Friday, February 15, 2013

nothing good comes from sitting in that chair

That chair.

I hate that chair.


That chair is where I've been pricked, and pronged and told good luck by ladies in scrubs who have no idea why their really taking my blood. That chair is where I was told to go, day after day, until the doctors could confirm the terrible, terrible news that everyone knew had already happened anyway.  That chair is where I cried silent tears as I flashed a half smile to the ladies thinking their hard work was going to reap the benefit of me getting the happiest news of my life.  That chair is where I sat, knowing in the pit of my being that M had come and gone and I would never quite be the same again.


{ I never wanted to see that chair again. }


However it happened, I found myself in that chair this week...... again.  The nurses pricked and pronged and told me good luck and I just stared, knowing that nothing good comes from sitting in that chair.


You can call later for the results, she told me with a grin on her face as I stood up to leave.


I flashed her a half-smile {as best as I could} and thought to myself, I can't call you because if I hear you tell me it's negative over the phone, I'll never get those words out of my head. 


I drove home in the rain and prayed to God, asking Him to just please make the darn thing positive.  As in, if I'm not really pregnant yet, couldn't He just wave a fancy wand and make it happen so I can just move on from all of this mess?


In the car, I heard a song on the radio and thought to myself, this is God speaking to me..... telling me it's going to be positive.


If we hope hard enough, sometimes we can convince ourselves of anything.


My husband and I sat down for dinner, trying to ignore the big-fat-elephant-in-the-room.  A notification popped up on my iPod touch.... You have new mail.


And just like that, we read the news on a screen that only confirmed that things aren't quite right yet.


Life after M has been all sorts of difficult and we have a ways to go before things will be right again.


And just as I already knew,


just as I had already experienced,


absolutely nothing good comes from sitting in that chair.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

on god winks and learning to survive


For some reason, today has got me thinking about little glimpses of hope. 


You know, those 'ahh-ha' things that happen to you or come to you in the midst of your tragedy, right when you think things couldn't possibly get any worse.  

Words spoken by a loved one, and kisses from your other half, and personal deliveries of 4 different flavors of ben and jerry's ice cream, and purple and pink skies that take your breath away, and invitations to do things that have the potential to make your heart sing again. 

I once heard someone call these 'God winks.'  

{Cheesy, I know.  And I don't usually pull out the cliche on here, but today, I can't help it.}

To be honest, I can just picture God watching me as I shred myself to pieces down here -- helplessly a wreck, convinced that I'll never quite be 'whole' again.  That I'm doomed to a life of childlessness and depression and that I'm always one second away from being smashed under the weight of a falling tractor trailer on the road. 

{Let's just say this whole mess has made me a really anxious person.  I'm working on it.}

But I can picture Him, way-up-there but somehow all-the-way-down-here-with-me.  I can picture Him watching me as I struggle to sing the lyrics when everyone else is worshipping with their hearts; when the tears fall during sermons on Sundays, week after week; when I don't choose forgiveness and reconciliation, even though I should; when I turn to a friend and tell her that I just don't think I'm ever going to know how to pray again.

I told God a few weeks ago that I wasn't really talking to Him right now; that I needed my space because I'm angry and broken and don't really know how to believe that He is good

And yet, He has still been 'winking.'  

{ Nuggets of wisdom from little-old-ladies who feel compelled for no-good-reason to share something God has put on their heart when I visit them for work.  A neighbor who sees me, and walks all the way to my end of the block, just to give me a hug.  A husband who makes my lunch for me for the umpteenth time without grumbling.  The smiles and hugs from neighborhood kids that anxiously greet me everyday when I get home from work.  An excerpt from a book that reminds me I'm not the only one.  A dream in the night that is so vivid and obvious that it must be God hijacking my sleep cycle to tell me that He's just not quite finished with me yet. }

Today when it's oh-so-cold-outside and I'd rather just stay in my bed and in my mess {because let's just face it, sometimes it's just easier to stay there}, 

I'm getting up.  I'm going to have breakfast with a friend.  I'm going to church.  And I'm going to write a grocery list.  Small steps, but really important steps. 

Why? 

{ Because I've learned that at any given moment and in some of the most unexpected places, God has little glimpses of hope for me. }

And even when I can't find the strength to look for them, or don't even want to see them, 

I do know that I need His winks to survive

Saturday, February 2, 2013

on beasts and fear and standing taller.





We watched this movie the other day... and I cried.  

Of course I cry at just about everything these days -- TV sitcoms, song lyrics on the radio, hallmark commercials.  I guess once your heart has been broken so deeply, it doesn't take much to remind you of where you've fallen

But this movie?  Breathtaking.  It touches on loss, and fear, and embracing where you've come from, and how the things we think might fix our brokenness don't always do the trick.  Plus, the main character Hushpuppy {a little girl with an afro who wears jean shorts, a wife beater and rain boots throughout most of the scenes} is absolutely adorable and convincing.  She gives the world the opportunity to experience some of life's most tragic events through her innocent, youthful eyes.  And that my friends, is rare gift to the world. 

There's this scene -- this strong and powerful scene -- where Hushpuppy stands fearlessly in the face of something she has been taught to run from her entire life.


She stares fear in the face without hesitation, without wavering.  She doesn't run and she doesn't hide, even when all of her friends do.  She just stands there, in all of her 'littleness', taller and stronger, as if she can conquer the world. 

This picture stirs my heart every time I think about it.  It stirs my heart because it reminds me just how much the things I fear and the things I've been taught to fear cripple me

If you get pregnant, you'll probably just lose the baby again
That truck is going to swerve into your lane
You'll never find your passion again
That person doesn't really like you
You're just not good enough
You'll never make it

Someone looked me in the eyes this past week and told me that I just need to accept that awful things happen, that tragedy strikes and that's just a part of life.  

The good and the bad, all wrapped up into one painfully beautiful reality.  

I know this to be true, but if I'm honest, it doesn't make life any easier.  

Why? 

Because beasts are still beasts, and fear doesn't go away just because you want it to. 

Beasts stir, and scream lies, and knock you over.  

{ Even after you've barely made the smallest tip-toes of progress. }

Going through tragedy, embracing heartache, and still {somehow} finding the strength to stare in the eyes of what scares you the most and come out alive and well after the fact?  

That takes something special, something divine and God-given.... something not impossible, but something I'm not sure I know how to get right now.

{ Right now, for me, the beasts are still beasts,

 and I'm simply learning to accept the fact that they exist. }

Sure, I think I'll stare them in the face someday.  


And I know it will take a Hushpuppy-kind-of-courage.


The kind of courage that moves you to stand there, in all of your 'littleness' and weakness, taller and stronger, as if you can conquer the world. 


Taller and stronger and somehow, 


I'll figure out how to conquer these beasts.