Take Out Your No.2 Pencil


Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
.Psalm 139:23

I had a blog for years. I shared and over-shared and for the most part, kept it away from people in my everyday life. I needed a place where I could work through some really difficult times but I didn’t necessarily want the person across the office lunch table to read my deeply personal stuff.

Work was (and continues to be) a place where I needed to draw a line between my painful reality and the equally important reality of needing to hold down a job. Even then, there were many times when I barely made it through the day without closing my office door (thank God for that door!) and had a meltdown.

I had a lot of meltdowns. My boss knew generally what was going on but I needed to keep my emotional distance in order to get through the day, complete my work tasks and just plain function. Oh and did I mention that this went on – up and down – for years? Yeah.

The last few months, I’ve been surprisingly reminded of those times because they’ve snuck back into my everyday life in ways that I thought were either over or – after all these years – manageable.

> Insert raucous laughter from the universe <

I launched this website a few years ago when I could no longer quiet the voice that whispered Write this stuff down. When I could no longer deny that I figuratively needed to write my heart out.


However without meaning to I’ve created another set of two realities. This blog – while being a place where I’ve truly tried to be honest and real – doesn’t really reflect the mindset with which I created the site as a whole.

Enter keywords grief, babies, grief, miscarriage, grief, grace, and oh yeah, grief.

Over the years, by trial and many, many errors, I learned how to navigate the waters of my new reality. To play the system of retaining my sanity while still functioning in the real world. The real world that has babies and children and pregnant bellies around every other corner.

The last few months have felt like I’ve uncovered a nerve that leads directly into the intensity of those past times. Experiencing this “shortcut” feels like a failure. Being brought to tears when innocently being asked before an x-ray if I could be pregnant feels far too familiar.

And yes, I know the whole Grief knows no time limits.

But it’s happening a lot lately and so I hear the small voice whisper, Maybe this is a test. To see if you have enough faith. Because that’s what it felt like back when I was going through the years of infertility treatments, pregnancies, and miscarriages on a seemingly endless loop. I felt like I was being tested. And of course, as in almost every other aspect of my life at the time, I felt like I was failing.

There’s no neat and tidy resolution here. Not to this disjointed post or to the renewed experiences of sadness into which I’m currently stumbling. In this and so many other tests, the answers are not found in a simple Pass/Fail system, but rather by means of a messy, emotional, all-over-the-map essay.

15 thoughts on “Take Out Your No.2 Pencil”

  1. I am your neighbor for this FMF. Your post is wonderful and speaks almost perfectly to how I feel as well, although under different circumstances. I am still struggling with a devastating loss and I am only in the first 6 months of my struggle. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say, so thank you.


  2. Pat, thank you for your raw honesty. I’ve walked the infertility road too. The heartaches that come when someone announces, “I’m pregnant!” Yay. I remember pasting on a smile while hiding the tears, swallowing them down. My heart is with you tonight, and I’m praying for you as you work through this latest bout with grief. It’s a tricky animal, it is. It sneaks up when we think we’re past it.

    I’ll be praying that God not only helps you as you walk through it, but that He also brings healing to the wound that is still inside you.


    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for your kindness. It truly helps to hear from others who “get” at least part of what seems so hard to describe and share. It is not a sisterhood I wish for anyone to have to join, but I’m grateful for the support and prayers along the way.


  3. Thank you for sharing your heavy heart of these deep feelings and emotions. Grief and pain is hard especially when it comes to having babies. Sometimes I don’t understand it but I am glad He helps me through to help me learn more about Him. Lifting up a prayer for you right now! visiting from #55


    1. Thank you Kristina, I truly appreciate your words and the support behind them. And you’re right… no matter whether we understand our circumstances or not, we can take comfort in knowing that God will never leave us..


  4. My heart aches. Your words are so moving. I have children, but I have had miscarriages too. You brought me back to the grief, but it’s because of my grief that I can, in part, grieve with you. Before children, before miscarriages, I did not know or understand the pain, the longing, the loss. With my tears, you have my prayers tonight.
    You are right about “No neat and tidy resolution.” In grief, the raw, open heart is never satisfied with an answer–even a really good answer. It hurts. May you know comfort from a Father who loves you.
    Thank you for writing your story.


    1. Your words bring tears to my eyes, mostly because there is such emotion in knowing that some actually “get” at least part of this journey. Thank you for your kindness, it means more than I can say.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry for the pain and struggles you’ve been through…for the tests that can feel like failure. And how I wish there were neat and tidy endings like we often see on television. No script writers in real life, are there. Praying God will comfort you in your deepest times of sorrow and thankful you are sharing your tests here with others. I trust God is using your words to heal the others of others and comfort yours.


    1. Thank you Debby. You’re right… things get tied up so nicely in a 60-minute tv drama, right? I appreciate your encouragement very much, since posting things like this often has me thinking, “What have I done?” as soon as I hit “publish.” Thank you again.


  6. Thank you for sharing your heart hear, and for stopping by my blog. I am sorry for the pain and grief you’ve been experience. I pray that you will sense the love of the Father in a tremendous way. Hugs!


    1. Thank you Barbie. You’re right, the Father’s love is truly the only healing that lasts. Thank you for visiting and for your support. Peace.



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