ED NOTE: This is another heavy-duty post about faith and emotions. I'm a little high strung these days, and I feel like offering my apologies to our readers even as I honor my desire to record my thoughts for posterity. On a ligher note, I PROMISE my next post will be mostly crafting photos. Easter baskets, baby booties and sock monkeys are all on cue. Don't you worry. And now back to the babbling...
It is a hard thing, waiting patiently for a baby to come, for something you want and something you don't want at the same time. I want so very badly for this pregnancy to be over, to be on the recovery side of this horrible joint-eating fatness that has stolen my body for the better part of a year. And of course I want a baby out of this. That was the whole point, after all...
At the same time, there is no part of me that wants to walk through the next phase of child production. I have done it twice now, and my memory has not dulled as much as I might have hoped. There is the pain of course, the universe-encompassing pain. But also the indescribable loss of agency that is so much akin to death. I don't know if anyone else has the experience during childbirth of descending to the gates of Hades, prying open the bars, and plucking a child from its icy depths while screaming "You shall not claim him!" Maybe that's my own variety of mental drama. At the very least, I've heard few people describe the experience as "fun."
In other words, this is a time of waiting for something bad to be over by waiting for something worse to occur. In this I've had a difficult time praying. Not for you — if I promised to pray for you then I've done a good job doing that. But for myself I don't have many words. Lord protect me from the inevitable? Make this not suck so bad? The best I feel I can hope for is that, like my husband and the midwives, God would show up when my water breaks and stand around for a few hours. I have no frame of reference for anyone doing anything more to HELP me.
There is only one prayer that has rung true for me lately, and it's something I never thought I'd have the constitution to repeat. "I love you, Jesus." I heard a pastor say it on the radio years ago, and I thought: How can you LOVE Jesus? Are you for real? You can be interested in him, sure. You can even try to follow him I guess. But love this person who is so odd and mythical and antiquated? Who are you trying to fool?
And yet this is the only prayer I can say right now that has any ring of truth. Everything is emotional and difficult. I am absolute shit at waiting. And yet ... I love you, Jesus.
I love you because you don't make any sense. Because sometimes all you do is love on people and sometimes you yell at them like an overburdened hipster. Because you healed the girl who burned herself with a curling iron, but you didn't heal the father who was dying of cancer. I love you because I don't understand you at all. I love you because I fear you might be nuts.
I love you because sometimes I feel you're present, and other times when I need you you are so very completely absent. I love you because my desperation does not dictate your action. I love you because you're real and alive, because if I made you up in my head you would not act like such a jerk.
I love you because I've said that I'm following you, and yet I have no idea where we're going. Because sometimes it seems like you're a guide without a plan. Or if you do have a plan then it's an insane suicide mission. I love you because if I really admitted where we were going I would turn and run in the other direction. I love you for going there in real life, and for making it look almost but not quite attractive.
I love you because you did not say you would make everything better. I love you because you are not a liar.
I love you because you DO make things better, because you make some things wonderful. Because ordinary interactions with annoying people burst with excitement and life when you ask them to.
I love you because the things you do are not the things I would do.
I love you because I do not understand you.
I love you, Jesus.