“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
I love C.S. Lewis. He’s my favorite writer. He wrote that book, “A Grief Observed”, after his wife, Joy, died at quite a young age and after they were married only a short while. Prior to writing that book he had written extensively on Christianity. The book and his collection of writings on his own grief demonstrate a true test of his faith and beliefs. I read one review of the book that said, “C.S. Lewis joined the human race when his wife, Joy Gresham, died of cancer.” I found it a striking comment since I often talk about how very human I feel ever since that day in April. I guess by human I mean how fallen I realize I am and how many failings I have. I never thought of my faith in terms of the way Lewis describes, that God already knew the quality of my faith and love but maybe it was ME who didn’t. And I’m still learning.
There are so many things I could think or say or do better throughout this. For one, I am terribly embarrassed to admit my self-pity when I hear about others having perfectly healthy pregnancies and perfectly “normal” scenarios. What the heck!? I didn’t even want to say that out loud or write it down. But it’s the truth. When I was talking to my friend Tracy about it she said, “Well, you’re human and if you didn’t have a little bit of wanting it to be like that for yourself, it might not even be normal.” So there it is again, I’m human! It’s not as if I ever thought I was superhuman or above these rotten thoughts (being selfish) but I had never really been tested before. My house of cards was perfectly aligned and standing, although on shakier ground than I knew.
My wonderful, awesome, perfect, loving, amazing, did I say wonderful? sister-in-law Nellie, who is the godmother of my Maebelina and a namesake of my Paulina (Nellie’s middle name is Pauline) is due with her 6th baby the very day after our c-section is scheduled. I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM. That is also truth. I would NEVER, EVER, EVER want her to know or understand how this feels or to go through pregnancy in this way. However, it’s so hard to know I won’t get to be there for the birth of her baby — I was there for each of the other five!– and it hurts a little, some days a lot (ug, I hate admitting that!), to know I won’t get to experience the same things as her: going through labor, delivering, keeping both of my babies, going home two days later, etc. Why instead am I not only and purely filled with joy for her instead of selfishly thinking about our situation? Selfishness is my fault and I need to work on that. Nellie is very close to delivering the baby, looks like it will be a bit early. Will you please keep her and her beautiful family in your prayers these next few days? I pray for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, that Nellie and I continue to grow closer in our love and respect for one another and in our love of God. NOTE: I don’t have to pray this baby will be cute because, dang, if you know them or have ever seen her kids you’d know it is entirely impossible for her and Pete to manufacture anything but. See? 🙂
The daily reading for today centered around this bible verse: “I am the Alpha and the Omega: the one who is and was and is to come.” The devotional book paraphrased it in part as, “Because I never change, your relationship with Me provides a rock-solid foundation for your life. I will never leave your side.” Ultimately I am thankful that in facing these tests of faith and failings I am given the opportunity to change and to know that God will be there no matter what and no matter how long it takes me to rebuild on solid ground.