Can I Be Grateful While I'm Angry? {Jennifer's Story}

We are so grateful to have our beautiful friend, Jennifer, back to on the blog today as we continue to bring you more stories of women who have been through great pain and loss.  Jennifer recently experienced a very hard failed adoption from Uganda wrote to us " I did not realize how badly some of this needed to be put into words. Mine does not deal with infertility but I hope that is okay. It still deals with pain and loss and has a large focus on being angry and grateful at the same time."  I know we can all relate to her beautiful heart poured out below.  We've all been there - in a flurry of emotions that won't seem to end.  We go from being heartbroken to furious.  And you know what?  That is ok.  We just can't stay there, and must turn our eyes to the One who can redeem us.  He is the only one that can pull us out of that black hole of emotional wreckage.  Please join us in welcoming our dear friend Jennifer back today as she shares her beautiful heart with us.

Can I be grateful while I am angry?

Anger and gratefulness are two very different emotions. I would claim they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Typically gratefulness coincides with happiness and joyfulness. Also normally with the Thanksgiving Holiday, which is a very happy holiday. It is meant to remind us to be thankful for all that we have. Anger is a harsh emotion, usually associated with sadness or grumpiness. So how can I be grateful while at the same time being angry?

I am still reeling and coming off of a very tough failed adoption. I spent 7 weeks in another country and ended up coming home alone. I was extremely sad for a very long time. I would wake up every morning and chose to put a smile on and get through the day. But then most nights I would go home and cry myself to sleep. I was just utterly sad. This was hard because at the same time I was dealing with my sadness I was also helping the family stay together which was a happy time. Again conflicting emotions, these I was able to compartmentalize and experience them at different times. Well slowly but surely the sadness has ebbed a little and I have regained a little more normalcy to my life. But what has come next I did not expect.

It started a couple weeks before Halloween. I saw all of these beautiful families celebrating fall and Halloween traditions. Next came the adorably fun pictures of all of the kids in their costumes or group family costumes. And instead of enjoying them, I was angry. Angry that I did not get to be a part of that, that I was a single adult dressing up all on my own. I got to sit around and hand out candy and visit with my niece when I should have been out there trick or treating with my child. This anger shocked me and I did not know what to do with it. You see I have an amazing family, my parents love me and spoil me, my sister actually likes hanging out with me, and my niece is my favorite person in the world. I have great friends who I can hang out with whenever I want to. I work for a fantastic company that brings me so much joy. I have all of these awesome things in my life and I am extremely grateful. I am angry and grateful. I am working on letting the gratefulness overcome the anger but right now I am housing both emotions and I think that is okay. As I head into the holiday season and I go through Thanksgiving and, the real zinger, Christmas I will probably still have this anger. But I believe that as long as I can still recognize the good in my life I am okay with the anger.

The most complex part of this grateful/anger combo is that I am so grateful that my (almost) little girl is with her family. She is loved and cared for and surrounded by siblings. Being grateful for that is what helps me get through some of my angry times. But the complex part is that the thing I am so grateful is technically also the cause of my anger. Wow, if that doesn’t make your head spin then I don’t know what will. I have to keep reminding myself that this is supposed to be hard. I am not supposed to wake up one day and have forgotten everything and move on. This will always be a part of my story. The Lord is refining me. I don’t know what for yet. My hope is that this will all make me stronger when I am blessed with becoming a mother. But it also might be making me stronger to handle the burden of never becoming one. I don’t know what His plan is but I know in the end it will be better than anything I can come up with. I might always have a hint of anger but hopefully there will be more good things to come. And those good things will give me even more to be grateful for. So while I struggle through the holidays and deal with times that are clouded in "could have been’s" I hope I can hold on to my gratefulness. I hope it overshadows my anger. And if some days the anger wins… well that is okay too.

Jennifer is a single woman who began pursuing adoption almost two years ago.  She loves working with children, has been a daycare teacher for five years and absolutely adores her niece.  Family means the world to her and that includes her dog Piper who never learned the word calm.  She loves to read and loves all things Disney.  She says "I am striving to choose joy every day of my life."  She is learning to give her life away to others and most importantly to an awesome God who has a much better plan for her life than she ever could dream of. 

A series for people who are grateful for infertility? Sounds crazy right! But it's not... what was once a phase of life marked by heartache and longing, has now become the scars that make us beautiful. Some of you reading this are right in the middle of your wait, are facing an unclear future or have been scarred by infertility. You may be struggling with how you could possibly be grateful for infertility. It took us a long time to get there ourselves. This is one of those areas where sometimes our faith has to guide us while our hearts and heads catch up. We have to practice thankfulness, even when it makes little sense, while God does His divine work on our souls.