Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I had a thought process earlier today, but got sidetracked with some other posts and various at-home responsibilities. Back to my current state of mind, which I should probably clarify.

Indeed, I feel broken today. As usual, as always.

I had lunch with a very pregnant friend. She will have her baby in seven days. This kind of encounter always seems to set the course of my day, though our friendship and this pregnancy is extraordinarily special. She walked this path of loss before me and beside me for months.

We were pregnant simultaneously. We were two or three days apart in pregnacy with her Benjamin and my Ainsley. I lost Ainsley in October, and Benjamin died in January at 22 weeks. By then, I was already pregnant again with Zachary and was trucking right along. I remember the pain she felt and how uncomfortable it made me feel. I remember her sense of loss and her hopelessness and the fear that pain caused in me. She was so open about her pain, and it was so difficult to watch since who knows what tomorrow holds. I couldn't fix her, I could hardly help her. I had no answers and nothing to offer, save to pray. With the intensity of what she felt, I wondered if that was enough. I remember one beautiful Monday night where she pulled me behind a pillar to whisper that they were pregnant again, and oh my gosh, how she was scared. Scared, excited, saddened, relieved, and so many things at once. I was relieved for sure.

For a very brief time, we walked the pregnant path together again. She leaned on me to walk out some of those fears, and I leaned on her for some of my own. In April, Zachary died at 22 weeks, and my friend was immediately by my side. She has listened to me cry and scream and shake my fist. She has been able to wrap her mind around this extraordinarily horrible place where I sometimes live. She has listened to me beg and plead and pray for strength. She has lifted me up when my strength was gone.

In the midst of her supporting me, she has allowed me to support her. She still shares her fears and hopes for the baby growing now. She shares in her celebrations. She's not treated me any differently than before -- with the exception of checking to make sure the sharing is still ok and not a burden to my heart. In spite of her pain, and our shared journey of loss, she is ending her current pregnancy, and as you can imagine, having lunch with a friend a week outside of her delivery was not done with ease. My friend is doing great, obviously still concerned about the welfare of her coming son, but a little relieved (I think) to have only one more week to go. I think for the first time during this entire time I heard her talk in the future tense.

I, on the other hand, left lunch sadder than ever. It's impossible to imagine what kind of good God has for me, and sometimes that he has anything at all. In the midst of this struggle, it's easy to feel like a toy that slipped down in that crack behind the bed or between seats in the car, never to be seen or cared about again.

And then God, who I love and long to serve, constantly exceeds the bounds of my very limited understanding. He makes no sense to me so much of the time, so I'm really just striving in earnest to remain focused on His word. I need something on which to cling.

I had my normal biannual endocrinology appointment on Monday, which I'm sure adds to the sadness. It was a normal appointment for normal bloodwork, but because this "new" doctor (I've seen him only once before) has a specialty in reproductive medicine, he drew 8 vials of blood to run a panel of tests to see if he can determine why I'm prone to loss. He's looking for clotting disorders and autoimmune stuff (related to Lupus and the like). The chances of finding something with this test, though, is only about 10% -- even after 3+ losses. (Chances are 1% with one loss, 1-5% with two losses, and 5-10% with three. Not good odds, but a possible 10% is better than 0%, which is where I'm at now.)

I don't know what good any knowing will do -- I don't think it changes where I am or where I may be going. All of it, every bit of it, and every bit of every thing is completely and utterly out of the hands of this control freak, and that is not fun at all.

I posted an excerpt earlier about the potter and the clay, which is an analogy I love. I've worked with clay before, and it can be tricky business. Clay has to be pounded and pounded and pounded before a shape can even begin to take form. Everything has to be done just right. All of the bubbles and imperfections have to be worked out, because if they're not, that clay vessel will do nothing but explode. Once that clay hits the heat of the kiln, once it succumbs to that pressure, regardless of how beautifully it's shaped or how delicately it's painted, if internal imperfections remain, it cannot withstand the heat. Beauty doesn't take precedence over the imperfections hidden deep within. The potter has to pound and twist and shift and beat the clay until it's just right for forming into something worthwhile.

I've said before that I do not like the place I am at. Crosses aren't fun. Brokenness isn't either. But clearly, I need to be right where I'm at. I need to be broken. I need to be utterly destroyed. And then I need to be utterly remade by the most perfect Potter of all.

"I will obey your principles.
Please don't give up on me!...
I have tried my best to find you --
don't let me wander from your commands.
I have hidden your Word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you...
I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
I will delight in your principles
and not forget your word...
I lie in the dust, completely discouraged;
revive me by your word.
I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your principles.
Help me to understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful miracles.
I weep with grief, encourage me by your word.
Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privelege of knowing your law.
I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your laws.
I cling to your decrees.
Lord, don't let me be put to shame!
If you will help me,
I will run to follow your commands.
Psalm 119:8, 10-11, 15-16, 25-32 TLB

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

All content © Mandigirl, 2007-2013.