He is Better

When Ted and I decided to start trying to have children, I ordered an infant’s onesie in Astros blue and orange from Amazon. I decided that once I got a positive pregnancy test, I would hide it in a big pile of laundry and then bug him until he came to help me fold and put all of it away. I’d avoid the onesie and wait for him to pick it up and figure it out. And then we’d laugh and cry and laugh and forget the laundry.

For the last twenty months, the onesie has lived in several different hiding spots, wadded up into a wrinkled ball: the glovebox of my car; my purse; on a shelf in our laundry room. Now it’s in my bedside table drawer, stuffed underneath the binder we got from the infertility specialist’s office to hold all of our lab results.

I don’t really personally know any women who are currently dealing with infertility. A few months ago, a couple girls kindly and bravely opened up about how they were also struggling, but both have since become pregnant.

I wish I could say that the news that these couples were able to conceive encouraged me, but it only felt like that sensation you get when you miss a step on the staircase and you land badly on your ankle. I’ve watched dozens of families announce their first, second, third, fourth, and fifth children over the last few years, but these two specific announcements particularly felt like utter abandonment by God.

Because it doesn’t feel like a punishment, this never-ending cycle of waiting and disappointment. It just feels pointless. It feels like my heavenly Father is looking down at me from on high to say, “Oh, sorry, I forgot you were there. Tell me your name again?

We had a hellish spring this year. We spent more money and time than I want to think about fixing my car and undergoing tests at a doctor’s office. We were also trying to buy a house at the same time and it all just got way too overwhelming and expensive. I remember leaving the doctor’s office in Ted’s truck (because my car was in the shop for the fourth time that month), sobbing and holding on to his arm.

We eased into the Austin traffic and I finally said it out loud: “I can’t do this anymore.”

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And Furthermore


Dear Mr. President-elect,

My name is Chelsey. I’m an American citizen and a Christian.

I have a lot of reasons to be thankful for my in-laws, but one of the foremost is for the way they taught their son – my husband – to be considerate of emotions and identity. The best way I can explain this might be to give you an example. Let’s use two fictional people called Bob and Betty:

Bob: “Hey, Betty. You’re ugly.”
Betty: “When you tell me that I’m ugly, Bob, it makes me angry and sad.”
Bob: “Oh. I’m sorry.”
Betty: “Thank you for the apology. You’re forgiven.”

Now, for this conversation to work properly, a few things have to happen. First, Betty must remember to phrase her response to Bob’s bullying thus: “When you do/say/act like/think/et cetera this thing, it makes me feel/think this way.” It would therefore not be helpful for Betty to retaliate by saying: “You’re a jerk,” and leave it at that. Growth only occurs if Betty is able to separate Bob’s actions from Bob’s identity. And even more progress will be made if Bob acknowledges his wrongdoing by allowing Betty the space to be upset or angry about what he has said against her.

Because this is the thing, Mr. President-elect: Bob and Betty are Christians. Their identities as children of God are not bound to their actions. Their identities are bound only in the forgiveness and saving work of Jesus Christ. And because Jesus has given all of His followers some specific instructions on how they ought to live in this world, among Christians and non-Christians alike, we, after receiving this free gift of salvation, have a responsibility to obey.

I say ‘we’ because you have professed yourself to be my brother in Christ.

And if you’re my brother in Christ, then I have some things to say to you.

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When The Promises Of God Seem Weak


When I was in seventh grade, I had a locker on a lower row next to a boy. Between every class, I had to kneel down at this locker to retrieve my books. And nearly every day, this boy would kneel down next to me at his own locker, grin wickedly, and then rest his hand on my thigh.

Or on the back of my neck, with his fingers in my hair.

Or on my crotch.

I would shove him away every day, but still he persisted. He bragged about it to his friends. They started hanging around his locker just to see me turn red in anger and shame, laughing and hooting at me.

I eventually started lugging around all of my heavy textbooks in my backpack, just to avoid him. I did this for several weeks before determining that I would tell a teacher. But before I could, the boy had gotten into trouble elsewhere and was suspended for different reasons.

When I was in tenth grade, I worked as a student trainer for the football team. One of the players acted on a dare from his buddies and tried to unfasten my bra while I stood in front of him on a school bus.

I only wore sports bras for a very long time afterward because of it.

When I was in twelfth grade, a drunk college guy at a party shoved me up against a wall and put his hand down my shorts.

I kneed him in the groin, got away, and counted myself lucky.

I don’t talk about these experiences much for obvious reasons, but I decided to come forward with them for this post. I’m not doing so to gain pity, but to convey to you the absurd commonness of their occurring. A majority of my female friends have stories just like these – and way, way too many of them have stories that are so much worse. I’m writing about them to put a face on them. These are not just “some women” – they are me. They are women (and young girls) you know, and they happen in places you know.

And now, a man who has openly bragged about committing assaults like the ones I endured is president-elect of this nation.

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