What's prompting this mini-revival/premature mid-life crisis, you ask? Well, it's partly the wake-up call that turning thirty-four gave me. It's also something of a response to a change of plans we just got handed.
If you know me, you know that I don't share personal things as well as a normal person might. (Perhaps you disagree considering the fact that I have a blog, also known as a very public diary). But, to be honest, I'm not good at sharing feelings. Ask my husband. About once every six months, something comes over me and I find myself overwhelmed by all the emotions I've been stuffing for half a year and it all kind of blows up in one big explosion, usually over a rare dinner date with said husband, who is blindsided mid-meal. Also, as a bonus, I usually cry when this happens. Lucky Matt.
Anyway, I tell you this because, in light of my seeming handicap when it comes to sharing feelings,
I'm going to once again use this blog to mass-communicate something personal that I'd likely make really awkward if I was telling you in person.
Remember last summer when I shared about the miscarriage we had? Well, despite the odds being somewhat stacked in our favor regarding having a healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage, we had another lost pregnancy this summer. We're still processing this whole experience and trying to make some sense of it, so it's possible that I'm writing this post prematurely. (Which means there may be a sequel to this post that includes some sort of minor breakdown, possible identity crisis, or something else equally dramatic.)
I've been wrestling with a lot of the obvious things that probably anyone would after a disappointment like this one. It's been hard not to be angry and tell God He's really got some nerve giving Snooki and the Kardashian sister babies when we're obviously the ones who should be getting babies around here. (note: I realize the seriously gross arrogance I just expressed, in case you were wondering). But, beyond the issue of the Snooki/Kardashian/Hollywood people having babies like it was their newest hobby, I've had a harder time with the reality of others who have perfectly healthy babies choosing to medically dispose of them while folks like us are aching to welcome little ones into our family. I haven't been able to reconcile any of this just yet, although some light is coming through the crack in the door I've been trying to shut and the truths of common grace and the promised redemption of a fallen world are starting to filter in.
What I'm also keenly reminded of is how unbelievably miraculous it is that any baby makes into the world considering all the minute details that have to happen just right for the whole process to even work. It's mind-blowing, really. The ultra-sound screen we stared at a month or so ago that didn't have the baby we were expecting floating around in it only made me that much more aware of how crazy-precious the little one God gave us two and a half years ago is.
And so, in the midst of all the grief and the confusion and the rearranging of our life and our plans regarding our little family, I'm reminded that there is still hope. I'm still working out the details of what exactly to be hoping for, but regardless of my frequent lack of faith and the weight of this fallen world, I cannot help but believe that there will be some redemption in even this.
I've been spending time at my parents, getting help with the little guy and regrouping a bit in a place that's familiar and safe. And this is where I've been thinking about this need for intentionality that keeps waking me up in the morning with thoughts of writing books and traveling and praying more. Maybe I'm having an "Eat, Pray, Love" experience after a devastating loss, but I'm not sure that it's the same thing.
Having lost something I was really, really hoping for seems to have reminded me of what it means to hope for something at all. I think in the midst of baby-having, baby-watching, and the past year and a half of toddler-hood, I forgot how to hope for more than just the moment I was in.
After a different kind of loss years ago, a wise friend offered counsel that included "leaving a crack in the door for Jesus." I think that's where I am again. Despite the instinct of a wounded heart wanting to slam the door shut on the possibility of hoping again, I think the desire to see God do something new and restorative is strong enough to help me leave the door cracked a little.
A friend emailed me last week with this verse:
I Peter 5:10 "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Restore. To give back. To return. To renew.
There's a boatload of hope in that word. I think I'm going to go write that one on the wall somewhere or crochet it onto a pillow.
Or maybe have it tattooed on my arm.
This guy is a daily reminder of God's faithfulness to me. He's also the reason I may
need to take valium on a daily basis at some point.