And then, there is Asher. What a blessing to have him with us this Christmas! What a sweet picture God gave us this year of death and new life. Asher has provided so much joy and hope, not just for Bryan and I, but I think for many in our family. A new generation, a fresh start. It is a Christmas of mixed emotions. And, I'm learning...it's okay to feel mixed. I realized today that this week was the week last year we found out what we were having. And then over the next week and through Christmas, we shared the news with our family and friends. It was such a fun and exciting time, and we loved shocking everyone by telling them we were expecting TWO boys! No one had guessed that! And then today, I realized, it was just two weeks after finding out what they were that my water broke and I was in the hospital. Just two weeks. On New Years Day. And so, I became painfully aware of how close we are to our year milestone of being in on bed rest, and then of course, Asher's birthday and the anniversary of losing Titus. So, with February 2nd comes many many emotions. I have found myself really just wanting to skip over January and February and land in March. Like hibernating. I wouldn't mind hibernating until March. I'll just duck and cover and come out when it's over! Ha! But that's me. Not the best strategy, I know. When I am surprised or threatened, ( like when someone tries to sneak up on me as a joke) my tendency is to scream, and fall on the floor into a ball or the fetal position and cover my head and face. I'm serious. Ask my husband. It's just not the best plan of attack or defense!!
So, I think I often approach emotionally hard things that way too. "Just don't look at it, just curl up, ignore it, and it will go away." Riiiiggghhhhtttt. When has that ever worked?? It's just I'd like to skip over re-living the events of the beginning of last year. But it's too late. Often when I go to bed lately, I find my mind re-playing everything. It's not something I am consciously trying to do. It's just there, in my mind. And I "know" the right answers and fully embrace them most days. I know that I have SO much to be thankful for in all we went through. And I am. I also know, there is a division in how I reflect- it can go two very different ways. On one side there is reflecting with gratitude and peace, and feeling very blessed for all God has done and how much love He's shown us in the last year. On the other side is a longing for what will not be. Longing in a way that steals joy from today. That side is a little darker. On that side there can be thoughts like, " I want that-why don't I get that- why do they get that? It's all about me and what I want". Not pretty. That's when I feel like I'm acting a bit like Lot's wife and I better be careful! So the line between these two sides can be thin for me sometimes and undefined. And other times it's very thick, clear, and defined and I have no trouble staying on the side where Truth reigns. As these milestones approach, staying on the side of Truth gets more challenging some days.
I have heard after getting past the year milestone, things get easier. I look forward to that. I know that sounds a little lazy. God didn't promise easy. But, sometimes that's just what I selfishly want. I will never forget anything about last year, nor do I want to. But, I look forward to the trauma of it all being a little farther away in my mind. Not gone, or forgotten. But, just a little less tender, and a little smaller in my mind. And time will do that. I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for how time heals. It already has healed so much in a year, physically and emotionally for all of us. It's cliche, but it's true.
So, as much as I want to duck and cover.... I know I need to do something a little different. I still need to get low, but not in that manner. I need to lower myself in the way of kneeling in humility before an all knowing God. I need to ask for His peace and wisdom as I enter this tender season of reflecting. He knows what' s best for me. He knows what I need. He's not done teaching me. I've not reached my pinnacle of life lessons at the age of 31. As cool as that might be, I know that's not happening! I need to ask him for the courage to look at last year head on, and the courage to embrace and love my story- yet again. Because I'm learning I can't just do that once. I can't just embrace it once and cross it off the list. I have to do it again and again. Sometimes several times in one day. Please Lord, give me the courage to do Your work with my life and my story. Sometimes I feel too inadequate, too weak, and too unwilling. Thank you for your grace and mercy in loving me through that and patiently guiding me. Amen.