Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

When you just need grace to grieve

When I finished the first few chapters of my friend Natalie‘s new book, I begged her to send me an advance copy. I had to know the rest of the story and let her words wash over me like water. I am overjoyed to share her with you this week! Here is a piece of her story.

The carpet fibers catching my tears were soaked with salty love poured out.

Month eighteen of trying to conceive had just passed and I was weary of purchasing pregnancy tests, only to pitch them.

I was exhausted from the physical pain of endometriosis. I was worn thin from the emotional pain of waiting. I wanted so badly to have a reason to save one of those tests. But instead, I found myself purchasing only to pitch, month after month.

Life was calculated by cycles. The calendar was eaten up day by day by the pac man of ovulation and possible-implantation days.

Would this month be our month? The month I would see two bright lines, parallel to one another, announcing the creation of a biological child? Would this be the month we’d begin our nine-month countdown, the month we began experiencing the miracle of pregnancy?

I knew exactly how I’d tell my husband. I knew how we would tell everyone.

We had been saving bits of money since our first paycheck, set aside for the adoption process, but we were far from the chunk needed. So we continued trying to grow our family the biological route. The route everyone else seemed to achieve so effortlessly.

Pregnant women surrounded me. Most of my friends were rounding with expectation, some for the second and third time. We were on staff at a church: there were babies and toddlers and pregnant bellies popping through our days like popcorn.

Face down, I cried the blue out of my eyes and into the carpet, thinking about all the newly born babes and those on their way. None of them mine or mine-to-be.

When will I be a mama? Am I selfish and petty for wanting to experience pregnancy so badly? Is God disappointed in me for being sad about this?

My tears turned into sobs, my body convulsing. I wondered if I had permission to grieve the loss of fertility. The loss of a healthy body. The loss of expectations and a surprise pregnancy.

I had wondered for months and years if giving these losses—these aches and pains and sorrows—space in my life was sinful. If it was bad. I wondered if it made me unlike Him. Being like Him was what I wanted, but I wanted to be honest with myself too.

I wondered if loss of any kind could have an honest voice—or does it have to be shoved away with a smile exclaiming all the right things? Must I smile through the storm even if ingenuine?

The carpet fibers catching my tears were soaked with salty love poured out. A deep well of love was created by the immense weight of the wait digging cavernous wells in my heart.

And in those wells of deep ache during our lonely wait, I found grace.

Oceans of grace, more than I needed.

Jesus was right there in the grace, in the ache and weightiness of longing to experience the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.

I found Him there in my darkest days and you know what? He was grieving with me. He was weeping with me, broken and poured out over my brokenness.

Because brokenness is never His plan. Brokenness and loss are not His.

Wholeness. Healing. Freedom. Joy. Hope. Redemption. Those are from Him. But not brokenness or loss.

Those carpet fibers caught tears of transformation as I slowly began to see Him amidst the sorrow of my heart. Those carpet fiber tears set me free to grieve the loss of fertility and have Him validate my pain. I found the freedom to be sad. I surrendered my sorrow by grabbing ahold of it, without shame.

If you’re crying salty tears of sorrow—hidden and unseen, maybe even ashamed—and wondering if there is space to be both His and sad…I am here to nod my head. I am here to invite you into an honest grief, whatever it looks like for you.

Grief is clunky but grief is what sets us free: Jesus grieves. He grieves losses and brokenness and suffering. God is a good, good Father who cares so intimately about your deepest sorrows, your lost expectations, your brokenness. 

If God didn’t care about our losses and traumas, He would have removed the scars of the cross from Jesus’s resurrected, perfect body. But He didn’t. He left the marks of suffering.

He cares far too much about our suffering to erase it.

If you find yourself sitting in your deepest and darkest night, look intently: you’re sure to stumble upon oceans of grace, giving you permission to grieve.

If you allow yourself to be honest, you’ll uncover Jesus right there with you, in the thick of your suffering. It’s there you’ll find hope renewed: when you believe He grieves with you.

My dear friend Natalie Brenner is wife to Loren and mom to two under two. She likes her wine red, ice cream served by the pint, and conversations vulnerableNatalie is also the best-selling author of This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts of Grief and the Fullness of Life. You can find her at


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