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?"
I 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.