Blessings and Birth Injuries
Every morning I wake up hoping that today will be the day I can walk again. I slowly try to lift myself only to feel paralyzed by pain. The once simple task of rolling over to get out of bed has become one that I dread every single sunrise. Once I finally make it out of bed and steady myself with a walker borrowed from a friend, I make the long, excruciating trip to the bathroom. My days are spent missing out on life from the couch or bed and not knowing when it will get better.
If you didn’t know, when our sweet William was born I suffered a birth injury. They tell me it could be weeks or months before my pain is gone. These days are real and raw and wearisome. I’ve heard the bootstrap theology—those who plead self-sufficiency and stoicism over their suffering.
JUST GET UP ALREADY. STOP WHINING AND TRUST GOD.
But it’s hard and it hurts and I’m so so tired of it. I want to run to my toddler when he falls down. I want to be able to hold my baby as I walk room to room. Goodness, I’d love to stop having to ask my husband to do nearly everything for me. Bring me coffee, get my ice pack, bring me the baby so I can nurse. (I’ll never tire of jokingly demanding he make me a sandwich, honestly.)
And yet, the yellow finches still feast at my feeder. The Robin lays her eggs in the nest by my back door. My zinnias are inching higher into the air. Life keeps going as I watch from my window. I wanna go with it.
I’ve been taught that “good” Christians hide their pain and don’t speak of sorrow. They grin and bear whatever comes their way under banners of “suffering well”. But I’ve never been a person good at pretending. I’ve learned you can truly believe God is good while also admitting that sometimes our circumstances are not. Lament is a valid and I dare say needed response to pain, sorrow, and suffering.
The Word reminds me that this affliction is momentary in light of eternity with Christ where suffering will no longer be a part of our vocabulary. But I am still living in the moments of it.
So here I am, learning the language of lament again. Re-learning how to go to God first. Fighting the good fight of crying out to him in my suffering. Begging him for mercy. Please Lord, have mercy.
I know he sees and cares. I’ve seen it through his provision. Meals, groceries, a walker, rain for my garden, prayers of the saints, friends and family who fold laundry and do dishes and vacuum and hold my baby so I can rest. Where would we be without the body of Christ? They are Christ to us. And we rejoice.
And then there’s the sweet little nugget that even on my worst day makes it all worth it. Our sweet William, whom we already love more than words can explain.
We believe the Lord is faithful and will always be. We’ve already seen it in this season. I know he’ll use it for good. I’m just in the middle of the mess still and the mess is mixed in with postpartum struggles and hormones and sometimes joy is a fight. I think it’s okay to admit that. These are the times we must cling to the truths we know are true even if our feelings don’t follow right away. So that’s what I’ll do.