August 14, 2008

Bits and Pieces

I was going to write a lighthearted something about summer, and even share some pictures. Then I woke up this morning, hemorrhaging. Badly. Spent 4 hours in the emergency room. Got IVs and ultrasounds. Turns out that there was some “product of conception” that was overlooked when they vacuumed out my uterus last weekend. (It was a BABY, people, IT WAS A BABY!) Got some drugs that are supposed to make everything better. The side effects include cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Get this. The little paper that comes with the prescription says: If these symptoms are bothersome, check with your doctor. “Bothersome”? “IF”??? You mean most people don’t find those things to be “bothersome”?

My cousin said to me a couple months ago, “Mercy, you know, it’s ok to say ‘My life sucks and I hate everything about it.’” I guess I’m feeling a little bit like that today. Except I can’t really say that I hate everything about it. I’m too pragmatic. Even when I’m emotional. I keep thinking that there ARE things that are good about my life. Ladybug. Wild Thing. My husband. My family and friends. My God. I don’t really hate everything about it. Just, well, a lot of the stuff.

I used to be a fan of crying in the shower, but it felt so self-indulgent today. That, and I am conscious of the fact that my parents don’t have unlimited hot water, like we did at our old place, and crying in the shower and having the water go cold on you is just adding insult to injury.

You know what I really hate? I hate it when Christians aren’t real about the struggles they go through. I hate when you get the pat answer, the “God’s grace has really sustained us” answer that doesn’t really reveal anything that’s going on. What about the anger that I feel? What about the questions of “WHERE ARE YOU GOD, IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS?” What about dealing with the emotions, every day? What about working through shame and guilt and feelings of inadequacy?

I thought I could do it. I thought I could be all poised and assured and full of faith and oh-so-Christian about all this. I thought I could deal with everything with a calm assurance, be hopeful, respond in faith, you know, talk myself through it, remain positive.

But I’m just not that strong. I’m human. As evidenced not only by my human form, and my very human mistakes, but also by my human emotions. I love in Psalm 103 where it says in verses 13 and 14, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are, he remembers that we are only dust.” Every now and then I bring that to God’s attention: Remember, Jesus, I’m only dust. This stuff is pretty hard for me to deal with. I need your breath of life in me to keep me alive, to keep me from crumbling.

My dear, sweet husband said to me the other day, as we were waiting in the hospital before the medical procedure, he said that this is the worst we’ll go through together. He wasn’t talking about just losing our baby, he was referring to the sum of our circumstances. He reasoned that this was probably the most difficult season of life we would go through, and it would give us a good reference point for the future, that if we think things are tough THEN, all we have to do is look back to NOW and realize that things, by comparison, aren’t quite so bad. I don’t know if that’s encouraging for the future or discouraging for the present.

I’m glad I pulled up Psalm 103 on my computer. The whole psalm is so lovely and inspiring. “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” “He crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things.” I’m certainly glad that I don’t hate everything about my life. What a slap in the face that would be to God! You know, I think he could handle it though. After all, he understands that I’m just dirt, and as such am weak, fragile and vulnerable and prone to human emotions.

I’m not a big advocate of questioning God. I believe that he is sovereign and knows the beginning from the end. But I am grateful that I serve a God that isn’t going to squash me because I question him. Who isn’t going to disown me when I admit that I don’t have the faith to get through something and I really need his help. I love it when Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” I love that. I love it that God, whose very nature is goodness and mercy and kindness and compassion and love and commitment toward me, will always be true to his nature, no matter how much my faith falters. That verse has come back to me again and again these last months. Yes, if I disown God, then he will disown me too. But if my faith falters in my human dusty-ness, he isn’t going to be faithless toward me, because he can’t deny who he is by nature.

I will never disown him. No matter how difficult or how hard it is for me to understand or how sad and discouraged and disheartened I am by life’s circumstances and consequences. But I do have to admit that there are moments, hours, sometimes days, when my faith falters. When I can’t see the Master’s plan because of how clouded my perspective is, how limited my perspective is, how tied I am to my emotions and can’t see beyond them. And yes, I’d like to say, breezily and without a care, that the grace of God sustains me. And it’s true, it does. Boiled down to its very essence, I am sustained by the grace and kindness and new-every-morning mercies of God. But the experience is more than that. It’s more real, it is more raw. It is more human. And it’s grittier and dirtier than I thought it would be.


Brooke said...

This is beautiful.

Trisha said...

There are no words..I am sorry. Life is so hard and backwards sometimes. Years ago I was struggling through a bad patch in my life..there was no self help book, no lecture, nothing could give me peace. Except for the scriptures, except for the sure knowledge that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ truly knew what I was going through. He suffered for it all, not just my sins and everyone elses. But for my sorrow, for my fear, my frustration, my pain, He knows what you are feeling, He is the only one who can help you find peace. He loves you, He did this for you, trust that He means it. This may give you no comfort but it was the only thing that helped me at all. I read the New Testament over and over, especially the four gospels. Maybe it will bring you peace as well. I pray for you and your family often.

emily said...

Thanks for being real. I wonder what Jesus thinks about the word "Christian". He never used that fact, I don't think it's even in the Bible. But he did get in the mess with people. He knew there would be mess. We all have mess. And when we say "I can't do it!" He says "I never said you could but I can and I always said I WOULD." Thanks Major Ian Thomas for that quote!

I'm sorry your day sucked. And that your parents shower doesn't have more hot water.

Fay said...

(((hugs))) and prayers. I'm sorry. ~Fay

madrekarin said...

I think the weight of everything that has happened to you has culminated in this one moment. It is a process that we go through, the refiner's fire so to speak, that will temper us and make us stronger as we progress.
You are experiencing grief, in its purest form, for the things you have lost, the things you may miss and the things that you love and have loved. It is raw. It is gritty. And it is okay. It is a crucial part of the process.
We will all experience things in our lives that make us move out of our comfort zone and cause us to grow. It is those times when we can choose to draw closer to the Savior or stand alone.
You are doing the right thing. :)
(((HUGS))) to you!

Melissa Lee said...


I love reading your stuff.

How are you now? For real. (As if we could be anything other than "real.")

Melissa at Stretch Marks