I’m stuck in the death part, maybe you are too. The part where we wait. The part where darkness feels like a companion and we wait for dawn together. It’s not cancer, or terrorism or racial strife – no, it’s just the daily hard, and it can feel like drowning.
My mind so easily travels where I know it’s unhealthy to go. To wistful thinking about my grad school days overseas, where I was young, and thin and could drink without worrying about a baby inside of me or breastfeeding. Or, I think of filtered Facebook pictures showing friends who have the time, money and lack of being tied down to travel around the world. And I want that. Oh, how I want that. What I wouldn’t give to be sitting in a rooftop café in Rome eating bread and mozzarella, curled up with a hot cup of coffee.
This laying down is a choice to sacrifice for the moment, waiting with eager expectation that the dawn is coming. But the dawn feels like a dream. There’s a daily laying down – diapers, and not sleeping, and late-night arguments because in all of the crazy, I forgot not only to care for myself but also for my husband. And we retreat to contempt or we sweep it under the rug. Maybe you’re wondering if someone sees you. If the mess of the house or your love handles won’t be the currency to gain you love. That even in the now, even without traveling the world, that you are worth so very much.
Because validation is never going to come from an outside source and be truly satisfying. For me, I notice how my mind spirals deeper and deeper down and away from a center, and I realize the caverns of what Christians call sin in my own heart. How I reach out with Grinch-like talons to grasp onto a life that is not mine, can never be mine. Because it’s not just the daily deaths of motherhood, it’s this whole life of faith.
Because this life is not mine. It’s His.
Frankly sometimes that stings. And the death hurts.
Yet, there is no meaning apart from this daily death dance that you and I do. And I want my life, my sacrifice, to mean something. There is a promise that is centuries old, and moves in waves across genders, cultures and political movements. And it is a grace that is bigger than me or you, and the diapers and the tiredness and the lack of “me time.” It envelops and brightens and makes the suffering beautiful. It takes twisted, broken things and turns them into beauty.
So we’ll wait – you and I – until the dawn appears.