Having Reached the End of Myself

Sep 27, 2012



How easily we share our triumphs and proudest moments. Facebook updates. Twitter exclamations. Instagram slices of time.

I post the funny things my boys say. I upload sweet photos of new sisters.


How easily we share our dreams and daily pleasures. Amazon wishlists. Spotify playlists. Pretty pinterest boards.

These are not the deeply rooted dreams, the ones planted in us from our very beginning. These are the daydreams that lie on the surface of our lives.

Here are a few of mine: chicken coops and vintage cookbooks, Irish poetry and organic gardening.


This is what I do not share: weakness. Also, failure.

There is no social media application for shame. Which is, itself, a shame. 

Hiding our weakness, we hide the resurrection power within us. Because we know: “The body that is sown in weakness … is raised in power” (I Corinthians 15:43). Covering up our shame, we deny the One who told us “my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).


I have PCOS, and the same broken hormones that always made it hard to get pregnant also make it impossible to feed my baby. And so the end looks like strange herbs and hours at the breast pump for me, bottles of formula for her.

Bottles to be grateful for, bottles to break your heart.


My baby girl is two weeks old, and I have come to the end of myself. It’s a very short road; the journey didn’t take very long.

But what comes after me? (Or, more precisely, Who?)

Do I believe the kingdom logic that my end is really the beginning? His beginning?


Looking ahead, the view is murky. I have no idea what’s there. I maintain my sanity by focusing on 12-hour blocks of time. The lactation consultant suggested 24. Even that felt like too much.

But, looking back … the view is very different.


Because, I have seen amazing things (Luke 5:26). 


(this post prompted by Summer’s beautiful confession)



  1. valarie

    Amazing how two women, so different, can share such profound similarities. But then, isn’t that the cornerstone of great writing. I am so grateful you need to write, even after reaching the end. I suppose He knew that too, as once again beauty is created from trying, glorious places. May your words bless you as they bless others.

    • Christie Purifoy

      “Trying, glorious places.” Yes.
      Thank you, Valarie. Your words have blessed me!

  2. Summer Gross

    Hi Christie,
    Wow. Thank you for writing so honestly (and beautifully) on the end…and pointing to the beginning.

    It is so good to have sisters posted at the end.

    This is the prayer from the Celtic Daily Prayer book from St. Caedmon’s day that struck me yesterday. The last line undid me.

    Teach me to hear that stor y/ through each person / to cradle a sense of wonder / in their life / to honour the hard-earned wisdom / of their sufferings/ to waken their joy / that the King of all kings / stoops down / to wash their feet,/ and looking up/ into their face / says, / “I know – I understand.”


    • Christie Purifoy

      Oh, Summer, what a beautiful, heart-wrenching prayer. Why am I always looking for a King-Who-Takes-Away-All-Problems when the real gift is a King who understands? A King who sees?

  3. Danielle Diehl

    I often think about where, how, to-whom to share my weaknesses and failings. I feel like motherhood, for the most part, has been weaknesses and failings. If i’m “too honest” people think I don’t love my children as I should. Which of course just adds to the misery. Oh well. It has helped, the only that really has helped, to know that God sees and understands. He hears my cries and cursings and accusations and knows that I still love Him, and I still love my kids, and i’m still grateful for the ones I got, not just in the abstract. Which one of those lovely saints said, “it will all be well, and all manner of things will be well.” or something like that. I repeat that to myself every day. In the end, it will all be alright. I will be alright, my kids will be alright. The world will be righted.

    • Christie Purifoy

      We’ve so much in common, Danielle. I know I’ve shared things in the past and regretted it because they were misunderstood. And there are ugly things I’ll never share online. It’s so hard to figure out where that line is day-to-day.

      And you’ve reminded me of one of my very favorite quotations. Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Repeating that to myself, today.

  4. Lisa Ulrich

    Thanks for this honest post. so beautifully written! It’s all too true we don’t share our weaknesses as often as I think maybe we should sometime.

  5. kelli

    yes, such amazing things.
    praying strength and peace hour by hour.
    (and dying to hold sweet Elsa!)


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