This Christmas looks entirely different than last Christmas for us. We had three babies in our home, one of whom we believed would be ours forever. That girl, she was our very greatest treasure. Not having her around this year, all our hopes and dreams for her future turned to dust, it’s got me feeling a little sad, despite the goodness around us. And last year we still had hopes for having a bio baby with little to no intervention. Struggling through infertility, even now that we’ve beat it, has sucked.
Also, it’s hard to have Christmas traditions, or any kind of tradition, when the makeup of your family changes all the time. It adds a twinge of sadness to big events and holidays. The things I loved doing so much last year or the year before are tainted by the absence of those who we did those things with last year, when we had a whole different set of kids.
Foster care and infertility have changed me. I’m working on being content, finding joy in my sorrow, knowing that joy follows gratitude. Maybe that’s the problem. My ungrateful heart. Probably, in fact, as much as I hate to admit it. I want something other than what the Lord has for me, and that breeds nothing but discontentment. Not that I’m discounting my grief, that lingers too. And I don’t think my grief offends God at all. I can take it to Him; I can present the pieces of my broken heart to Him time and time again, and He won’t turn me away. But not wanting what the Lord has for me? That’s the problem.
So I’m working on it. I count my blessings, literally, every single day. I name them in my head, make a mental list, to drag my broken, ungrateful heart to a posture of gratefulness. It is hard work, friends. It does not naturally happen while I sit by and mope. It forces me to keep wishes and dreams where they rightfully belong – at the foot of the throne – and to recognize my blessings for what they are. What I have right now is what God has for me. And I desperately want my heart to recognize that it is enough.
“Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective. You only begin to change your life when you begin to change the way you see.” – The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp
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