Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Broken Hallelujah | Post 15

"Love is not a victory march 
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah 
J. Buckley
Before Caleb + I got married, we talked a lot about children, "family planning" and what "we want" for our future.   The point of this post isn't to discuss our personal convictions, desires and dreams for our family (maybe I'll talk about that someday, though.)  One thing we wondered about was how "easy" getting pregnant would be for us.  Everyone assumed we'd have have kids quickly.  We both come from big families, and both of our parents got pregnant within three weeks of marriage.  My parents, in particular, got pregnant "when they weren't supposed to" or when the odds were very against them (because of birth control, age, timing, etc.)  Getting pregnant was never hard for either of them.

But.  Everyone is different.  And I had no idea what it would be like for me, for us.  I was especially curious because I've been on 18-months of accutane (three different cycles over five years).  More and more side effects comes out (seemingly monthly!) about the drug, and I always wondered if it would affect fertility.  

So, two months after our wedding when we discovered thrilling news that made us speechless for hours, I have to admit... I was not expecting it to happen to that quickly!  We were hoping to be able to have kids "right away" or relatively soon.  We were eager to start our lives together with each other, but also with our children.  We hope to have a big family.  This was only GREAT news and what we were indeed hoping for!  But I was still surprised.  And we still had a while to go before miscarriage-odds were reduced.

And here I sit, just about to the second-trimester, with a lot of pregnancy still ahead of me... a lot that could still happen or be discovered, but my heart and mind hovers at the people who don't have the same story as us.  The people who try and try and try to get pregnant, and so far it hasn't "worked."  The people who have had miscarriages early on (or later on!).  The people who have had adoptions fall through at the last minute - even after they've taken the child home with them.  The people who say "Yay! Congratulations!" to your face, and then go in the car and cry when they're by themselves.  The people who are single and wonder if they'll ever have life-long companionship and kids of their own.  The people who just plain ache at the thought of children.  The road hasn't been easy.  It hasn't been what they dreamed.  It's been a painful, slow, road with no promise that "Yes, someday this will happen for you."

I was listening to my forever favorite Jeff Buckley croon and these words sat on me this weekend: "Love is not a victory march // It's a cold and it's a broken 'Hallelujah' // Hallelujah."  I thought of many faces and names I know.  Women, in particular, who have been waiting for a baby to hold and keep.  So far the love they have for these future people hasn't been "victorious."  They still don't have them here with them.  At every turn it seems impossible for it to ever happen.  Maybe if you stop caring so much?  Stop wanting it so bad?  Stop hoping for it to happen?  Maybe if you try harder? Don't quit and give up? Persevere and fight on? You wonder if you're doing something wrong.  If God's "trying to teach you a lesson." If your hurting heart will ever be healed?  If a baby of your own (or another baby of your own) will ever warm your house, heart and home?  Or will it always be a cold and broken 'Hallelujah'? Or perhaps a cold and broken 'Why, God?' I think of the families who had and lost their children before they ever got to see, feel, name or know them.  These Mystery Faces that are real whose souls were real and live on today.  I think about these things.  

Someday we may walk the same road.  We may lose this baby and have to wait until heaven until we "meet" our child.  We may have this one easily, and then struggle with future pregnancies.  Or we may not.  We will have what the Lord deems best for us.  He will give us what is good.  He will not withhold one good thing from us.  He will do us good all the days of our life.  Even if we walk through the death or "absence" of our children. 

And I have a heart for those who are hurting over pregnancy, babies and death.  I want you to know that I care and that I'm aware.  I may not know every story or every situation.  But I care that you are hurting and I'm so so sorry.  I am praying for you - some by name, and some "in general."  I think about your children that we wait to meet in heaven.  I miss them with you.  I sometimes don't know how to talk about it or what is helpful (or NOT helpful) to say.  Sometimes I don't even know your story at all.

I don't know - I think I just felt like I needed to say this.  Though we have ONLY received happy faces, huge hugs and genuine excitement about our baby, I know in the crowd there must be some who wish it could be them.  Who maybe were frustrated that it happened "so quick" for us and it's been so hard for them.  No one has even hinted at that to me.  But in case there are private tears and secret heart-sinks, I just want you to hear from a young, newlywed who got pregnant fast:  Thank you for being brave, rejoicing with your friends and sharing in happy news... And I'm sorry that your hurt is very real and your pain is very deep.   I don't know what it's like, I can't relate, my hurts and struggles in life aren't "compatible comparisons" to what you are going through.  I feel like it's important for me to say that you and your life aren't forgotten because of "new life" nor is a baby you don't have with you a forgotten one.  

And Isaiah 44 is true:
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. Sing, O heavens! Shout, O depths of the earth!
I'm praying for a "peace like a river" that streams into the darkest, driest crannies of your soul.  I'm praying that the words "You are not forgotten" will not be bland and empty, but will revive and tenderly comfort you.  I'm praying that you will be able to sing, even if it's a chorus of broken 'Hallelujah.'  I'm praying for the word 'promise' to be an anchor for you.  A promise from God is a fact from God. It just IS true.  I'm praying that that will be sweet to you, and not bitter.  I'm praying that you feel the freedom to cry, talk, share, stay home, feel and work through the process without feeling like a failure or wimp.   I'm praying that you will have good, genuine, patient, funny friends to love on, listen to and support you.  I'm also praying that your story, even in the smallest way, would speak glory upon glory to someone who really needs help someday.  I'm praying for babies in your arms, very soon.  And most of all, I'm praying for unmixed joy found in the Gift-Giver because of His sweet, to-hell-and-back joy in you.  

Life is fragile and it is not a right.  Each and every life is unspeakably precious and brilliantly valuable - including yours.  Hallelujah!


  1. amen, amen. beautiful, kristen. thank you so much for writing.

  2. I love your heart and your words, friend. Thank you for sharing. My mom also wants you to know that she was especially very blessed and encouraged by this post. :')

  3. In the past year, it feels like I have grieved with so many dear friends about the loss of their unborn children. It hurts. It hurts alot. And while it is not "my" pain, it becomes mine because they are my spiritual family. I cry, I pray, I ponder. I feel, I hug, I hope with them. For maybe the promise of another child on this earth, and for the promise of a heavenly reunion for the one that has gone one before.

  4. This is so beautiful and encouraging. <3

  5. Thank you for this beautiful post.

  6. From someone who has been struggling with this for years - thank you. Trying to hold fast to His promises and your post encouraged me....

  7. Thank you, that was such a kind post that shows a lot of maturity and empathy. Simply recognising that there are people out there who have that little stab of sadness while celebrating the happiness of a birth is all that is needed - and in turn eases that pain a little too.
    You are going to be a great Mum :)

  8. Kristen, I'm single with no guy in sight, but was so encouraged by what you wrote! I thank God for your heart and love for others! Praying for you and your baby and for God's continued blessings in your life!

  9. Kristen, As a mom of two who has experienced multiple losses, I want you to know that your perspective and kindness in thinking of others' feelings is SO appreciated. The fact that you aren't naive enough to think that things won't go wrong is both sad and wonderful at the same time. My faith in God was what got me through and I encourage everyone struggling with infertility or loss to do the same. The truth is, He knows our hearts, He knows what we need and will provide.

    God bless you. You already are a fantastic mother.

  10. Kristen, this post touched me so deeply today. I have lost two precious babies this year and have been grieving a lot. Thank you for praying for all of us who have lost our babies. I'm longing for heaven everyday :)

  11. I know this is an old post, but I was just reading blog posts and came upon this...I miscarried my first baby last month...almost every little baby I see reminds me of our baby. I know she's up in heaven with Jesus and that this time wasn't my time yet to have a baby, but it hurts, so so much. Sometimes I feel pretty hopeless because there's a great possibility I'll never be able to go full-term with a baby. This blog post was a breath of fresh air- I've been feeling like a wimp and a failure and this was just like a hug that I really really needed today.