I feel more like a David than a Paul these days.
When I saw my dream for my future shatter and crumble in the arms that cradled it so carefully I didn't find it so easy to say
"I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation."
I admire Paul. I want to be more like that. I wish I could be content, even in this. But instead I want to cry out, to scream, as it seems David did when he wrote many of his Psalms.
And then there's this:
"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more."
A verse which has a very interesting meaning and story in Scripture, but the Rachel right here whose one child is gone is less interested in exegesis than in simply feeling solidarity with the one in the verse.
I've tried to read about life after miscarriage in the past few weeks--but I've noticed that the calm, peaceful, hope-filled sorts of articles tend mostly to be written by moms whose loss occurred 1, 2, 3, or 5+ years ago. They don't sound as low as I still feel. Writing about this in the very days and weeks of having to accept this loss is probably crazy. Taking time and knowing that things take time is a challenging concept for me.
There was such joy. I never want the darkness of October to overshadow the light of September. Because there was light. And I wish I could talk about that light without awkwardness or spontaneously bursting into tears. There was fun and excitement and jokes. The responses from our family members when we told them the good news ranged from "Hallelujah!" to "What does this mean?" to "Okay...Good job..." depending on the personality of the person told. I wish I could tell my pregnancy symptom stories with the other moms.
Seriously, guys, for a month there, speed bumps felt like roller coasters. I could not handle going over them--it was as if I was suddenly on a ship being tossed by stormy seas the instant the car jolted over a speed bump. There are 4 speed bumps to get out of my apartment complex, and 4 to get back in. I contemplated walking all the way to the front of the building to escape from most of the speed bumps. I implored Angel to drive at a snail's pace in order to crawl over the bump. I avoided leaving the building because the very thought of those speed bumps brought on seasickness. It was intense. Oh yeah, and I once threw up about 30 seconds after eating a chapati--after never having thrown up in over a decade. Guys, a chapati is like a tortilla. There's nothing more basic and non-vomit-inducing than a tortilla. I was constantly thirsty and woke up multiple times in the middle of the night to drink water and eat tortilla chips. The day before I found out I was pregnant, I ate a bowl of ramen and four slices of pizza for dinner--surprising Angel with my appetite.
But it's hard to laugh about me being intimidated by speedbumps when I don't even notice driving over them anymore.
One of the most difficult things is not feeling like 'me' anymore. It's weird. I've been 'me' my whole life. How could losing someone important to me make me feel like I've lost my very self? Spunk, joy, excellence, everything that felt like an integral part of my identity feels distant from who I am at the moment. I look at old pictures of me and don't want to take new ones if I can help it because I feel like I don't even look like myself right now. I just want to be the old me again. The creative thoughtful overly-sensitive limelight-lover who gets a little too excited about everything and has boundless energy. Now I feel like I don't even have the energy to accomplish my own responsibilities, let alone dream of new ones.
And besides that, what about next year? I thought I knew what 2017 would look like. Not the details, but you know, the generalities. I definitely wasn't traveling back to America at all, as I'd be pregnant and then taking care of a tiny baby for the whole year, and that trip is brutal. I had a plan in place for scaling back on commitments. I'd take a break from teaching for June and July and get back into it in August. Now what? I have no idea. November and December are full of commitments that have existed since earlier this year but it's hard to even see life after December 31st. I know that, logically, it exists. But old plans are gone and I feel like it's better to not make new ones.
I don't feel very comforted by anything at the moment. But I cling to something else that highly-contented Paul wrote, because even if I don't feel like him right now, I'm sure he was on to something:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18
I've seen this verse everywhere on the internet shortened to "The pain you're feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming." And I can't figure out where that shortening came from, and I think it's kind of a terrible paraphrase that's a little too self-centered and fails to really capture and clarify the meaning of the verse. There may not and possibly won't be glory revealed to us in this lifetime. If any, maybe a little. There are glimpses of glory, I believe, from time to time. But right now there really, really are sufferings. All I know is that no matter how much pain exists right now it's nothing in the light of the new heavens and the new earth. Although my heart still cries, that comforts the logical, linguistic side of me. Because when something is 'not worthy to be compared to'...it means we can't even imagine the difference.