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.
Three days equaled two hours of sleep. It’s the place where brain fog and emotions are high. I’ve been staring out the window, I need to water the cucumbers.
I sit in the chaise lounge, Nursing through blood, sweat, and tears. Latching sometimes takes hours, So I can’t water the cucumbers.
My husband holds the baby, My firstborn looks at me and, I see the struggle with the change in the tears that roll down his cheeks. I hold him as we cry together in the kitchen. There are more important things than watering the cucumbers.
Holding onto the wall I walk down the hallway, Pain lighting up my back, hip, and leg. I fall to the ground and it’s there I sit a while. I can barely walk. I can’t water the cucumbers.
There they sit, Leaves wilted and browning. Their importance to me is bizarre. I glance out the window and my eyes meet rain, God watered my cucumbers.…
Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.
The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy.
That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…
I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.
It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.
Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.
“It’s not meant to be this way.”
I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…
It looms heavy over my head and heart, making me feel paralyzed. It wraps its arms around my lungs and squeezes so tightly my breathing becomes labored. It reaches into my entire being and makes me tremble with fear.
I’m always surprised at how quickly I can go from being completely fine to spiraling into wishing for relief from the weight of it all—the weight of this life.
This life, with all its beauty and joy drowned out by the screaming voice in my head that fights for my full attention like my toddler when my focus is elsewhere. It throws a tantrum in my brain and leaves me depleted of energy to fight.
And I wish I was easily comforted by the simple command to “trust God.” I know all the right truths and yet I find they aren’t magically taking it all away. Why won’t you take it away, Lord?…
My view from the couch was perfect. Ahead of me were one set of big arms and one set of little arms, clapping and shaking high above the heads that belonged to each body. Legs jumped and shuffled to the music and an unbreakable smile spread across my face. Joy.
The arms and legs in question belonged to my dear husband and our sweet baby boy. Only, he’s not so much a baby now. He’s two, and those once chubby legs and arms have lengthened and grown skinnier, reminding me that time flies and everything changes.
Me? Well, my extremities are the same, but my belly is rounding out again, telling to the world around me a story of creation and life and love. In just five short months (Lord willing), another baby will emerge from my cramped and dark womb and enter a bright and big world. Obviously, this is exciting news.…