Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: Looking for Hope

Do you ever just wake up one day and notice something about yourself?

Just today on the plane, coming home from a wonderful vacation in Orlando, I did. I've been procrastinating on writing my typical "year in review" for 2008. I'm not sure why, since I love writing and I know I have feelings to hash out.

Anyway, as I dozed, it suddenly occurred to me: Hope has become my theme. Now, many of you might say, "Kristin, you KNEW that! You talk about it all the time!" But today it hit me that I've been actually Looking for Hope. In the past year, I've accumulated standing letters that spell HOPE, a worry rock that says HOPE, a sweatshirt that says HOPE, a tattoo on my left wrist that says HOPE, and shirt from a friend that says HOPE and a picture frame that says HOPE. Yesterday I was at Epcot in "Japan" frantically searching for any Oriental symbols for HOPE. I've been searching after, chasing after, seeking HOPE for all of 2008, and it's bleeding into 2009.

What is so humorous to me, is that HOPE is found in Jesus Christ. I know this. I tell others this. But instead, I spent a whole year Looking for Hope. When truly, I should already have it.

2008 was a better year than 2007, that's for sure. I remembered to live, in spite of my pain. We received answers, we did procedures, we fixed things. I realized that I could pray about my pregnancy desires--and better yet, I discovered the strength to pray for my friends. [And now a bunch are pregnant....go figure :)]

Just recently, right at the end of 2008, I had a friend speak truth to me.

You know, we all have different friends for different reasons. We all need a friend who will be blunt with us. Now, I'm not saying that I want ALL of my friends to be this way--can you imagine? But I believe every woman should have at least one friend like this one. One who will say it how it is, even if you don't want to hear it. Even if you posted a blog
stating that you don't want to hear it. This friend reminded me that, as much as I hate to hear it, it's okay that I'm not pregnant. I DO have time, I AM young, and actually, others might envy that. Not that I should seek to be envied, but it's important to remember that we all have our own struggles. Some have kids "too young"; others, like me, wait and wait and wait. Others, well, the timing seems to be perfect, but they've struggled in other areas of life. We all have our own journey. And I need to stop whining about mine.

I walked away that day and said, "Dang it. I hate it when she speaks truth to me. It makes me mad."

So thanks, Friend. You know who you are.


In spite of feeling like I "woke up" at the beginning of 2008, I still spent the year in frantic confusion, deep depression, on a roller coaster of desires, emotions and desperate pleas. Coming into 2009, I really feel clarity. I have some more perspective; a little bit more every day. Am I saying it's not still hard? Not at all. It still hurts my soul when yet another friend wants to suddenly meet for coffee (code in my life for "I'm pregnant and want to tell you face-to-face") And yet, I can Rest. (hence the new tattooed reminder on my right wrist). REST in the HOPE of the Lord. Another friend explained to me that old parents can be cool too. :) I've always wanted to be a young mom, but I'm starting to see that a few more years of life under my belt, a few more world travels with my amazing husband, a few more life lessons learned can only increase my ability to be a mom. Do I hope it comes soon? Of course. Do I still battle desperation and depression? For sure. But for now, I can rest.
I realized that I've been seeking God's BLESSINGS, not Him. I need to focus on Him--seek Him and the HOPE He offers--and leave the life planning and conception to Him.

2009 is going to be a good year. 2007 sucked (let's just be honest...), 2008 we received answers and dealt with some deep emotions...2009 we can rest.

Here's to a New Year!

2007: A Year Lost

A glance into last year's "End of the Year" recap. 2008's is brewing ...

Needless to say, if you've kept up with my life at all, 2007 was a tumultuous year. Starting off the year with a miscarriage should have been an indicator to me I guess.

I look back over the year and am in awe of how absolutely not myself I was. Who was I? Where did Kristin go??Normally fairly positive, optimistic, energetic and bubbly, I was down, depressed, and basically floated through the year without even realizing that time was passing. It's incredible how a year can pass and one day, suddenly, you're awakened to the truth that you didn't really live it. Sure, I walked, I worked, I traveled, I even did a full year of grad school. But I didn't really live. I was so focused on what I'd lost, what I was still not receiving, and what others had (by accident even) that I still didn't, that I almost forgot to live.

It's hard to look back and think these things...to realize that I was not me. That I, in fact, wasted a year. Yet, how could I have functioned at any higher level? When you are a mother, even if it is just the mother of a barely beating embryo, you are still a mother. And when that little life is taken from you, what else can you do but die a little yourself? I'm amazed that I found the strength to go on.

On that note, I cannot imagine having an abortion. I did have one, but my baby was already dead. The pain, the understanding of what the doctor was doing....how can someone do that when the embryo or fetus is actually alive? With a beating heart? This, I will never understand.

I trust that I will be a mother. I have to--I have no other option. To endure 2 miscarriages and still keep on trying--that requires enormous amounts of trust and hope. Hope--that's a good word. I don't think I've truly ever had to hope before. It's hard.

2007 is blurry to me. I do associate pain, sorrow and longing with it though, amidst the blur. Hopefully, 2008 can be a better year. While we still may not have a successful pregnancy, though of course I'm hoping for one, I think I've broken out of the fog.

Perhaps this year, I can be me again, except for those little parts that died right along with my babies.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Broken Trust

The devotion I read this morning in At His Feet by Chris Tiegreen reminded me of something my sister Tara said when Justin was at war. She said that she couldn't say she trusted in God's protection of Justin, and then also worry. Our actions speak louder than our words when it comes to our beliefs.
For people who have been promised provision, protection, comfort, guidance, forgiveness, salvation, and more, we spend an awful lot of time concerned with just those things. If we say we believe, but act as if we don't, which is a truer reflection of our real beliefs? Words or the attitudes of our heart? ... Our human tendency is to walk by sight, not by faith.
Do I trust God with pregnancy? Probably not. At least, not lately. I'm not sure what has changed. Wow--it's scary to realize the truth. Lately, I've stopped trusting. Blame it on the holidays, the hormones, or the stress ... At some point, I quit trusting. My actions have spoken--loud and clear.

Am I leaning on Him?


Am I trusting Him?


Am I hoping in Him (and not His blessings)?


Am I fighting Him?


Am I doubting Him?


Am I praying about everything?

Yes, but selfishly so.

Am I content in any and all circumstances?

Not anymore.

Why is it so hard to trust? Why is it so hard to be content? Why do I feel so obsessed? So overwhelmed? So narrow focused? How do I hope again, when hope disappoints? How do I rest in God? Why do I seem to find and lose and find and lose again His peace?

How does one restore a broken trust with God?

Monday, December 15, 2008

In Need of Rest

I’m so tired. I’m so tired of the emotions. I’m tired of the desire. I’m tired of the want. I’m tired of the pain. I’m tired of the sadness. I’m tired of the rollercoaster. I’m tired of the explanations. I’m tired of the nerves. I’m tired of the tears. I’m tired of the bitterness. I’m tired of the grief. I’m tired of the yearning. I’m tired of the drive. I’m tired of the planning. I’m tired of the need. I’m tired of the Hope. I’m tired of the doubt. I’m tired of the questions. I’m tired of the answers. I’m tired of the looks. I’m tired of the sympathy. I’m tired of the attention. I’m tired of the forgotten. I’m tired of the memories. I’m tired of the waiting. I’m tired of the counting. I’m tired of the unknown. I’m tired of the mourning. I’m tired of the depression. I’m tired of the fatigue. I’m tired of the longing. I’m tired of the thoughts. I’m tired of the second-guessing. I’m tired of the feelings. I’m tired of the advice. I’m tired of the pills. I’m tired of the wishing. I’m tired of the remembering. I’m tired of the jealousy. I’m tired of the competition. I’m tired of the numbness. I’m tired of the journey. I’m tired of the knowledge. I’m tired of the symptoms. I’m tired.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Frozen without a Camera

You think I'd learn.

I hate being caught without a camera.

Being that I fancy myself a photographer, you think I'd learn to have a camera on me at all times. Things catch my eye at the most random instant. You really think I'd learn.

Friday morning was one of those instances. I kicked myself mentally for not having my trusty sidekick to help me capture a moment. I will try to paint the picture for you with words, as I also fancy myself a writer.

More than crisp air--
Bitter air that bites at my cheeks
Air that transports me back to a time
A time when I lived in the tundra (AKA Minneapolis)

I breathe deeply
Just to feel the rush of almost pain
as frozen air invades my warm lungs

The crackle on the ground
The creak of the ice covered door
I love bitter cold mornings.

My fingers numb before I even started the car
My ice scraper almost useless
The ice, finally here, stubborn against my touch

The windshield fogs up
My tires spin as I drive
Heat begins to seep into my insides
as the car comes to life
the ice melts away

I look around me
snow lines everything
frozen in time
nothing escaped the hands of the cold

the road descends into thick fog
I can't see anything
except for the fog, the faint taillights ahead
and the frozen silent trees, standing guard

Tumbleweeds stuck in the fence
mid flight, frozen with snow
Old barns, big trees, perfectly still
Barbed wire caught in ice
mailboxes closed up tight
Chain link fence, each link lined with sparking white
Mist and fog float slowly
Almost frozen in the air

Through the fog
I see a glowing ball
A perfect circle
the glow of sun
piercing through mist

The road rises sleepily from this frozen wonderland
the sun takes charge
the landscape changes
shadows are cast as the ice meets its demise

Tumbleweeds are freed
Trees can now sway
Warmth crawls slowly across wheat fields
Releasing captives from frozen clothing

To my right, the mountains loom
covered in snow
glistening white
perfectly clear
Frozen in time

The stillness was peaceful
Nothing was disturbed
What a beautiful morning
A winter wonderland
Frozen white landscape

And me without a camera.