The lights cast a glow throughout the house that is both calming and unnerving.

The scent of pine brings both joy and sadness.

The stubborn ache in my chest like a constant reminder of what could of been and the gift of what is.

December is kicking my ass this year.

I am tearful easily. I am overwhelmed with it all. And, I know I am not alone.

Most people, even my closest loved ones, have asked, “But, why are you struggling so much?”

Side note: This is not the most empathetic way to ask…

Then there are my fellow warriors and even my always trying husband Chad, who have asked with empathy and love, “Is this different or harder than last year? How come you think you’re struggling so much?”

to-feel-the-ache-and-the-awe-the-longing-and-the-joy-my-worth-his-love-and-my-threeI am as surprised (and annoyed honestly) as anyone else, as I would like to say this gets easier.

Every year that passes there is this naive part of you that thinks it won’t hurt as bad, maybe just maybe, it will get better. But as I always say, it just gets different.

There are a myriad of reasons this Christmas season is kicking my butt. Bottom line infertility and loss changes you forever. If we choose to do the work it changes us for the better, I promise. No amount of twinkling lights, carols, jingle bells and damn glitter (literally, damn glitter, it should not be on cards in my opinion) lessens the longing in my soul that I wish my three were here with me on earth. In fact those lights, carols, bells and glitter only remind me of everything I do not get with my own children. They remind me of what I am missing out on and of what is missing of me.

Admittedly, all that missing out and grief stirs up the voice in my head and the ache in my heart that tells me I am not enough, that I will never be enough, especially because I am not a mother.

Yet, I have done the work, I know this is not my truth.

And still, shame weasels in so easily and steals my light.

I have changed that story…most days. Through the work I have done and especially in my faith I know my truth is that I am worthy, I am enough and I am a mother.

This December it seems, my shitty first draft of I am not enough is winning more days than not.

Perhaps you saw me Sunday on the live stream of my church service desperately taking notes and attempting to control my tears. As soon as we sang O Holy Night with the lyric, and the soul felt its worth, a peace settled into my soul right next to my forever longing.

Be still, my child. It is Me and it is about Me. I am here with you always.

My worth is not in children by my side, in being called mom or being seen as someone who matters by society. My worth is in Him and what better time of year than now to remember that.

And, as my amazing friend and fellow blogger Caitlin says,

In the end my identity doesn’t come from hearing a child call me mom but knowing the King who calls me daughter.

Deep complicated gray breath.

I still have not fully decorated that lit tree or put up any other Christmas decorations, and I am giving myself permission that this is okay this year.

This hurts, and it always will. I am sad, and that is okay. I may feel invisible, and I am worthy.

These are my truths.

So, I look through the glow of the unadorned lit tree filling my lungs with the scent of pine in a deep knowing breath to feel the ache and the awe, the longing and the joy, my worth, His love and my three.


9 thoughts on “And the Soul Felt It’s Worth

  1. Joy says:

    I like your posts so please don’t take this advice the wrong way. Always use “have” after “should”, “could”, or “would” (instead of “of”). Choose past, present, or future tense and stick with it. Lastly, read “Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. I was once humiliated by a published author on my blog because he picked one of my pieces apart and totally ripped it to shreds in the comments. I was mortified, but then I realized I couldn’t learn from my mistakes if I didn’t know I was making them. Hopefully you will understand I am trying to be a positive influence and not a hateful critic. Keep writing. I’ll keep reading.


    1. Thank Joy for the feedback. I’ve read Strunk before but always could use a review of it. I write how I talk and I find that people identify best with that and it also expresses my truth the most. I’m not sure what shoulds and ofs you are referring too or the tense as I purposefully am using the present and past here. But I will definitely take a closer look. Thanks again for the feedback and thank you for reading.


  2. “This hurts, and it always will. I am sad, and that is okay. I may feel invisible, and I am worthy”

    Oh Justine reading this flashed me back so many Holidays past. You are worthy and you are validated in your feelings to be sad. It is ok. For many this is not a cheerful season for so many reasons. Thank you for being real, raw and honest.. AS ALWAYS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Raw and honest…I can’t, won’t, be any other way. ❤ Thank you so much for reading and commenting.


  3. The holidays are so stinking rough. Thanks for sharing your emotions. Makes others feel less alone in our struggles. Sending hugs and prayers for you! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are never alone in this, ever. Thank you for those hugs and prayers, same to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Justine –

    I hear you and I’ve been hearing you. The whys of grief are elusive if they exist at all. For me having a painful spell that is unexpected and doesn’t seem linear can feel so frustrating, even though it just simply comes with the territory. It’s so important that you’re sharing this as I venture to say it represents the new normal so many of us share.

    PS I love that you’re pissed off at glitter. Totally legitimate in my book.

    PPS I let out a guffaw at “Side note: This is not the most empathetic way to ask…” It sure isn’t!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maggie says:

    Thank you. Every year, I somehow think I’ll find my way back to the magic of Christmas, but every year with infertility, it just gets harder to see those baby Jesus scenes and know that I will never be the one leaning over a little one’s cradle. I’m trying to give myself the grace to grieve, and to know somehow that I matter even though I’m not a mother and most likely never will be. Thanks for your beautiful words.


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