• Jacqui Jackson, M.Ed

Spring in the Darkness


I used to detest Springtime. Lest you think me a seasonal misanthrope - I actually love spring now. But the incessant new birth - of flowers, trees, birds and all the things simply sent me over the edge. A loss will do that to a girl...and when a mommy's heart is experiencing empty arms - it is one of the most profound and lonely sadnesses I have ever felt.

I remember crying when I found a nest in my fern filled with spotted eggs. Why? Why does that bird get many and I'm begging God for just one! I cried when I saw the little fawn on scrawny legs struggling to keep up with her powerful parents. I cried when I saw an expectant mommy putting more littles in a stroller to attempt to grocery shop.

The cry of my heart was simply WHY? Half a decade of praying answered that question - but even now when I meet girls who have suffered loss, waiting and no explanations why the cry of their hearts are not being answered RIGHT THE HECK NOW - my heart breaks a little. It is a grief I’ve surrendered. It is a season I am grateful to have left behind me. But the raw and complicated scars that season of Infertility and loss has left are scratched deeply into my heart!

The wounds are still tender and the only thing that offers relief is the snuggling my babies close, and inhaling the scent that is unique to them.

Random aside - is it me or do all your littles smell the same to you - Mine do…

I know at some point when I’ve been struggling to park our snack-filled minivan full of kiddos and then attempt to corral them all safely through a busy parking lot - another heart broke. She probably thought as I did - how come that girl gets blessed? Full Disclosure - she may have thought - that girl can hardly handle it - and truth be told I can’t - outside of Jesus. So on my hardest days - when no one has read my color-coded alphabetized memos on how to behave (you haven’t taught me how to read yet mommy!) , the clipboard identifying what chores to finish, and what lessons must be completed in order to earn (fill in the blank incentive here) - I have to pause and remind myself that it took a full decade of begging God for favor, for blessing for my quiver to be filled with little arrows that come complete with their own personalities, ideas, heart desires. I remind myself of the years of empty arms, of being told by health care professionals that I’ve had (another) spontaneous abortion - a term I abhor to the depths of my soul. Of knowing even before any physical evidence is apparent that this baby is yet another baby I will not hold till I’m in heaven...and I’m just overwhelmed.

God answered the cry of my heart and as my sister says - I have had babies in almost every way a woman can - domestic adoption, fostered then adopted, surprise and emergency C Section! Each came to me with his or her own story. A testimony from the start. Each of these sweet babies has a calling and is a soul I’ve only been asked to steward because no matter how I grew them - in my heart or in my belly - they are really God’s kids...and so am I.

So in his perfect (yet long, confusing, not at all my own) timing - He sent the souls I was uniquely gifted to parent as a unique gift to me...to my mommy heart. Because all that time crying out in the wilderness wasn’t wasted time. It was refining. A redefining of what my motherhood would look like. And I can see now that the mommying I would have given these souls before I was broken looks a lot more like the world and a lot less like ministry. I can hug my kiddos and inhale their sweet scent and know that they were made for me, I was made for them...and God had His hand in it - even when I thought I was doing it alone. I was held...and now I hold them.

For any mommy to be walking a season of empty arms - I get it. I was you. He sees you.

And there is Always, Always - HOPE!

#infertility #adoption #fostercare #spring

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