My dad asked to borrow my bible, (The Voice version) to see if he likes it. I, of course, said yes when he noticed I had a bunch of papers stuck in it. I mindlessly took them from him and placed them on my meditation/prayer altar and did not think of them again until this morning during my prayer and meditation time.

One was a letter I wrote to God at the end of our church’s Explorations class. Honestly, the class that changed it all for me. This is what I wrote one year ago to God and probably to myself all at the same time,

This has been some of the most challenging years of my life, which I feel like is saying a lot considering what I’ve already been through. And yet, I finally feel, not only more me, but I am finally feeling at peace with me, with You, with it all. I think I need permission to doubt and question, and then I really needed to admit that I was, and maybe still am, so angry at You for what I’ve deemed as unfair. And yet, I also know at the same time that I don’t get that power of what is fair or unfair in this life, in Your kingdom or what You have planned for me. And more than ever before, with this knowledge, with this peace, with Your grace, I am finally trusting You. I feel this sense, Your spirit, inside of me; almost always. I’m still definitely learning and questioning and figuring out how to do this all, but it is with this sense of faith that I’m both proud and a little scared. But I also am going to give myself permission for that fear because I don’t ever want to lose my wonder about this all or about You.

A year has passed since I wrote these words and my sense of trust in them has only grown. This sense that I can stop treading water so hard all the time and know that His hands are underneath me to help me float. This sense that everything will be okay, even if I am not loving it all right now.

A year ago this week was when I walked into the waters of baptism and every day since has been full of growth and wonder. This coming weekend I will take part in my church’s baptism services. I will walk on stage and share my faith testimony with our congregation of thousands. And, in front of those thousands of people my “cardboard testimony” will have the word infertility on it.

What I hope is that I give someone else permission to seek themselves through this journey of infertility.

To know that everything will eventually be okay as we define our own happy ending.

To know that this journey has nothing to do with punishment or what is fair or unfair.

To know that through embracing the complicated gray, they will actually find their truth.

My prayer is that in that dreaded, and yet now completing word to me, infertility, the hope of being okay can shine. And, most of all, that we all can trust that we can rewrite parts of our story, trusting in how He has it all in His hands, and that the end of our story is nothing short of a grace filled miracle.

Our story is nothing short of a grace

18 thoughts on “Shining My Faith Through Doubt and Wonder

      1. jenh94 says:

        Wish I could hear you Sunday! Know you will do great! Proud of u! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll just walk on stage holding a card with my words written on it. No speaking… Yet! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. salina19 says:

    I read this through tears as it resonated throughout every inch my own heart. May God richly bless you and your husband, and thank you for continuing to write exactly what I need to hear.

    Like

    1. Salina,

      You are my kindred spirit sister. I love you, thank you so much!!! Justine

      Like

  2. salina19 says:

    I read this through tears as it resonated through every inch of my own heart. May God richly bless you and your husband and thank you for continuing to write exactly what I need to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire your faith and your commitment to it. You live your faith in a genuine and non-judgemental sort of way and I appreciate that. And I love your message! Faith in a god is impossible for me, but that’s a whole can of worms that isn’t appropriate for this space. But I’m glad that it works for you and a ton of other people.

    Good luck on Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you still hear me even if our journeys are so different. That openness means the world to me! Justine

      Like

      1. No problem! When we refuse to listen to someone with different beliefs then we cease to learn. And I never want to stop learning.

        I’m actually fairly well read on Christianity, everything from John Wesley and John Calvin to CS Lewis to Brennan Manning to Tony Campolo. And the Bible, of course. I love the idea of God. But what I can’t do is reconcile this idea of a loving, caring, protective, father-like God with really bad things happening to good people who didn’t deserve them. If God is so loving and protective, why does he allow these things to happen? Maybe I have a lot of pent up anger? Maybe I’m approaching it too intellectually? Maybe putting aside the questions and plunging into the unknown is what faith is? In the weeks since I found your blog I’ve been thinking about faith again, something I haven’t thought about in years. Which is funny because I was quite comfortable not thinking about it. 🙂

        Like

    2. Doing testimony tonight and tomorrow! The front of my sign reads: shattered by infertility and loss. Then I flip it over and it reads: healing in trusting Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lindarosarn says:

    In recent press referring to you: “For herself, she said she almost feels like she knows ‘too much’ about attachment disorders from her work as a therapist, treating patients including mothers struggling with an adopted child or adopted children who never feel like they know who they are or where they belong.”

    There is entirely too much made about attachment in the media and elsewhere these days. I think your comment about attachment in reference to adoption was unfortunate. I truly hope that you are not, as a therapist, buying into the unrecognized “Attachment Disorder” diagnosis that was invented Attachment (Holding) Therapists and subsequently denounced in 2006 by APSAC and the APA’s Division on Child Maltreatment.

    “RAD vs. AD”
    http://www.childrenintherapy.org/attachmentdisorder.html

    I recommend Jean Mercer’s book “Understanding Attachment,” which should do much to put to rest concerns about attachment, which is, after all, a robust instinct in children.

    Like

    1. Linda,

      I appreciate your feedback and this reference. I will make sure to check it out. This quote was pulled somewhat out of context from my book. If you would like to understand more about how we know adoption is not for our family, and how this decision was made from love and not fear, reading my book Ever Upward could help. Thank you again, Justine

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jenh94 says:

    Love and not fear, true to yourself, courageous, brave and shining on!
    I am not adopted and I know sure are thousands of people out there who are and who have adopted. It is a wonderful thing for many – maybe even most- but not all.
    Having read the book Ever Upward- I have an understanding where Justine is coming from; I respect and support her choices and decisions because they are hers to own and I think speaking that outloud makes her brave, strong – always honest, open and embracing all that the world has to offer.
    I hope to be more like her “when I grow up.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Justine,

    We don’t share the same set of spiritual beliefs, but it seems we may have a similar ferocity in common when it comes to putting our all too silenced stories out there and insisting they have their place in this world too.

    I’d love more details on the actual scenario if possible. I’m picturing you carrying a card that says infertility in front of a bunch of people……which of course I love. What will be going on around you?

    With you in spirit this weekend –
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! Walking in front of thousands this weekend with the word infertility on it. Breaking the silence!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That. Is. Awesome. You go!

        Like

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