But what if not?

To my mamas with empty arms, my sisters who long to be loved, and to anyone with unfulfilled dreams, this one is for you—for us.

I’ve longed for someone to come alongside me, to take my hand, and to speak this truth to me. Let’s face it. We don’t need more empty phrases, even though they are often uttered with the purest of intentions. We need truth and we need love.

Some of us may not get what we so desperately long for. Some of us may not ever get the “happy ending” that we had once envisioned. Some of us may never receive the things we think we always wanted—but no matter what happens, our arms will not be empty. We may end up with so much more than we ever would have dreamed up for ourselves.

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mother. I’ve never had elaborate career aspirations. I went to college with the intent of studying something that I enjoyed so that one day I could help support my family—as a mother.

I never expected infertility to be a part of my story. I never expected to struggle for years to conceive. I never expected to lose my firstborn only 93 minutes after his birth. I never expected to have had three pregnancies, yet no living children at home. I never expected that our three-bedroom house would still have two empty rooms after all this time.

One month into our first attempt at an infertility therapy, I found myself staring at a negative pregnancy test and feeling incredibly defeated. I needed encouragement so I went to the place where almost any millennial would go to find it—Google.

I searched and searched for words from someone who was infertile, yet satisfied. Someone who longed for children, never had them, yet had hope to offer. In today’s society, surely someone had blogged about this.

I cried even harder when I couldn’t find it. Almost every person who shared their story of infertility shared it from the other side of the vast canyon—every story I found was written by someone who now held a living child in their arms.

 Okay, now hear me out. There is nothing wrong with their ending. I rejoice each time that I hear that anyone--especially a barren womb or a sister-in-loss--is expecting a child. Children are a blessing. Fulfilled dreams are a blessing.

 I don’t know where my story will end. My prayer for myself, and for you, is that one day our desires will be fulfilled. My hope is that one day our home is filled with the sounds of children laughing, and even screaming. But right now, I’m not there—which is why I needed to write this now. For all of us. For the one who never gets their “rainbow”. Because some of us may not receive the thing we always longed for and I can’t let you walk away feeling as if your life is less valuable because of it.

 Do I believe that God can open my womb? Yes. Do I believe that He will? I don’t know. I know that He can—and that He has my best interest in mind. I know that He will not leave me with empty arms—I just don’t know exactly what He will fill them with.

 For you, it may not be children. Maybe it’s healing from an illness. Maybe it’s a desire to be married. Maybe it’s a longing for something different.

 For years, people have been telling me that it will happen when the time was right. Maybe you’ve heard similar sayings. People say a lot of empty phrases, laced with the purest intentions.

 Give it time—it’ll happen.

 You’ll have more children.

 Just wait—the right guy will come along.

 But what if not?

 What if I never have a living child?

 What if my life doesn’t ever end up looking anything like I imagined it?

 What if my story is different?

 Am I less valuable because of it?

 My dear friend—I know it may feel as if your value died with your dreams. I know that these phrases can often hurt, despite the caring intent behind them, because they place a pressure that the world expects your life to look a certain way too. I know you may feel so lost and so broken. Please hear me when I say that you are so precious, so loved, and so valuable, despite the things that you do or do not have. Despite how empty your arms may feel.

 You have the potential to leave an outstanding impact on this world, despite what you are lacking—despite your weaknesses and your hurts. You have so much to offer. You are valuable in spite of your pain. You are valuable in spite of your loss. You are valuable in spite of it all.

 Psalm 107:9 says, “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”

A woman in my church that I admire told me something once that I will always cling to. She said, “No matter what happens, I promise you that God will not leave you empty handed.” This was the truth that I needed to hear. Not an empty promise that my dreams would come true. I needed to be reminded that in this world, I may have nothing—but if I have Christ, I have everything.   

Matthew 7:11, Jesus says,  “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Our Heavenly Father loves us. Like a loving Father, He will provide. He will satisfy. He will fill our arms with good things.

I don’t have this all figured out yet—I’m still in the trenches with you. We’re in this battle together. It’s hard. Oh man, it’s so hard to surrender our dreams. But I do have hope that our Father sees all things, and He cares more than I know. And in that, I find peace.  


  1. Kristin, I just found your blog and it's just what my heart needed... especially with the holidays approaching. Thank you for sharing your story and for speaking truth. I trust there are many many women out there that need to hear your encouraging voice. Thanks for being real.

    1. Hi Lindsay, sorry for the late response--I dropped the ball on checking comments over the holidays. Like you noted, such a bittersweet time of year! Right there with you. So thankful that you were encouraged! I often need to go back and read my own words again. ;) Lots of love and hugs, Kristin


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