heart that still feels pain
darkness drains and light will come again
swing open your chest and let it in
just let the love, love, love begin

[everybody by ingrid michaelson]

I am a big fan of love. Who isn’t?

I think about love a lot. I think about how blessed I am to be loved by so many people in my life. People who love me when I’m at my worst. People whose love brings out the best in me.

I think about the crazy, huge love that Jesus has for us. The love that the Jesus Storybook Bible describes as the “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.” It’s crazy because we don’t deserve to be loved the way we are – all messed up with mixed motives, good intentions that never take flight, and flat-out failures.

But sometimes – and I don’t think I’m the only one here – God’s love feels so far away. So distant that I start to think that he must not care.

I’m not talking about right now – heck, now is one of those filled-to-overflowing-with-love kind of times in my life. But two years ago, I thought I might die of heartache.

I honestly don’t remember the exact day that we got the official diagnosis of our infertility issues, but it was somewhere around the end of January or beginning of February. At first there was sadness and shock. But then, oh my, devastation like I’ve never felt. It was awful. I felt like my world was crashing in and I couldn’t breathe.

I think most people just assume they’ll be able to have biological kids. So when we learned that we probably wouldn’t get pregnant without the help of in vitro fertilization, we were pretty surprised.

I cried hard for weeks, and I am not a huge crier by nature. I cried when I woke up, I cried falling asleep, I cried multiple times throughout the day – it was rough going.

And I can tell you that I didn’t have the kindest words for God and his “never-stopping” love during this time.

It’d be easy for me to sit here and say “but look at me now! We adopted this incredible little boy and life is wonderful again!” (Okay, he is incredible!) But what’s actually amazing – to me – is that I felt like life was wonderful again long before Luke came along. And THAT I credit purely to God’s love, grace, and faithfulness.

Yes, there were those weeks of crying and grief and feeling like I was at the bottom of a dark pit. But there was also grace in so many ways. Even in my sadness and anger, God somehow gave me the strength to cling to those bits of light. The grace of having close friends who understood what we were feeling and were able to support us so well. The grace of gradually getting our “diagnosis” piece by piece – a few tests were done, and the doctors went from “maybe you guys will need a little medical help getting pregnant” to “you’ll need the most intense IVF treatment out there” over the span of a few weeks. God was so gentle to me in that way; I don’t think I could have taken the shock of the whole situation right away.

And somehow love pulled me through. I was kicking and screaming about how unfair and unkind God was to me, but when I started to quiet down a bit, I was met with immense love and hope. I’m not talking about a simple acceptance of the circumstances or a change of plans –  I hear people say “oh, you can just adopt” as if you’re out shopping for something that’s out of stock and “oh, you can just get a different brand.” Trust me, no one “just” adopts, let alone couples that have gone through the shock of infertility.

The hope that I experienced – and Ian too, it happened for both of us as a couple – was full of eager anticipation and expectation about what God had in store for us. We went from wondering why God wouldn’t give us a pregnancy that we wanted so badly, to feeling like he was giving us an extra special privilege by leading us to adoption. After all the crying and grief, it was almost a feeling of giddiness. And definitely joy. The dreams that were crushed were replaced with bigger, brighter ones as we embarked on a new journey towards parenthood.

And what a ride! Better than I ever could have imagined, and pure love, I tell you.

potato print onesie / joy overcomes infertility devastationjust let the love love love begin

[everybody by ingrid michaelson]

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9 thoughts on “love

  1. Sara,
    Thanks for sharing your story in such a tender and honest way. There are journeys in life that hold private sorrows, and some that others walk with us through. Your story will bring hope to others in those times, maybe with different circumstances but the same big God with his honest arms of love surrounding… So delighted to see the family that God is blessing you and Ian with. Praise God for little Luke!

  2. Sara,

    Thanks for sharing. I feel like over the past few years, I have only been seeing little bits of your story from a distance. When you texted to say that you might have a son, I was excited and holding my breath all day. And once we found out that he was yours, I was elated for you. It’s good to hear more of the story. I am always so amazed when I hear how God has been faithful to my friends, showing his compassion in the darkest times. It gives me courage.

    Also – I love the “Jesus Storybook Bible”! My very thoughtful cousin gave it to us when Owen was born. It’s such a beautiful book, and it makes me happy to know you have it too.

    • Oh my goodness, I love thinking about that crazy text, “so we might have a son!” I do miss the time in our lives where we shared in daily life together, but I’m thankful that we do get to share our stories with each other still.

      The Jesus Storybook Bible is pretty much the best. I’ll probably do a blog post on it soon because our whole family loves it so much. 🙂

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