Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Psalm of lament

Once a week Eliot and I head off to "school". We're actually going to our church's women's teaching ministry where I have real adult conversations and Eliot goes to play with his friends and learn about Bible stories. It's been a great fit for us. This semester we're studying the Psalms of the Bible. Each week has focused on a certain theme throughout that book of the Bible and some history behind it. It's been educational to say the least. We're blessed to have such a ministry available to us.

One theme is titled 'The Psalms of Lament' and these are focused on the particular chapters that deal with David (or whatever author) being discontent with God's response to a plea, feeling deserted or ignored or punished by God but through the process of honesty, coming to a stronger trust than ever in God's plan.

A couple weeks before that lesson, one of the leaders called to ask if I (along with a few others) would be willing to write a psalm of lament in my own words about our adoption journey, knowing it was such a beast. I agreed but as I thought about it, the infertility was fresh and painful. If I was truly going to be honest with this commitment, my direction needed to focus on where I'm at right now. My heart was raw over this and I could think of LOTS of things to write about my disappointment on this issue. The adoption journey seems happy now since there's a little Mayan squeezing my neck. So, I sat down one afternoon and started typing. I feel a little exposed putting it out there, but for what it's worth, here's what came out:

How long, O Lord, How long?
Hear my heart’s cry, acknowledge my constant stream of tears even though I am too weary to cry
How long will you keep me on this road, in this valley?
Lord, my arms are full but my couch is empty.
Do you plant a desire in the depths of my heart only to dangle it just out of reach?
With a simple decision between two, a life is created
for those surrounding me.
ALL around me, All the time
Yet we’ve prayed, wept, clung, wrestled, bled,
wondered, trusted, mourned, dreamt, pleaded, failed, offered, paid, grieved, encouraged, hoped and praised.

I thought by now you would have reached down and brought glory to your kingdom through our fertility, that you would have stepped in and answered the prayers of so many over so many years, but our couch is still empty.
Do you hear Hannah’s cry in me?
Do you feel Jacob’s wrestling from me?
Do you see Sarah’s doubt in my laughter?
I am armed for a fight but unsure of who my opponent is since You are the Giver of Life.
How do you choose when to bless and when to ask us for patience?
How do I find your unfailing love in this? It’s bigger and deeper but I can’t find it.
Can I humble myself and praise you in the mire or give in to the confusion and disappointment?
My broken heart is failing me and I feel as though I need to remind you that You don’t know what you’re doing with my life.
I want you to see this my way, not yours.
Lord, I am so tired, so weary, so thirsty.
The pain is real, it is never distant,
But... you aren’t either.
You are holding me tightly though I push against you.
Though there is no physical sign to hope in, yet my hope is in You.
Day and night I am surrounded by your blessings.
Your mercies are new every morning, your promises and your ways always on my heart.
No matter what the journey brings, You are my prize
You are my reward.
You are forever gracious and good.
You are good, Lord, you are good.
You weep when I weep.
You hold me together when I feel broken.
You pour your living water over my cracked and peeling dreams,
dreams that are as close to your heart as mine.
You remind me that even in a fallen world, you will be praised.
When my lips fail me, your spirit holds up my arms in worship.
Even though I can’t find it, I trust in your unfailing love.
I will wait for you Lord.
In this valley, I will trust.


Christina (aka - Tina) said...


That was SO beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. You are just so inspiring to me.

My husband and I have not been trying for what one would consider to be a lengthy amount of time, but we have recently suffered a miscarriage. It has been incredibly painful and I am wrestling with similar questions of our Lord. Just within the past week or so I he has been so gracious as to lessen my weariness and provide me with some comfort. I am beginning to trust in Him and his plan. It is so hard though. Especially when everyone around you is having their first, second, and so on babies. What is really tough is when someone who does not even want to be pregnant is blessed with that gift. I just wonder why that is?

I will be thinking of you and adding you to my prayer list. I have several friends who are also experiencing fertility troubles and I pray for them regularly.

Take care!

Amanda said...

Katie, I know it must be hard to put that out there for us to read, but I want you to know that you have touched my heart deeply today.

My husband and I have been struggling as well. Fortunately for everyone around me, we are the only ones in our group who are having this trouble. It can feel so isolating and it is so easy to let myself get down. Thank you for writing this Psalm of lament. Your words could have easily come straight from my heart (except that you said them so much better than I could)!

There's so much else I could say but it would all come out in a rambling mess. So I'll just say a simple but heartfelt "Thank you!" and I'll be praying for you!


Amanda said...

WOW!!! What more can I say!!! I am amazed by your words...I sat and cried out to God with you as I read this. I know our "pains" are different but I certainly know of a pain and questioning God in that.
I love you sister!!!

Bella said...

beautiful. plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katie,
Thanks for being brave enough to post this. My heart aches with you on this one. As I read, I cried and then was encouraged. Thanks for reminding me that God can handle our honest laments :),

Deb said...


Thank you so much for your honesty and vulnerability. I love you dear sister!

Terry said...

Wow Katie! Thank you so much for sharing your heart this way. I found myself crying as I was reading it because it mirrors exactly what I feel so often. I have no other words, but I am praying for and with you.

Brandi Koziatek said...

I have tears in my eyes reading this post. Thank you for your words and your honesty. You are amazing. I will keep you in my prayers!

Poppa Ike said...

KT - I wish I was God for just a moment and I would give you triplets if that was your hearts desire. But I'm not, and I wish there was something I could say to relief you sorrow and frustration. I don't understand and have all the answers so I will leave you with this. "Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!. . .Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praise shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." (Php 4:4-7 The Message) Know that Nanna and I pray for you and the family and we support you with our love and prayers. We miss ya'll hope to see you soon. LOL Poppa Ike

mel_twitchell said...


Sometimes I stop in to look at your blog and your very cute little boy (auntie to another very cute Guatemalan boy). I always find your postings fun and inspiring. Maria pointed me to your blog yesterday. Like you, I am studying a Psalms (inductive) bible study this year and like you, I am struggling in a very similar manner. In the last few weeks, I started to feel very alone in this struggle. God had perfect timing and direction in having me read your last two entries. Thank you for sharing and I will pray for you as well.

Fellow Sister in Christ (& Infertility)
Melissa (Maria's sister)

becky canatsey said...

i love this lament b/c i don't have fertility issues but can still totally relate b/c i wrestle with God (just on different issues) thank you for putting yourself out there. its been really encouraging to me,

Linz said...

Oh Katie...
You are a precious little moon pie.

I loved this and I type through bleary vision.

Thanks for being a conduit of the Sorrow of Humans and the Faithfulness of God.

Franki said...

(wiping the tears & snot that are now dripping from my face)...thank you, katie...thank you! your vulnerability & willingness to share from your heart has touched my heart tonight.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful, Katie.

kc whitney said...

This was beautiful! I hope you get your full couch. I love that! I have 2 and have lost 1 recently. And the words you wrote touched me while I wait for my full couch. Thank you for your openness and honesty!