A Different Kind of Christmas: What to do When Christmas Isn’t Merry

I have always envisioned Christmas morning at my house. It’s a dream of mine to wake up and watch my children & husband open gifts while I sip my coffee. From there, I’d move to my farmhouse kitchen, still wrapped in my bathrobe, where I would scramble some eggs and whip up some monkey bread. Definitely hearing the sheep baaing, the rooster crowing, and some cows mooing outside of my window while grabbing for mug-o-joe number two. Girl gotta wake up…

This is what it looked like when I grew up. I loved it. Easters, too. Living on our small farm in quaint Ashland, VA was absolutely wonderful and what made me the person I am today. It was in this season of life, as a kid, that I learned the ethics of hard work, time management, and how to have fun all at the same time. It was a time I learned all the things I loved – family, farm, and the Christmas season.

On Christmas morning, it looked a lot like what I described above. Those experiences have been engrained in me and they are what I am eager to live out today.

But, my Christmases don’t look like that. For our entire marriage, Brooks and I have been the childless ones who have to go from house to house. We wake up early and dash off to house 1, chug down some food & drink. Throw open some presents, then off to house number 2. Early in our marriage, we had 7 houses to visit over a 3 day period.

Nope, not kidding…

It’s gotten better on the traveling front but we are still waiting for the day we can start our own traditions. I actually giggle at myself because I am also looking forward to the day I can have my grandkids rush over to my house for all of the same.

I’m a dreamer.

So, how do we infertiles walk through this season of disappointment?

Each Season Brings Different Trials

For me, it’s a trust in the Lord that remains rock solid. Each Christmas brings a new challenge or reaction to emotion that I have to learn and navigate. For example, last year I simply didn’t want to celebrate anything because I was still weeding through the aftermath of miscarriage. Other years it was that a friend or family member was sitting at the dinner table plump with pregnancy while I sat still thin with an empty womb… the only time you will ever hear a woman complain about being skinny by the way.

Like everything else in life, infertility is no different. The challenges may not end for a while. When you think you’ve learned it all, a new lesson arises.

I encourage you to see each moment like this as an opportunity to grow because the truth of the matter is this – there is nothing [and I mean NOTHING] that happens without first being sifted through the fingers of God. 

Everything that happens in our life is either on purpose or allowed by the One who created everything.

The State of Your Faith… an Ultimatum

What was your reaction to the statement above? Whatever it was it’s a really good indication of the state of your faith. Did you roll your eyes? Did offer an ‘AMEN!’? Did every nerve in your body twinge at the thought that you don’t have as much control as you’d like to think you have? Or perhaps were you simply unphased by that statement… yikes…

We should be at a place in our faith walk where my statement doesn’t bring terror, disappointment, or raise the pride in us that somehow WE have control over everything that happens. 

Our reaction should be a peace that surpasses all understanding. We should be rested at that statement. We should perhaps even offer that “AMEN!”.

I’ve been working to right my faith walk for a while now. I was weary from being so upset all those years and wanted peace. I wanted to be able to get through any given day unaffected by whatever the day would bring. I’m getting there and the Lord is relentlessly working in me.

Starting today, right now, decide that you’ve had enough. Just do it.

Begin today new and afresh determined to strengthen your walk with Our Lord in a new way; trusting Him with each step you take. Strive to approach these challenges differently and see them as a growth opportunity because, in all honesty, life is not going to get easier.

We need to continually grow our faith, strengthen our walk, and deepen our relationship with Him. Those components will keep us protected from whatever this life may bring. Even empty arms.

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