The tone of the tall grass merges with the dirty yellow of his mane. No movement, no sound. None are aware of his presence. He observes. A moment of weakness rises as one prey lets his guard down. Predator edges closer. No cracking of dry grass beneath his feet warns imminent danger lurks. The prey, oblivious to his surroundings, is hit as predator leaps to attack. He never saw it coming.
I relate to the prey, often unaware that a beast hides in the shadows. He detects, more than I, my vulnerability and my doubt. He waits for it, then feeds on it.
“What do you think my love language is, Mom?” he asked.
“Well, there is a test you can take on line,” I said.
“Yeah, David was telling me I should take it. Will you help, in case I don’t understand the questions?”
We were late for church but when my son asks for emotional help or growth, I refuse to brush aside the rare occurrence.
A quick search and the window popped up. We read…
“For each set of statements, select the one you prefer the most,”
No awareness on his part but I was all but ignorant of the sadness each question built on, not his, but my own.
An ache clinched my heart as truth was revealed; love is a foreign concept for him.
Sitting among a group of peers, in true “round-table” fashion, each had a story of hollow wombs and vacant arms coupled with the slightly unconventional way of filling the desire, deep-seated need, for children. Some early in their journey, others veterans of the system, we each divulged details of the miraculous way God had built our families. Conversation was deep, enjoyable and even beneficial until one comment stopped my heart, to which I mentally had to force myself to breathe. Three words were uttered that crushed my spirit, heart and soul and provoked me to evaluate my faith.
Deeply grieved today, I am forced to choose. Stay fixated on the circumstances that plague our family and the sorrow of my journey or find a different angle.
No story this time, that would be fixating, but I trust you have your own. Loss, wounds, frustrations; impossible situations as parents, coworkers, friends, or children weigh us all. Insert your heavy-hearted situation here.
Secret struggles plant hidden seeds of anguish and distress that, when never faced with the light, remain grounded in a darkness and spread and infect the rest of our soul. Laughter is to this bruising, as light is to dark; the latter always succumbs to the presence of the former.
Lights flash, people stare, their imagination fills in the story from their 10 second exposure as they drive by the 911 scene. Being in the middle of this reoccurring scenario has made me numb to the onlookers.
Sorrow. Pain. Companions of mine often synonymous with killers of joy. Thieves. They rise and take what is promised to be “new every morning,” but when dawn breaks mourning lingers on and on. As I grow older, a little wiser, I realize how false these accusations are. In truth, no one or nothing can take my joy, I alone, give it away.
Infertility remains loyal to me after 18 years, yet joy, well…it has waned and even vanished at times under the darkness of depression. Unfortunate, has been my choice, to let circumstances sway my ability to chose joy, come what may.
The house was quiet and Dave and I drifted off to sleep with a plan to take the next morning slow and easy. A rare treat as our middle child had been on suicide watch for some time, causing shifts in our sleep habits. All three kids were at a church camp retreat. REM sleep had settled in when a sudden surge penetrated my body and shot me to a straight up position in bed while the words “in Jesus name” left my mouth loud enough to wake Dave.
This Christmas story, composed not from my own creativity, is absent the tinsel, twinkling lights or cookie baking, yet, a version worth sharing, none the less.
December, 1996, our first Christmas bearing the weight of infertility, oblivious that we were about to embark on years of anguish and endless tears coupled with uncertainty and empty womb. Yet, unbeknownst to us, God was scripting a beautiful Christmas story, interweaving his promises with each chapter.
Left leg crossed over right knee, I bounced it out of boredom, partly, and partly out of irritation. The clock behind the receptionist counter revealed the Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be 30 minutes behind schedule and nothing in the pages of the Health magazine between my fingers was to hold my attention or the attention of my 3 young children in tow.
Grace, Teresa, have some grace. (Sigh)
He was 16ish! “ALL” of his friends were going, making me the over-protective dictator for my “no” for the 3rd year in a row.
“It’s no big deal. It’s fake blood, pretend dead people in costumes. It’s not that bad.”