Worth All Enduring

How can it be nearing the end of February already?  This has been the hardest, strangest two months so far.  We have one more week to wait for news, one more week until the time is up for a decision to be made regarding our future.

The other day I sat in the nursery, hot tears falling as I rocked, empty handed, in the rocker. Little boy clothes hung in the closet, some with tags still attached.  A pack of diapers lay unopened beside the empty wash basket.  The bassinet has piles of blankets that have lost any baby scent.  The nursery is empty and quiet, waiting, waiting…

Old Phone pics 018

I can be so hard on myself for feeling so sad about it all…but when I look at this empty room, I see it as it is- a big shocking loss.  We used to hold fuzzy-haired Z and dream of the future.  I remember gazing at a suit hanging in the closet (12 month size) and wondering if it would ever be used for an adoption ceremony.  I used to push the grocery cart around the store, proudly showing off my little boy to old men and ladies who oohed & aahed over the tiny miracle.  I would get together with friends, sleep-deprived but filled with joy, and connecting with a group of mommas.  I would gaze into Z’s big eyes and wonder if he would have any traits of Jay and I.  I would rock and pray that he would be a little boy who loves his Jesus and a man who would love his God.  I spent hours holding him, talking to him and singing songs about how Jesus loves him, and about our mighty God.  I rocked him to sleep, singing old hymns and praying that God’s love would surround him.  I tickled his cheeks and coaxed out his first grin. I felt his little head against my chest, tucked in underneath my chin.  Oh, he was a snuggler.  I watched him grow from 3 1/2 pounds to 4, 5, 6, 7 pounds.  I wondered what he would be like as a toddler, as a first grader, as a teen.  Oh, how we prayed over his health, asking God to keep him safe, knowing how vulnerable a preemie is.  And when his fever rose, and we took him in, I never ever imagined that things could go wrong so quickly, and we’d be asked to come home without him.

It was like a cruel joke to walk back into the quiet house and see bottles waiting to be washed, an empty bassinet, and a rocker stretching out her arms, perplexed at our cold snub.  There were reminders of Z everywhere because this was his home.

God knows our pain.  He knows how the shock staggered and ripped our world apart.  And on top of the grief is fear- big fear that we may never be able to have a family.  That fear is the battle- I feel like a blind person grasping, reaching for something to comfort.  I feel such a wide range of emotions- anger at the unfairness of it all, sorrow at my empty arms, jealousy over cute babies and happy families, anxiety over the future, guilt for not trusting God, and shame at the up and down roller coaster that defines my days.  I struggle with how to balance it all.  How do I grieve and process while still honoring God?  Some days I pull it off, other days the pit is too deep, the darkness too cruel, and I wade through the shifting sands of my heart.  I hate the dreams that keep me from resting, the headaches from tears that sometimes refuse to quit flowing.  I hate the weariness that permeates my bones.

And then, I remember this song, a new favorite that a friend shared with me.

It’s like a storm, that cuts a path-

It breaks your will, it feels like that.

You’re think you’re lost, but you’re not lost;

On your own, you’re not alone…

I will stand by you, I will help you through;

When you’ve done all you can do, and you can’t cope-

I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight;

I will hold you tight and I won’t let go…

It hurts my heart to see you cry,

I know it’s dark this part of life.

Oh, it finds us all, and we’re too small

To stop the rain, oh, but when it rains…

I will stand by you, I will help you through;

When you’ve done all you can do, and you can’t cope-

I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight;

I will hold you tight and I won’t let you fall…

Don’t be afraid to fall!  I’m right here to catch you.

I won’t let you down…Don’t let it get you down-

You’re gonna make it,

Oh, I know you can make it…

I will stand by you, I will help you through;

When you’ve done all you can do, and you can’t cope-

I will dry your eyes, I will fight your fight;

I will hold you tight and I won’t let go.

(I Won’t Let Go- by the Bontragers)

The pain is still there, the future still shrouded in darkness, but hope springs joyful.  While I would never pick to go through this, I can testify to the truth of God being near to the brokenhearted. (Psalm 34:18)  He meets me in my brokenness every single time. And when I choose, sometimes over and over and over again in a single day-  to stay focused on Him, I know everything will be alright.  And really, shouldn’t that be my perspective all the time?  I am God’s child, His chosen, His redeemed.  The cross and His Son’s sacrifice change my days from dark hopelessness to joyful anticipation.  I am loved and I am reminded of that every day- not only through God’s Word and Promises, but also through His people.

I just finished a book by Philip Yancey- Where is God When It Hurts? This paragraph echoes my heart:

My anger about pain has melted mostly for one reason: I have come to know God.  He has given me joy and love and happiness and goodness.  They have come in unexpected flashes, in the midst of my confused, imperfect world, but they have been enough to convince me that my God is worthy of trust.  Knowing Him is worth all enduring.


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  1. Love you, Kendra. Well said.

  2. Crying for you. I can only imagine the grief and how hard it is to walk through each day empty handed. Praying God blesses you like he did Job of old… and you have many times more than you had at the start of your journey. God is preparing you for a special future, He doesn’t have us walk through trials for no reason. Hugs and prayers!

  3. Melissa's Photography Blog February 19, 2015 — 4:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing Kendra. Praying for you today…and feeling your pain of sudden loss and hearache. Hugs.

  4. Tears* hugs* more prayers as you wait. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you…

  5. Kendra, your heartfelt words are beautiful! I hope you can rest in the knowledge of Christ’s love for you!

  6. Lori&Dale Sensenig February 20, 2015 — 2:56 am

    I have been inspired by your posts on your journey to ‘have a family’. I have never been in your shoes, but I am learning that God is always on time. In the Bible, Lazarus’ family thought Jesus was late…but He wasn’t. He had something better in store. Sometimes, I wonder why or ‘what is He thinking?’ ….But He truly does hold my hand through my tears. He understands pain. God bless you both and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace! ~Lori S.

  7. Kendra, I feel sad for you. Having been on both sides, my feelings are so mixed up. Our false accusations will follow us the rest of our lives. I am trusting that God will take care of my children and that someday they will find their way back home.

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