{He knows my hurt.}

Even though Christmas is nearing it’s been hard to keep enough focus on feeling joyful. Instead, more of my focus has been put on hurt — memories or conversations or current moments or relationships. There are so many things we’re still processing — even simple things, like the fact we live in California (!!!), that it’s been too easy to have my thoughts drift towards the hurt I’ve been carrying around. I know deep in my heart, and even dancing around my heart, that this is a joyful time of year. I need to have more joy in my thoughts. But typing that out doesn’t take away the things that makes my heart feel heavy. And the truth, I know I’m not alone in this. What kinds of hurt are you feeling right now?

This is very different for me to be writing on this topic. It feels different. It looks different. But life isn’t perfect, right? Life is real. Life is beautiful, and life has little bits of hurt in it. Which I suppose brings me back full-circle to Christmas.

Christ knows my hurt and honestly, that brings me peace.


– knowing my life is seriously going to change in March once baby comes. I am so excited + know it will be beautiful, but in this process of acceptance I’m really struggling with selfishness, of the layer I’ll be shedding in order to become the mother I’ve been chosen to become.

– knowing how to heal from hurt friendships. I’ve heard the saying, “friendships are only for a season,” and yes, that is totally true — only God knows how long those seasons will last. But when those seasons end abruptly, when hurt whips you in the face as the friendship fades away, it makes me wish “hurt” never knew how to exist. I know this is an area I need to finish healing in.

– money + “things”. When Zack + I made the decision to move to Los Angeles it was a very quick decision. We really felt in our hearts that the fall of 2012 was “the time” for us to move. I know most of this decision stemmed from traveling with Compassion International to Tanzania. I know selling + donating pretty much all of our belongings was the right thing to do. We knew it would be expensive to move 2,000 miles, that it would be a huge adjustment, that the changes we were about to experience weren’t anything we could fully prepare our lives for. But we still said yes. We still trusted God to carry us through this very new, very different adventure. We’ve been in LA for about 14 weeks now and I still have moments where all I want are the things we had in Minneapolis. This has been a big struggle for me. Whatever we could fit in our Jeep is what we brought to Los Angeles. A tiny portion of what we had in Minnesota went back to Michigan with Zack’s parents. The rest was sold or donated. And I really think a huge part of why I’m struggling with these things is because I had put too much of my identity into these things. I need to know who I am without the money we had or the things we owned.


– a 27-year-old mama + wife who owns a handmade business, encourages her husband + decorates her home with love.

– a blue-eyed, curly-haired gal who loves to fall asleep at night reading a good book.

– a woman needing to remember that joy comes from Him, not from a person or thing found on this earth.

As much change as we’ve had these last four years, I’m still not used to it.

But today is a new day. I’m praying we can focus on more grace, less hurt and an extra long sip of morning coffee.

Today is a new day, and hurt doesn’t need to follow me around any longer.

PS. something I noticed after I wrote this post: The stuff that muddles our lives, it has a way of taking up way too much room. But the stuff that Christ can give us, yes it’s simple, but it’s also so much more beautiful.

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  1. 1


    Thank you for writing this. I am struggling with a lot of the same. Keeping my eyes upon Him. Praying you’ll have a blessed and joyful day.

  2. 3

    Mummylala says

    Thank you! That was beautiful!
    hurt unfortunately is part of life, and even (maybe especially) part of Christmas but its those hurts that are surfaced in us that we can take to our father for healing, our brokenness is something He can work with, I pray you find your desired haven of rest!
    Psalm 107:27-31

  3. 4


    thank you for sharing your heart with us. I have also been struggling with an abrupt friendship end as well. it has been one of the most painful parts of my year. I realized a few weeks ago that it is time for me to move on in order to fend off the bitterness. mourning the loss of that friendship is ok as long as it doesn’t lead to bitterness. Maybe we can help each other move on?

  4. 5


    Thank you thank you THANKYOU for being open. People do such a great job of keeping a smile on their faces that we forget that we all struggle sometimes and need to be open about it with those God has put in our life. Motherhood will be a big blessing and I’m guessing you won’t miss the things you set aside for the season. :)

  5. 8


    As you work through your feelings (and identifying and admitting them is a very big part of the “cure,”) remember that your Mama hormones are busily at work, and your feelings, emotions, even thoughts, are experiencing a chemical roller coaster ride. I can’t imagine a more difficult time in YOUR life to have made such a drastic move; right at the point when your instincts are telling you to hunker down and nest, you uprooted yourself and set out for the unknown.

    That is very brave, but it is also very stressful. Give yourself time, and (this may sound odd) … relax. Trust that the Lord will do the work for you, that you don’t need to go searching out all the answers.

    As for your life changing in March — my babies came more than a quarter century ago, and I can tell you that your life has ALREADY changed. Right from the moment you discovered you were harboring a life within you, you became a different person, and could not think of yourself only in the “I.” The changes in March will be external ones — how many hours you will spend caring for, feeding, gazing at your baby . . . the big changes are inside, and (especially at Christmas, as we await the celebration of the Birth and think of Mary), you have already hopped into that big pool.

    Blessings to you and yours. Good luck in LA — it’s a difficult town (my daughter and SIL live there, too), but lots of fun, too. And I hope you can enjoy this last Christmas “on your own,” as your future Christmases will be amazing.

    Sorry for all the words!
    It’s the Mother in me.

  6. 9

    Donna says

    Gussy you don’t know what your words meant to me this morning. I sat here with a few tears while reading. Thank you for sharing because so many of us are having the same thoughts and feelings. And what a wonderful reminder that He knows our hurt and if we let go, He will heal them.
    Sending love and prayers for all going thru sad or hard times for now. They don’t last if you can let go.

  7. 10

    Amanda says

    The holidays are hard. I LOVE Christmas beyond words can express – the baking, shopping, wrapping, giving, music, decorations, getting cards… all of those “things”. But here’s my theory. This is a tough season for a lot of people because we all want perfection. We all (or maybe just me!) want that Normal Rockwell picture perfect image to be ours; you know, the happy smiling perfect family all gathered around their perfect table with their perfect clothes and perfect home eating a perfect dinner with their perfect dog. We (or maybe just me) make ourselves stressed out and crazy trying to achieve this image that we think everyone but us does, but in reality, we’re all a bit off from Mr. Rockwell’s imagery. I think with all of this heightened excitement we experience and try to seek more of, on the flip side – hurt, pain, and sadness are sometimes magnified too, because they take away from my whole Norman Rockwell theory of the perfect holiday season. I hope this makes sense!

  8. 11


    Seasons of change are so challenging. Reading this post I thought of MANY seasons of change in my own life and that terrible feeling of being in the middle. I think the middle is the messiest and for those of us who enjoy focus, clarity, and A PLAN the middle is overwhelming.

    But it’s the middle. You’re going to turn a corner soon and small things will make you realize you are at the beginning of a new season that I’m sure you will love. Good luck – we’re all cheering you and Zack on!

  9. 12


    We moved very quickly too and my heart is still a little heavy from things we left behind. I don’t really know why, it’s just stuff, but obviously that stuff meant something and it can be hard to let go.

    The people where we live are so incredibly warm and welcoming and I find myself with so many great friends already and sometimes it just makes it so apparent that the people where I used to live just weren’t that at all and sometimes I focus on that instead of the great people I am surrounded with. Sometimes our minds just like to wander where they shouldn’t!

    It’s a lot of change and all at once, just remember you will have all the grace, peace and patience you need so long as you keep clinging to Him (even if it’s with your fingernails!).

  10. 13


    What a great post! I am currently WRESTLING with some hard, change everything decisions right now. I’m paralyzed by hurt and fear and anxiety. If I do one thing, there will be things to enjoy but I’ll still be stuck in this cycle of distress. If I decide I’ve had enough and make a different decision…Well, then I lose those good things, am done (hopefully) with that cycle and will (probably) find new things and people to enjoy.

  11. 14


    Thanks for sharing your heart, Maggie. Sending up a prayer for you today, and trusting that our Heavenly Father will comfort you with his peace and love.

  12. 15


    I feel like this post could have been written by me.I have been dealing with a lot of the same feelings this holiday season. The move from CA to VA has been a lot harder for me than I expected. Praying for you sweet friend xo

  13. 16


    Wish I had taken the time to reach out to you more when you lived here. We have so much in common my friend! Hopefully I can shed a little tiny eency weency bit of light for you in this moment:
    I am on baby #5 and feel as much, if not more, anxiety about this child than I did my first. I think its ok! Those questions that we are asking ourselves… they ultimately lead us to Him right?
    One of the biggest strains on my heart has been relationships. Especially relationships with people who ALSO know and love the Lord. I have scratched my head and shed a tear more times than I can count for those people. I just cant understand… if we both ultimately serve the King, why cant we find a common ground? Why cant we find the peace that He insists we strive for? Plus, rejection and judgement hurt. SO badly. I have worked so hard to never let that bitterness take seed in my heart… and dont you know I usually fail. So thankful for the grace that our Lord offers daily!
    I love that you know who you are in Christ. That is a gift! I love that you know the most important relationship in your life is the one with your Savior. I love that you also still have people who adore you and support you, no matter where your heart is leading.
    I am here my dear… if you ever want to talk or share or vent or just pray! Will be praying for you and your beautiful family!

  14. 17

    Courtney says

    I love & admire your transparency , thanks for sharing. I can begin to understand as im anxious for our move to Orange County next week before the holidays and missing our home and family already! i hope you can make it home for Christmas & see the snow you’ve been missing : )

  15. 18

    Kara says

    Thanks for posting this! I am going through similar things right now. My husband got a new job in northern CA, so we moved from Oregon- away from my family and friends- 3 weeks ago. 2 weeks before we moved, we found out that I’m pregnant after a year and a half of trying. The adjustment has been good, and tough. This is the time of year and the season of life when you most want to be surrounded by “your people”. My heart has been hurting, too, and your words and shared experiences are comforting. Blessings

  16. 19


    This is such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I so admire your honesty and willingness to be open. You expressed so well what so many of us feel at one time or another. It’s amazing to watch as you draw your strength from your relationship with God. Your love of your savior realy shines through, Maggie. I’ll be praying for you in this new season you and Zach are in.

  17. 20

    Cammie says

    Thanks for being so open and honest about what you’re going through. We, too, moved from northern Michigan to Omaha, Nebraska and then shortly after I became pregnant, and we were all alone with no family. It was tough. We recently also pared down some belongings quite a bit and had to move across the country and had just a little over a week’s notice to do it. We don’t even have our own place right now, we are living with my husband’s grandparents. I had many friendships end abruptly in the past few months and I’m having a hard time finding a job that will allow us to move out of my husband’s grandparents house to get our own place. Our 10 year old daughter is adjusting well, but misses her friends. I’m not angry at God over all of this, but He just seems to be “missing” from everything that just happened to us. I’m angry at all the people that put us in this position. And I’m wondering where God is in all of this. I shouldn’t wonder, I’m a pastor’s wife. But even we go through times of doubt and hurt and fear. I am hurting right now, and I’m so glad that you reminded me that God knows my hurt.

  18. 21


    Thank you for your honesty. You are a good woman Mag! I KNOW it! It’s ok to have these feelings. It’s normal. Very normal. I remember really ‘mourning’ the loss of ME + Lance when I was pregnant. Things had felt so RIGHT between me + L while we were planning Easton’s arrival. I didn’t know what it would look like to add a little baby in the mix, but that moment you see him, (or her) it just fits. It’s perfect. You don’t think anymore about the selfish things. That baby is your #1. It’s your motherly God given instinct. You can’t understand this now, but I’ll ask you in April after the dust settles if I was right. I know I will be. ;)

    As for friendships…I’ve had some hurt too. Some folks really seem far to more concerned with status and posessions and I’ve lost friends over that. They may still be in my life, but they aren’t what I thought they were. It is sad, but it’s in those times you see those who are REALLY friends. And even maybe cling to Him more, knowing only HE will sustain you!

    Enjoy this season! Focus on the happy!!!!!

    LOVE YOU!!!!!

  19. 22


    I too am struggling with the friendship thing. I am such an “all or nothing” person. I put everything into my friendships (or relationships for that matter); and when a season ends, I feel so empty and hurt. I know it is just a symptom of this world but I wish that weren’t the case. Thanks for sharing, it is always so nice to know that there are other’s in the body of Christ walking through similiar things.

    p.s. you are going to LOVE being a mama. Try not to overthink things. You were made for this and you were made to be your sweet babies mama.

  20. 25


    Don’t you wish we were all sitting around a comfy living room with coffee, sharing our hearts. I did this every other Monday for years with 8 other girls, that I didn’t really even know. My new husband kicked me out the door and told me to go make friends with these women. Gulp. It was the best thing he did for me. We laughed our way thru being newlyweds & are burnt dinners, I was the first to get pregnant, I made it look easy, but they didn’t know the long nights I suffered through alone with a newborn until they had theirs & I told them it would be okay. 15 years ago we all lived within blocks of each other, now we are all over South East Michigan, one in Cleveland Ohio & and another in Arizona. This group of girls were my rock. We have cried & laughed together. We met every other Monday for several years! It was our safe place, it was our sanity when many of us were in the toddler trenches.

    Now we meet once during the summer & once for our Christmas tea during the holidays. It’s a very special night (this year brunch). It’s sacred. We plan our family Christmas’s around it.

    Because I was in the trenches of babies & toddlers & they were joyful times but depending on the baby, I had a colic baby, so there were lonely times too. I keep those memories close to my heart so I can help out a new mom. At church, I am the first to grab a crying baby so Momma can go hear the sermon & get a fresh word poured over her. I am the first to pat, rock, feed a newborn baby, so Momma can take a nap or have a break. I get a full nights sleep. I know how precious women were when they offered to hold my colicky baby & they told me they would be okay. I know that feeling of being able to breathe for a moment.

    I encourage you to find a MOPS group in your area. I didn’t have a MOPS group but my 8 girlfriends made up for that. Build relationships on purpose. Invest in others on purpose! It’s work but oh so worth it.

    Praying you find a group of mommas to surround yourself with.


  21. 26


    This is a poem that a friend of mine read at her father’s funeral.
    It has helped me in difficult times, I hope it will speak to you as well. I particularly like this part “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.

    LET EVERYTHING HAPPEN – Rainer Maria Rilke
    God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
    then walks with us silently out of the night.
    These are the words we dimly hear:
    You, sent out beyond your recall,
    go to the limits of your longing.
    Embody me.
    Flare up like flame
    and make big shadows I can move in.
    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.
    Don’t let yourself lose me.
    Nearby is the country they call life.
    You will know it by its seriousness.
    Give me your hand.

  22. 28


    I’m struggling with selfishness too. We are expecting our second child in march, and although the baby is very much wanted, it scares me sometimes too. We have a daughter who’s 3 and has been a little independent diva for a long time. I haven’t had to deal with cribs or baby food or potty training for over a year now. I just pray for a smooth transition. It’s also normal for these feeling I suppose, with all those pregnancy hormones and all ;).

  23. 29


    All those things I’m struggling with myself. We moved to MN from oregon a year and a half ago, I’ve lost friends, relationships have changed badly… I struggle with being a mom and that’s all I’ve been since I’ve been 18. I think maybe it’s selfish that I want to do something other than be a mom of 5 kids. These things I’ve had to navigate myself since my mom died when I was 24. But I wish for you, that an experienced, kind, older gal will come into your life and take you under her wing and help get you through. These things will always be here, sometimes worse, sometimes better but if we keep our eyes on the prize (Jesus) we can somehow get through. I probably haven’t done a whole lot right in my life but Jesus has been my anchor through it all.

  24. 30

    Leasa says

    This was beautiful and so on point. God bless you and I pray you have a wonderful Christmas and a beautiful healthy baby.

  25. 31


    In my life, I moved from Buffalo, NY to So. California to So. Oregon! Seriously when we arrived here in Grants Pass, I looked for street lights, curbs, sidewalks! Where are they? That’s right, we live out of the city in the country! At night I was afraid of driving into a side ditch all the time. I got over it, but it wasn’t comfortable. In the 33 years we’ve been here, I’ve learned to love it; the trees, the seasons, the people. Some friends aren’t meant to be with us forever. Some pass through our lives for a short time and we keep them in our hearts. I’m sorry you’re in pain over some hurts, but God will heal those and put new friends in your path. You just need time to adjust to all the changes in your life in such a short time. The move, the baby, Zack’s new job, your business. God will even everything out for you…all 3 of you!! So excited for your new baby. They are such a gift and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Just keep looking to Him for the answers. Hugs, Diana

  26. 32


    Girl, I can so relate to this post. I went thru a divorce this past year, and I am trying so hard to make this season joyful for my daughter. Its SO hard and I know its natural to feel down during this time of year when things arn’t playing out how we wished. Ive been born and raised in LA, so I know its hard to find your place in this crazy town. I am so close and we need to really hang out. xoxo Praying for you girl.

  27. 33


    I had a friendship end abruptly right after Emily was born. I nearly daily still grieve the loss of that friendship and all to often in anger. I tried to make things right with that person if there were reasons for me to need to but they won’t have anything to do with me. Honestly, I have no idea what happened or how I could have possibly done something so horrible to end a friendship. The loss of a friendship can be so darn right painful and I to wish that was a hurt I didn’t know.

  28. 34


    Girl. You have CLEARLY resonated with some people! I remember so, so vividly mourning the loss of my pre-kids life in the last days of my first pregnancy. I mourned mine and hubby’s “us” time…not having to think before we took off somewhere. Just being us. Carefree. When I was pregnant with our second, I went through the same kind of grieving for our special time as a little family of 3. I wanted to embrace what was coming (and I really was excited for it), but the past held such precious memories that would never be the same. And yet…just a few months into each phase and I couldn’t imagine life any different. God was totally knitting my heart into my new season and it was ok to struggle a little in the process.

    And I hear you on the hurt relationships too. Those are some deep hurts, but you’re right, He knows. Do you listen to JJ Heller? Her song “Your Hands” is like a healing balm to a weary heart. And hey…thanks for being vulnerable. :)

  29. 35


    I love this, Maggie. It is exactly what I needed to read. I’m still healing from the hurt of a painful end to a friendship too, dealing with the painful memories of hard moments from the past few years, and grieving the loss of three of my grandparents in less than three years. This time of year is my favorite…but also the hardest when it comes to memories that just plain hurt. Thank you for this – it’s what my heart needed to be reminded of today too.

  30. 36


    I started reading this post this morning at work and had to stop and save for later. Now is later. I knew I’d cry!

    This part got me: Christ knows my hurt and honestly, that brings me peace.

    Yes! This is the hardest time of year for me in the hurts. Family hurts surface. Friend hurts surface. Loneliness screams at me around every corner reminding me I’m single and 41 and don’t have an immediate family. I am beyond thankful for those who include me in their family this time of year but I still ache and long for my own.

    He knows. He cares. He loves me like no other.

  31. 38


    You’re so sweet, Maggie. I’m sorry you’re feeling a little sad! Feeling nervously excited is totally normal in pregnancy so, please, do’t feel alone. I felt early on that I needed to pray against post partum depression because I could feel it creeping in around my 6th month. (obviously not post partum yet at that point but..you know what I mean) It’s great that you’re reminding yourself that you’ve been called to be a mama because that is an awesome calling! As for the stuff + money part, wait until you’re nesting kicks in even harder..you’ll be so thankful you don’t have 4 years worth of married life odds and ends to organize through! :) Praying for you!! xoxo Joy

  32. 39


    thanks for opening your heart and sharing. I think it might be a good idea in my devo time to write out the things I am struggling with and then a list of the things I need to remember, who I am in Christ…sometimes I forget.

  33. 40


    Thank you for sharing this today. So much of the holidays is focused on even good things, but we forget that some around us may be hurting. For me, Christmas is a very lonely time of year as a single gal. I enjoy Christmas, celebrating Christ’s birth, and all the fun things that come with it, but I do it all with a feeling of loneliness. I try to push past that, and pour myself into other people even more. I am content with this season God has placed me in, I just need to keep my focus right so I don’t get overwhelmed! :) God is good: even in the midst of pain. I’ll spend Christmas day with my 5 siblings and about 60 other family members – that should take my mind off the loneliness, eh? :) It is so encouraging to remember that I am not the only one that feels hurt this time of year. Prayers for you as you accept this season of life!

  34. 42


    Maggie, I know what you are going through. In the last ten years, my husband and I have done many radical things for God. In the moment of obedience, it is so exciting and you see God at work in everything. When things settle down a bit and reality sets in, it isn’t that God has left you or that you misheard His voice. I think it is during that “down” time that He is building faith and discipline and character deep inside you. And on down the road, you will look back and say “Wow, I was struggling at the time, but now I see what God was teaching me and all of the ways He was at work in my life.”

    Stay strong and stay focused. He is with you always and prayers are also with you my friend!

    Always, Amanda

  35. 43


    I just want to thank you for expressing your honesty in how you feel and for your focus on keeping Christ at the center. When I read about all your “change” I am reminded of my own experience…we are missionaries and I counted up that we have moved 5 times in the last 4 years as well (twice internationally!). I am not big on change either but when we know we are in God’s will it puts things into a *higher* perspective. ;)

  36. 44


    Hey lady! I could not be struggling with more of the exact same things that you listed! I, too, am on my way of becoming a mama bear (hello june babe!), learning to let go of hurt friendships and enhance the ones that I have, feeling a little uneasy about finances since I a full-time Occupational Therapy student first and a photographer/artist second, and last of all, making peace with becoming a mama bear and having other things take a back burner once our little cupcake gets here. I think it is the obstacles that make us stronger and open our heart to change. I pray that you find peace and let joy to continue to overtake your heart as you embark an adventurous and beautiful year. P.S. I will be contacting you soon about seeing if I could have you do a customization for a diaper bag (obsessed with your designs!). Much love from one mama bear to another gorgeous mama bear! xoxo


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