I survived November 7th. Approaching like a giant tidal wave, my original due date scared the living crap out of me. I kept thinking these last few months, "If I'm at least pregnant again by the time my first due date comes, then it will be at least a bit easier". I don't know why I expected any of this process to be made easier, but I guess I kind of thought that God would buffer the continuous blows along the way. I wasn't asking for it to become easy; there is no way that it could have been, but perhaps without the bitter sting of scraping along the gritty bottom. I felt that if I could at least just live with my head above water for a bit I could SEE the place I would finally be marooned. But as each blow came I was pulled under, swirled around, and left sputtering and gasping for air, relief, peace.
A friend began to pray Psalm 91 for me knowing what was coming my way, asking God to tuck me under His wings and let the storm pass over me, that I would be sheltered, protected, and possibly even comforted. Intensity grew with each day that passed, finally peaking the day my friend delivered her baby due the same time mine was. Weeping into Lee's arms I kept asking, "Why did it have to be this way? Why? Why like this?" And even as I wept for my babies, my disappointment, my absolute brokenness, I knew what God was asking me to do.
Let it go.
No more should've-beens, no more what-ifs, no more whys, AND go to the hospital to visit this brand new baby girl, something that I had already decided months ago that I wasn't going to be able to do. I still don't understand why God keeps asking me to do these really hard things, why I feel like I'm under constant demolition and construction. I understand that suffering produces all these incredible qualities, but was I really that bad to start off with that I required this much character-producing heartache?
A few Sundays ago a drama video played during the service where "God" took a hammer and chisel to this guy to shape and mold, blah blah. All the while this video played and I heard the "tink-tink" of the chisel and I couldn't help but think how inaccurate the drama was. Maybe for that guy it was as simple as "tink-tink" here, and "tink-tink" there with a little "Ooh, ouch that hurts", but nothing about these last several years (this one in particular) has felt anything like a chisel. How about a wrecking ball? Explosives? THAT I'd like to see in a drama.
So as I prepared to go to the hospital I was expecting to be shattered once again. But an interesting thing happened as I made my way to my friend's room........I was okay. I didn't even have to stuff it or pretend; I was actually okay and not once while I was there did I think that I should've been across the hall in my own room. Walking the hall with Jeremiah toward the elevator, a hospital volunteer bent down, greeted him and asked if she could give him a trick-or-treat bag. For some reason being able to share that moment with Jeremiah, where his eyes got huge when he squeaked out a humble, "Sank-ooo!" (thank you), was a sweet time when I wondered if the whole time at the hospital was going to be torturous. I loved that it ended up being a fun, meaningful time for not only me and Jeremiah, but for me and my friend as well.
Holding her baby was healing for me, ending the anticipation of something I thought was going to be excruciating. Not once while I held her did I have to say, "This is not my baby." I had already held a newborn after my loss and I can't tell you why that helped me, but it did. So as I left the hospital I felt undeniable relief. A promising sense considering how I had spent the last several months. I only hoped it would continue through my due date.
And wouldn't you know? It did. Not a sense of bliss, certainly not, but breathing room in the noose I've been wearing. Is it possible that I'm on my way out of "The Great Sadness", like is described in The Shack? Like I mentioned in my last post, I've been at odds with myself in how to approach this season of silence with God. Tempted to escape it all and satisfy whatever I feel like satisfying and then wanting to stick it out to prove myself faithful, desiring to put myself into God's good graces. I just want it to be made right, I want to walk in success- even if it's just for a while. I want this all to mean something beyond the promise of personal growth.
O Lord, come back to us! How long will you delay?
Take pity on your servants!
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
Replace the evil years with good.
Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful! (Psalm 90:13-17)
So I guess I stick it out and wait for God to make it right, for my years of suffering to be replaced with years of bliss (can I be so bold as to hope for bliss?), for the days and days upon days upon years of emotional and spiritual construction to be fruitful, successful and with much-awaited approval from God.