Friday, February 10, 2012

Lay down the darkness… then shine.

My heart is always so full of feelings I’m trying to sort and understand, sometimes feeling at all is just too much so I pull on some sunglasses, pop a piece of gum in, and sing some random hokey 90s song and pretend it’s all okay. I don’t totally block them out, but I take a time out just long enough to rest.

I’m teaching (well, we just finished) the novel, The Giver by Lois Lowry, a middle school classic in which a boy named Jonas lives in a community completely void of feelings. One on my intentions in this novel is to teach kids the value of our emotions and how experiences we teach us and shape us (inadvertently helping them understand how God disciplines us, I hope) in an effort to motivate them to pull themselves out of the crap that surrounds them and use those sucky situations to drive them into better things. You know, that whole do-what’s-right spiel that we middle school teachers have plastered everywhere, even our forehead.

Here’s where my hiccup is.
I know some of my feelings, left to fester, are toxic. I know I can’t let feelings rule. I have to figure out how to deal with those emotions, understand the why behind them, appreciate and respect them, and get through them without letting them be in control.

Yet, that’s just hard some days. That’s when I know, I gotta lay it down.

My doctor just called and said the drug that got us pregnant last time didn’t work this time. I had let go of the fear about getting pregnant mostly… I thought totally. But I have realized my hope was not in You, God, but the drug that worked last time. I figured why be fearful when you know it worked before and can work again. I put my hope in a pill and not in You, and God, I’m sorry for that. I let a feeling or emotion lead rather than trust. I hate this. I hate not being able to get pregnant, but I love how You use this to pull me close to You. It has exposed the cracks in our relationship so that they can be fixed through Your conviction and mercy.

What I’m feeling, Lord, is a loss of what’s expected.
With our pregnancy, we never got the chance to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound, find out the gender, have a baby shower, feel those kicks, go through the crazy chaos of labor and delivery, relish in those sleepless nights, take maternity leave, talk about stretch marks, soothe a crying infant…
I feel like these wounds are fresh because I grieve losing them with Mak as well. She landed in my arms, walking, talking, full of sass and spunk. At seven years old, I missed all those things with her. Now, I am loving two children (2!) whose diaper I never got to change, whose first word I’ll never know.  I feel a void for not having the chance to deal with the terrible twos, potty training, those cliché times of stress, joy, and pride for parents.
God, please feel that void. I am not scared about not getting pregnant in itself, but I am scared of the void left by never gaining those experiences. Please help me see the things You have given instead. And Lord, when and if it is Your will, please grant us the desires of our heart.

Lord, thank You for the conviction You’ve laid on my heart regarding Mak’s birthmother. Thank You for the strength You provided last Saturday as I spoke to her… Visiting someone (especially in such an awkward, tense situation) in jail for the first time is scary, and even more scary when you want to hate someone you’ve been called to show compassion and mercy to… Help me to encourage her to get her life together. Help me to respect Mak’s biological identity, and to be witness to that family.  I want to shine for you.

Shine
Make 'em wonder what you've got
Make 'em wish that they were not
On the outside looking in
Shine
Let it shine before all men
Let'em see good works, and then
Let 'em glorify the Lord.
           -Newsboy’s Shine

I lay my burdens at Your feet, Lord. I lay my sorrow and fear. Feel the wholes in my heart.

Come down to the river
Come and let yourself in
Make good on a promise
To never hurt again
If you're lost and lonely
Broken down
Bring all of your troubles
And come lay 'em down
All you sinners
And the weak at heart
All the helpless
On the boulevards
Wherever you are now
Whatever evil you've found
Bring all of your troubles
And come lay 'em down.
    -NEEDTOBREATHE’s Lay ‘Em Down