Gabriel and I both grew up in Christian homes but in college, waking up for church on Sunday mornings after an inevitably late Saturday night wasn’t so easy. I never lost my faith in God. I just wasn’t interested in the Christians that honestly seemed to dislike the somewhat ‘edgy’, artsy theatre people I hung around with. I still believed in God, I just didn’t think I needed His input too often. Things were going well.
It’s funny how when life starts to not go so well…or in my case, life completely explodes, God suddenly seems very distant—also very necessary. I cried for Him during the attack. I prayed and sang little lullabies and hymns to myself in the hospital while waiting for someone to come get me. I thanked Him when the doctor told me I was pregnant. There was a lot of God interaction that morning, but soon after, the communication lines tapered off. My impulse to pray is shrouded in layers of distrust, anger, gratefulness, desperation and brokenness. I know I need Him. I’ve always needed Him, but I need Him now and He doesn’t always seem to be around.
I can feel the image of His love shifting inside of me, just as I feel our little babe toss and turn. Sometimes His love feels cold and unseeing. Other times it is breathtakingly personal and present. I’m afraid of how the last seven months have warped my understanding of God. I want to be able to model real faith and trust in God for my son. I need to believe He is good and won’t abandon me—because if He’s a God that doesn’t care, then what’s the point?
I’ve been as unproductive as an infant the last seven months—spending 80% of my day laying in bed, alternating between reading, napping, facebooking and then napping again. Mostly I wait for Gabriel to be home from work. When he’s home, he just joins me and we cuddle, talk and rest the days away. Now that we’re finally in a more permanent place this idyll routine is less relaxing and more numbing. So today I somehow found the energy to try something new. I did nap, but I set an alarm. I made myself lunch (a bagel and clementines) and headed to the nursery. There were shelves of miscellaneous items that needed to find homes all around the house, and a small stack of baby clothes that needed to be sorted.
I got to work, huffing away as I pirouetted to the ground, reaching around my big belly to pick things up. I saved the baby clothes for last, knowing that would be the best part. Settling on the floor I began placing accessories in one pile, blankets in another, bibs and wash clothes on the left and different onesies into the appropriate sizes. A few minutes into the process I picked up a particularly soft newborn sleeper with brown and white stripes and a little fox sewn onto it. I paused and stared at the little garment. My baby—my son—will close his eyes and dream in this sweet sleeper. He will trust, love and learn without layers of pain and confusion distancing him from God’s love. Tears of joy and gratitude fell from my eyes for the first time in months.
What a gift.
I heard those words the first time I was told I was pregnant, and today my heart swelled with that truth again. Clutching this little sleeper, my heart was compelled to pray and thank God for this baby—no regrets or hesitation or pain blanketed that prayer. Just thankfulness.
If God is the Almighty, the Creator and the Healer then I think He understands my confused heart better than I do. Oftentimes, I don’t feel like I can trust Him, but I do have faith in Him. He says there is nothing He can’t restore. I cling to that with all my hope.