Wednesday, June 29


Last night was one of those amazingly starry nights, with warm summer wind and good friends. My neighbor Anne has an iPod app that you can point at the stars and it identifies constellations, so we found Hercules and Corona Borealis! Gwen's star is in between the two, by Hercules' nose. It was fun moment to see her star, and I was thankful that the constellations were visible from my front yard, at a normal stargazing time of night.

Soon after I came in the house and caught up on the events of the day while brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed. I found out that good friends of ours are pregnant, and immediately my heart failed. It's not that I'm not happy for them; I'm just unhappy for me. I find in my aching soul this petulant child, comparing my own undeserved graces with that of another's. I have greedy eyes that hunger for another person's "lollipop", while ignorantly clenching my own.

And the honest facts of it are that I'm still childless here, and the majority of my friends are not. But all of the good in my life is undeserved. Would my heart be more content if I truly grasped the real state of my soul -- in all it's poverty and wretchedness -- yet being loved, chosen, cleansed, clothed, and fed by Grace?

As a Hope Mom, it's difficult to see people not appreciate or love their living children. You genuinely hope that people will love their children more because of your story, because not every Mom gets the chance to kiss her baby goodnight. And when you meet with an ungrateful, selfish mom, it's as if they're intentionally stabbing you, saying, "Ha! You don't have your child, but I have mine. and I can treat him or her however I want, and you losing Gwen doesn't affect me at all."

This morning as I prayed through my "longing for her lollipop" attitude and reflected on how I want others to be better women because of Gwen, I started envisioning all of the rest of the world and their wounds...

Does the orphaned child get frustrated with those who have parents, yet complain about and disregard them?

Do those in poor health, whose bodies are failing and hurting at every moment, become embittered at the carelessly healthy people around them?

Do the unmarried or brokenly married men and women begrudge the healthy marriages around them, praying that they would not take them for granted?

Do the women who are unable to conceive at all have a difficult time with teenagers (and the whole world) being pregnant?

Do the abused cringe when they see movies that mock, downplay, or validate violence?

Are we not all constantly longing for those around us to enjoy their own lollypops, because not everyone has that particular grace? And if I could combine all of these wounds, the longings, the absences of Good into one character - I would find the character of every person: a poor, blind, deaf, mute, ugly, crippled, unloved, naked, abused, forgotten, and dead...

and then Grace! 

Grace - the undeserved favor of God - descended in the person of Jesus, who died and rose again that He could redeem all of that in me and make me who I am now in Christ: rich, hearing, seeing, understanding, healthy, beautiful, whole, loved, clothed, redeemed, delighted in... alive.

Lord, THANK YOU for taking what is dark, terrible, and dead in me and making it alive, light, and beautiful in Christ. Thank you for your lollipops of grace that You've given to me. Forgive me for having a discontent, envious spirit; create in me a new heart, O God, and renew Your steadfast spirit in me. Restore to me the Joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your Spirit.


  1. It is amazing how easy it is to take for granted what we DO have but scream at God for that we don't have. It's human nature, I guess but it must really break His heart. Thank you for your heart of gratefulness, Erin. You are lifted up and are lifting others.

  2. Perfect post Erin! Thank you! Your heart is so precious! I love you friend!

  3. I've been thinking about this a lot recently, as well. Love you, friend.

  4. That is such honest, transparent writing. It's such blessing to hear from God through it and I feel challenged to appraise my own heart and pray that prayer. Thank you sister! And God's continued favor on you & your husband.

  5. Wow. I think you read my mind today. Lately, when my hubby gets home from work, I'm crying and telling him, "one more person on facebook is pregnant!"

    Thank you for showing me that I need to be happy for these people, and enjoy my own lollypop.

  6. What a beautiful post! My husband and I struggled with infertility for over three years before God graciously blessed us with a child through adoption just three short months ago. And I still struggle with those feelings of 'jealousy' when I hear someone complaining about being pregnant or how hard breastfeeding is, or how they long for time away from their kids, etc.

    While, I don't completely understand your pain, I can empathize and have felt similar pains and struggles. Thank you for sharing this. You continue to be in my prayers.

  7. I suppose it doesn't need saying, but a mother who doesn't love her child more because she fails to understand your loss is not likely happy with the way she treats her child. (I originally said that she's not necessarily selfish or ungrateful but of course she is; we all are.) I think that life can be like a set of scales, and there are things on both ends that pull on us; gratefulness maybe on one side, despair on the other. I think most mothers would like to be more grateful, more genuinely delighted with their children, and are confounded and discouraged by their own inability to do so. We are thick with sin. It's absurd how frustrated a mother can feel at her children; it's disproportionate. I think that a lot of mothers harden their hearts to this, to the ache you experience at knowing that you're not doing right by them. A woman callouses her heart because she doesn't know how to change things (or she's tried and tried and cannot overcome herself.) Children who were abused are likely to grow up to be abusive; adults who hurt tend to hurt. I was raised by parents who never raised their voices and never hit me, and I'm baffled by how immediate the reaction is, the desire to yell or be harsh. I say this with shame.
    I hope that God uses the story of your daughter to convict people like me, but more than that I hope that he extends his hand of grace and helps us to be worthy of them. I adore my children and I want to be, I really do.