Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leaning Towards vs. On

Dear Reader...

It has been a while. Truth be told... I have been avoiding this little space I have created.

Life has been a little too raw to sit down and face it all... which is what I do here.

AND life has been a lot busy, so excuses to avoid this place have been abundant.

HOWEVER, this week I had a little wake up call in the form of one sassy little conversation with my bathroom scale.


Note: My scales have never read the same as this picture... just sayin'

Now, as most of you know... I am not a big fan of Oprah... BUT she did say something once about her weight that really hit home with me. She talks about when her weight is out of balance, for her, it means her life is out of balance... that she spent years fighting a cosmetic issue when she really had an emotional issue.

Bingo.

As a gal that has struggled with my weight for years... it was only after I came to the same conclusion (after banging my head on the weight wall for years) that I finally managed to keep my weight in check... Sure my usual number on the scales would still be really high for many of you...but for me... it was a huge accomplishment.

However, between this winter's remodel, the pregnancy and the loss of the pregnancy... I have been running from an avalanche of emotion and right into my kitchen, my work, my fridge, my work, any restaurant that'll take my money and my work.

And, shockingly enough... that all caught up with me on my scale... crazy right?

Truth be told... emotion isn't all I have been running from.

Several months ago... God started stirring in my heart again... and I started digging in and studying His word...

I can't even tell ya what I was reading at the time, but something got too raw during a devotion and I shut down and pushed away. Something that touched on an uncovered nerve of feeling like there was a time when I tried to lean on God and He wasn't there...

Now, I know I am the issue here. I know God is faithful and I know that He is always there for me...

However, years ago His silence changed the trajectory of my life (for the better)... but also left me with this exposed fear of leaning on Him and falling flat... feeling that desperation again...

So... as wrong as it is...


I often resort to my own strength, with my feet planted and lean towards God not on Him.

Now... fast forward to the week before my first ultrasound with P-dab... Despite the fact that I had two previous miscarriages years ago, I hadn't been too worried about the pregnancy. I had been really sick with this pregnancy which gave me all kinds of false peace of mind.

Then I got a call from Puddie that said his work schedule changed and he was not going to be able to go with me on our first appointment. In that instance I filled with fear. At that point, I had laid on that cold ultrasound table a total of 3 times at the beginning of a pregnancy... and two of those times ended in sadness... clinching Puddie's hand and that all flooded my head.

I'd love to tell ya that I stopped and prayed a beautiful prayer that God's will be done, Amen.

Nope.

Oh I prayed... but not the prayers of a good Christian girl.

Nope.

I remember telling God that everything better be OK because He would be cruel to make me go through that by myself.

Then that Sunday's sermon was about tragedy and when bad things happen.

I remember being upset with God over the sermon. How dare He make me needlessly worry.

Then the day came...

I had some work I needed to catch up on, so I headed to one of my favorite working lunch spots and worked for a few hours before my appointment.

As I packed up and left, I turned back to my table and saw a nicely folded napkin laying on my table... I was confused that I hadn't seen it before or cleared it with my dishes and I was all packed up and ready to head out so I awkwardly placed it in my jacket pocket...

I remember thinking man that was an odd thing to do.

I then sat and awaited my triple appointment... first the ultrasound, then the OB nurse and then my OB.

My name was called and I headed in for my appointment.

My fear grew as I put the gown on...

I kept telling myself that I just needed to make it to when the nurse would turn the monitor my direction and show me little P-Dab floating around.

She entered the room and started chatting right up a storm... which I appreciated... gown and stirrups and all...

As she started the ultrasound, she was smiling and asking me if we had told Addie yet...

Suddenly her smile dropped and her face went neutral... as if it were trained to do so... and her chatty nature fell silent... deathly silent.

I knew what was happening...and I was losing hope by the second... in the eternity that must have been every bit of 10 minutes of silence.

At one point the microphone kicked on and I thought I heard a beat of a heartbeat... but that was hope's last stand. Soon she turned off the machine and told me things didn't look quite right for the dates I had given her... but that there was hope that my dates could be wrong.

I knew my dates were spot on... and I knew this conversation from years before. She tried to reassure me... but I could tell it was half-hearted and when I combined that with my fears and history... I broke out in tears as soon as she awkwardly left the room to figure out what to do with her potentially not-so pregnant patient...

As the OB nurse was instructing her that she no longer needed to see me and to see if she could bump up my OB's appointment...

I sobbed in the ultrasound room...

Alone.

I scanned the room for tissues and there were none. I actually sat in the room wondering why on earth they would not have tissues in a room that potentially holds so much joy and so much pain... tissues seem like a no brainer...

I was a mess... but I knew they were going to soon start shuffling me around... keeping me from the other expectant mothers for my emotional comfort and for theirs.... So, I got up, got dressed and put my coat back on...

As she came back in, she saw my emotional level had deteriorated and tried again to reassure me... which only made me worse. She didn't know my history and I wasn't interested in false hope. Then she realized she was way outside of her comfort zone so she too scanned the room for tissues and actually ran out the door looking for some before taking me to the next office.

At that point, I put my hand in my pocket and I pulled out something oddly placed there... that folded napkin from the restaurant... and I immediately felt God's presence.

I clutched it and used it throughout the rest of my torturous time there... As they shuffled me through the staff break room as to not have me re-enter the waiting room full of expectant moms and babies and then placed me in the "Bad News" room...

Anyone who has been through this knows what I mean... It is a room with no exam tools or furniture... it is a closet like room with a couch and if you are lucky some magazines... designed for patients like me to sit and wait on the bad news... And... oddly enough... it was also lacking tissues.

As I sat in the Bad News Room and awaited my doctor... I looked at that napkin and thought about how God was there for me in that moment that no one else could be...

Then it washed over me that perhaps God kept Mike away that day to help me see that He is still there for me... that at that moment when I couldn't keep my footing any longer and keep it all together that He was there for me to lean on when my human nature finally fell a part and I couldn't lean towards anything any longer.

A lesson from a napkin of all things.

A week later the blood tests finalized the bad news and a week after that nature took its course...

And I... well I kept my feelings mostly bottled up and got back down to business with life and work.

Staying busy... and not thinking too much...

Then this past Easter Sunday I heard a moving sermon that talked about not faking it... if you have doubts or questions... be honest about them... and throughout the sermon I felt my emotions bubbling at the surface... but I pushed it all back down in a prideful act of trying to keep it all together for appearances sake... that and I am simply too tired to deal with the emotions of it all...

So that brings us to this week... where the weight I have been carrying for a long time showed up on the scale itself... and that brings me to you... and to Him... trying to figure out what and how to lean next.

So there ya have it...

How about you? Do you lean towards or on God?

4 comments:

  1. Oh you got me on this one. Thank you so much for sharing, Cris. You have been in my prayers. I go in cycles with God. I yell, scream, lean, rejoice, praise, thank and seek...all in and at Him. From long and winding road in my long term relationship with Christ, I know there is a big plan, bigger than we will every know. But I can't control it. When I get in ruts, I turn from Him, try to control things and He shows me eventually how to turn back to Him. I lean on God.

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  2. pitterpatterchildrenApril 28, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Oh, my heart aches for you. I am so so sorry. I do totally know and understand what you are talking about. I too, used to lean towards God, but not quite on Him. I had to learn the same lesson, also in a very loving but difficult way. I know that we need to lean on Him. Thank you so much for sharing, what I am sure was a very difficult and personal moment. I know that He is there, that He is mindful of you, and the He knows what you need. You are in my prayers.

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  3. Wow. Nothing but honest, raw, emotion from you here. The women in my family have had lots of problems with miscarriages, and I fear that I will have similar issues. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share this story with us. My prayers are with you...

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  4. While I haven't been through a miscarriage personally, I have been right where you are on the leaning issue.
    I've been struggling with that lately. I'm having a hard time telling the difference between not trusting an individual and not trusting God. (ie, I know I should trust God to restore my confidence in someone else).
    Sometimes, I swear my prayers are echoeing off the walls of my living room.
    That's why I so appreciate those "napkin moments" God provides. It's small, I'm sure to Him, but huge on this end. I still remember how God once spoke directly to me (my heart) thru a random 20-something black guy in Walmart. I still cling to that moment, because it was the first time I really stopped to recognize how God shows up in the most unexpected, everyday things--and that I need to be watchful for His presence.

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