But once she has nothing, I’ll be able to get through to her.
I’ll entice her and lead her out into the wilderness where we can be alone,
and I’ll speak right to her heart and try to win her back.
And then I’ll give her back her vineyards;
I’ll turn the valley of Achor, that “Valley of Trouble,”
into a gateway of hope.
Hosea 2:14-15, The Voice translation
Groundhog’s day is the halfway point between the winter and spring solstices – it’s a time of being “in-between” and that is the season of life that I am in. I’m starting to see the edges of the wilderness that I have been traveling in for a while, but I’m also seeing how I have changed. The wilderness can be a time of despondency or a time for equipping. I’ve had both experiences. At times I felt alone and felt that no one understood what was happening with my life or my spirituality. People who I thought were friends left and formed new friendships and left me alone. It hurt to grow and it hurt to lose them. I’d trade this degree in a heartbeat if I could have the health to take care of another baby.
It’s been a hard ten years: loss of dream job, morning sickness for the whole pregnancy, emergency c-section, PCOS, breast-feeding issues (but we made it almost 3 years), tubal pregnancy (unknown), brain surgery for Chiari Malformation and Syringomelia, my father going into a nursing home for Alzheimer’s, finding out that my brother is gay, female surgery, losing my grandmother, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, massive food intolerances, and being in graduate school. Each thing has changed my story and changed how I see the world. I have been in a whirl spin for so long that it took a while to learn how to be still again. Just as it takes time in a counseling session this takes time to repair, renew, and refresh. Some dreams have died while others have appeared out of nowhere and have flourished.
Some days God sucks! Some days He’s perfect and awesome. There are days I rage and cuss at Him and others I sit and rest in Him. The one thing I know is that He doesn’t leave me. He may be distant, but he is also near. I may want to throw the biggest rock at Him in anger, but He’ll catch it and turn it into something else. I get jealous of others and weep and cry, but He surprises me by letting me help others in a new, unexpected way. Who knew that perinatal grief counseling existed? I didn’t until I started this new path. I know it won’t be easy….
I’m not the same person I was when I entered this season, but now that I’m in-between it and the new one, I’m glad I changed. I’m stronger, but I also know my tender spots and sometimes sitting and staring at nature is as close to God as I can get, but it’s okay. God is a big God and understands. He didn’t say, thou shalt be in every women’s Bible study your church offers, or that you have to read x amount of pages in a devotional, or make your Bible look like a piece of art with scribbles and doodles and colors. He asks us to be still and know that He is God. I am learning to be confident in who I have become and that may make others uncomfortable.
Learning how to slow down and savor what is around me has been a hard lesson. That was until one day a friend posted some pictures on Facebook. It was a place that we frequented a lot as teenagers when we went hiking. Seeing those pictures brought back the memory of just enjoying the moment on that mountaintop, looking at the valley below, and just knowing everything was good – if just for that weekend – if just for that moment.
Due to this sister’s current situation regarding her job search, she has asked to remain anonymous. However, if you would like to talk with her, Jen can put you in touch. Simply use the Contact Me form or send me an email at jenfergie[at]me[dot]com.