Family Life, Spiritual Formation


I met Meredith last month when Peter and I spoke at a young marrieds’ retreat in Gull Lake, Michigan. During the Saturday evening session, I spoke from John 11 about Mary and Martha and Lazarus and Christ. If you’ve done much reading here at This Odd House, you’ve probably picked up on how much I love that chapter—what it shows us about Jesus’ sense of timing and His purpose (the glory of God!) and His power over life and death.

As a part of my message that night, I also read from my essay “And the Walls Came Tumbling Down.” It’s a hard piece about our infertility journey. In it I describe—in rather raw detail—the sort of spiritual crisis I found myself in. I’ve read this piece aloud to a few groups now, and I’m nervous every time. Understandably, I think. It’s a whole lot of vulnerable. But I share it because I want to give other people permission to bring their pain out of the shadows and into the light. I want to challenge the church to come alongside of them. I want to point them in the direction of true healing and hope.

Every time I’ve read it, I have been amazed. Every time, after I’ve read, a man or a woman or a couple (or two or three) has come up to me and said, “Thank you so much. That was for me. That was for us.” Every. Single. Time.

Last month at Gull Lake after that Saturday evening meeting, Meredith approached me with two of her friends. All three of them have been working through some form of infertility. And they shared with me that they had been friends for some time—not knowing one another’s private pain—before one of them finally broke the ice and explained what was going on. Then—you can imagine her surprise—when the other two responded by saying something to the effect of “No way. Me too.”

When we talked that night, Meredith also told me about a blog she had started called “The Baby Wait.” It’s a lovely place where she is collecting stories and posting encouragement and creating community for those who are waiting.

Today I’m honored that Meredith has chosen to share a piece from our story. “Island Time.” You can find it here. And then you can read some of the other stories she’s gathered—all describing the faithfulness of our God and the many ways that He finds to build a family.

Please share this post, friends—whether infertility has directly touched your life or not. Share it because you, too, may be surprised at who of your friends is stuck in the shadows and needs just this sort of support.


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