My thoughts are not authoritative in a spiritual sense. I strive to always speak the truth as I have learned it from my faithful pastors over the years simply because I cannot talk about my experiences without talking about Christ. But I am a sinner. I am weak. I am not pious. I am somewhat rough around the edges I think. I am not graceful or meek. I'm just muddling through as best I can.
I want to record this because I don't know what the next 8 months do or do not hold. I'm waiting right now by the phone for my OB to call and let me know if my latest labs show that my baby is indeed growing. But I want to share some of the raw and maybe even ugly thoughts that have been accosting me on this extremely emotional week.
Lately it does not even seem to be about the babies anymore. It's becoming extremely personal. I'm struggling with the ways I have and have not responded over the past year and the ways I may or may not have been a blessing to those around me. I'm struggling with the appropriateness of grief.
I'm struggling with the massive train that ran me over and now seems to have left just as quickly and I'm supposed to just get up and dust myself off.
I'm struggling with death, with grieving, and its place in the Christian's life.
Early this week my two older biological sisters confronted me on my last year of grief in a text conversation that had started by me telling them of my new pregnancy. As the conversation progressed they were condemning of my behavior and grief over the past year saying firmly that death is NOT an enemy because Christ has conquered it.
As the week has gone on I've become more troubled about grief. When is grief appropriate and when is it narcissism? On the one hand I have sisters in Christ gently telling me grief is OK to experience and deserves attention and time but on the other I have my two sisters and this new baby telling me life moves on. Telling me I can't control anything. Telling me God is still God. Telling me grief is just grief. And just as I was beginning to feel the need to throw my hands up in defeat and maybe take a rest, now here's this new little one and it's time to get strong again.
When I received my first good news this week that my levels were looking great it was met with excited and joyful greetings from everyone I told. I, too, was overjoyed and cried tears of thankfulness. I spent the first two days of knowing about this baby sobbing because I was certain this baby too would go, and soon. Then I got the good news and began feeling sick and suddenly it occurred to me that this chain of losses might be gone...maybe for good.
And in that moment the train that crushed me so vehemently disappeared just as quick and I was supposed to get up and walk away as if nothing happened. I was supposed to say, "Huh, wow, that sucked." And then brush off and keep moving.
I was 18 years old when I went to church the first Easter Sunday after he died. My Dad was my sole guardian and my mom had lived 5 hours away for the past 7 years before that. My biological sisters had left the faith for other Christian denominations and had lives of their own and I was facing graduation and realized childhood and family were a mere facade.
I sat in my church's red upholstered chairs that all clipped together down the rows and looked up at the cross hanging over the window. I tried to hear the sound of my dad's voice coming from the choir that was warming up somewhere behind me and sounded so dead without him. I squeezed my eyes shut and pretended the voices were actually coming from heaven. I sunk so deep into my thoughts that it felt like I was removed from the room and dreaming. I imagined my Dad at the Lord's side.
But back to the train. That train that mauls us over in life, sometimes so quickly you look around to see what it was, and sometimes its relentless chain of cars beats you down for a year or more over and over.
But regardless in the end I suppose pain, death, and the effects of sin...it's all just pain, death, and sin. For those in Christ it is conquered. And like childhood, it makes you think it's real and eternal, and then in the blink of an eye it's all destroyed right in front of your eyes, except this time instead of that happening by a plane slamming into the ground at 400 miles per hour, or your body forcing you to double over in pain every few minutes until the dead body is expelled, well, this time it will happen with trumpets, the sky splitting, and Jesus coming back. And when He comes, we'll all be sitting at that final Easter, the illusion of this fallen world will crumble and be destroyed, and that blasted train will be gone forever.