Tuesday, October 30, 2012

To be Held

I'm having an emotional morning. In a good way. I was asked to teach a lesson to the women at church about the Resurrection. I was taken back immediately to my experiences with losing Truman and Sterling. It made me remember that a lady from church had wanted me to listen to this song about bad things happening but surviving. I looked it up onYoutube, and after some cathartic tears, I share the words here:

"Held" by Natalie Grant

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

I have been held. Even when my literally aching arms have sought desperately to hold a child of my own to no avail--I have been held.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Pre-Ultrasound Post

Today is a day that I have anticipated for over 4 years now. A day when a darkened screen lights up and a little light is made known to the world--boy or girl, head size, kidney function, heartbeat a blazing. Truman was born just two days shy of his ultrasound. Sterling was 6 weeks away from that event.

Over the past three days, I have had nightmares of people punching me in the stomach, trying to end my pregnancy. I got a stomach bug and with all the throw-up and stomach cramping I thought for sure this pregnancy had terminated. My fears, while I am always working to keep them at bay, have been stronger this week. Stronger because of this force inside me that says I must see this baby. I must make it to the ultrasound.

Three nights ago, Tyler felt our baby move for the first time in any pregnancy. The amount of joy that filled my heart is sure to be doubled, tripled, quadrupled with every new moment of this pregnancy. We are in uncharted territory, and we are here together.

While reading in our regular spot of the scriptures this morning, I was amazed to hear Isaiah "speak" to me, such personal and profound truths:

“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child. . .
For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit.
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee.
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children” (3 Ne 22: 1-13).

All my children. I love all of my children. Perhaps a hint of sorrow will accompany the joy of this afternoon, the sorrow that has carved out the space in my heart to hope anew. I rejoice today. Maybe all of my children will be there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Vision

In Proverbs, the Psalmist declares that "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Pro 29:18). I can tell you--not having a vision is sticky. Life becomes swirls of redundant, dreary wasteland that gets traveled again and again--eg, a rut.  When we moved to Colorado, T's vision was clear. He would start medical school. Period. My vision was a bit foggier. I was leaving a great job, fabulous friends and family, and had been applying online for jobs since March. When we got to Utah for a three week hiatus from life before the journey to the Mile-High City, I still had not a clue what my future would hold, but I did find out that I was pregnant.

This news, while joyous for certain, added to my uncertainty of my vision for my Colorado experience. Who would want to hire a pregnant lady, a high-risk pregnancy lady no less? The first two months here left me tired, sick, and job searching to little avail. After a couple of job interviews in my field of mental health, I started wondering if my own mental health would prevent me from contributing to lives of clients in a meaningful way--I was discouraged. Worried about the pregnancy. Worried about money. Worried that the 2 years of school, year of internship, year of work towards my license as a family therapist was all a waste.

So back to the vision. When I applied to grad school, I had just miscarried for the first time with Sterling. My heart was in mourning, for the vision I had of motherhood seemed snatched away literally in the middle of night, leaving me barren of so many things, hope included. The vision then was this: I was to reap the blessing of an education regarding human emotions and relationships. I never knew if I would work in the field of counseling. I hoped I would conceive and bear more children, possibly while still in school (crazy what we sometimes hope for, right?).

Two years of unexplained infertility lead me to believe we would adopt children, probably children with emotional needs that would need my degree and skills. When I graduated and got a job, we started saving money for adoption, only to discover that I was expecting again. When we lost Truman, through months of tears and observed grief, I knew with greater assurance that my degree was not in vain. I knew what I needed to do to understand my loss. Continued healing came (and comes) from both my knowledge of God and His perfect understanding of what it means to lose a Son--and from my experience obtaining my masters degree in family relationships.

What is the vision now? It's still a little foggy, and that is really okay, because I don't feel like I'm perishing. I got a job at a Title 1 elementary school in their before and after program. 50+ kids who are at school for 12 hours a day because their parents are trying to make ends meet. Behavioral and emotional needs galore. The pay is pennies to the job I had before and it's not helping me towards a professional license. But the feeling of trying to meet a child's emotional needs in little ways is rewarding, and it is giving me purpose for now. The children are extremely excited that I am pregnant, asking daily if I am having a boy or a girl (I find out next week). I try not to go down the path of how confusing it would be for them if I were to lose this baby. They are so hopeful, so happy. It's hard not to be anything but that, too, when I see their smiling faces, faces that already know a lot of pain and the separation from parents and family, whether from divorce, displacement, or seriously spending the majority of their wakeful hours at our school.

Vision. I never envisioned being here. It's a pretty great place to be for now.