When I finished writing my first little book, Pain Redeemed, I made the claim that I believed God would not leave my life empty, but would use my infertility to bring Him glory.
It was a pretty bold claim.
Especially since I couldn’t imagine ever actually feeling thankful for my walk through infertility.
But God’s words to me were clear: He desired that I live for Him in whatever season of life I found myself. And He desired for me to live out the things He had called me to. So I opened my doors and my heart and started caring for children, even though I couldn’t have my own.
And when the Christmas season arrived that year, I pulled out all my decorations and my broken dreams of the traditions I wanted to someday have with my own kids, and decorated the house around my sorrows.
It had only been the year before that Christmas came and went without a single decoration. I just didn’t care. I didn’t want to think about all the dreams I’d had of tromping through the farm in search of the perfect tree and telling my babies the story behind each of my treasured Christmas ornaments.
But this year was different. I had children in the house. They weren’t mine, of course. But they were there all the same, from early morning until evening. Two boys with mischievous grins and eyes that sparkled. So while my heart still missed the babies that never were– when my brother dropped a little tree off at the house, I smiled and set it up, scratching myself on the needles and laughing at the ridiculous mess a Christmas tree is.
It was God’s love, pouring all over me.
I set up an Advent calendar of Christmas activities, and started looking for an Advent book to share with them the greatest love story of all eternity.
Except, I couldn’t find just the right one. There were lots of books that were beautiful and interesting and would have been amazing… except they were all missing some element that I desperately desired.
- I needed a book that started at the beginning, that told the story from the moment God existed and nothing else did.
- I needed a book that was short and to-the-point, because these rambunctious boys were not going to stay focused for more than a few minutes.
- I needed a book that told the whole story– how Jesus was promised from the garden and everything we learn after that just pointed to Him.
So, what does any writer-of-a-woman do? I grabbed a composition notebook and pencil and a box of crayons, and made my own.
We’re talking: scratched words on a page and the simplest drawings ever, since I can hardly draw a stick-figure. But seven days in, the oldest boy is coming home from school, dropping his book bag and saying, “Is today the day, Tasha? Is it the day that the man comes to beat the snake?”
And when we find out it’s God, Himself, who comes– he looks up at me and grins, “Figured it would probably be Him. Since He loves us so much, I mean.”
Years have passed since then and every single year there was a child at my feet, listening to the story that eventually was typed and printed off and kept in a bright red “Christmas” folder.
And then finally, finally, I read the story to a child who didn’t leave at five-thirty. I read it to my miracle-daughter and cried real tears, hugging that silly manuscript to my chest as she ran up to bed each evening, the Christmas lights twinkling behind her.
This year that manuscript is becoming a book. One with bright, beautiful pictures. My illustrator did so well at following my heart, keeping them simple yet detailed enough to grab a little child’s attention.
It’s completely different than anything I’ve ever published. It’s a children’s book…kind of random for the girl who writes about infertility.
Except it’s exactly, exactly perfect. Because what I really write about is how God redeems.
And this Advent book is evidence of God’s redemption in me.
At the end of Pain Redeemed I made the claim that I was choosing to believe, from the middle of infertility, that God would not leave my life empty. That He would work through my infertility.
This book represents all the children I’ve had the chance to tell the story of God’s love to– and through this book being published, that number will multiply this year and in years to come. Because when we give what little we have to Him, He uses it to feed multitudes.
I hope you’ll be able to get a copy and read it to a child, whether you have any of your own or not.
Let’s do our best to make sure every child we know gets a chance to hear the greatest love story of all eternity.