This is a post that has been rumbling around in my heart since the middle of February.  I started writing my February pregnancy posts with the intention of leading up to this post, then the March Challenge took over my blog, and since then I've been too sick to type.  However, if you'll bear with me, hopefully I'll come up with a few words that adequately communicate what is in my heart.  We'll see.

It all started in early September when I thought I had the flu.  I didn't.  I just had the world's worst pregnancy.  (Why yes, I do tend to exaggerate.  Why do you ask?)  After five months of vomiting (seriously, how many times can I fit that word into my blog posts lately, I wonder?) and general nausea and passing out and extreme weakness, along with all the crazy emotions I described working through in my February posts, all I wanted was to be able to enjoy being pregnant. 

One Sunday in February, I forced myself to get ready for church, knowing that it probably wasn't the smartest move on my part.  I mean, no one enjoys sitting in church wondering if the person behind them is going to upchuck into their hair.  But lying around the house wishing you were dead gets old after a while, and I needed to see the outside world.  So I stumbled around, shakily getting dressed.  Of course, the moment we were all ready to walk out, I began throwing up.  Daddy and the girls rushed to the car to avoid all the lovely noises, and I stood in the bathroom vomiting into the sink while feeling hot urine trickle down my right leg.  TMI?

While I stood there experiencing heave after heave after heave and fresh bursts of warm liquid on my leg each time, I became very angry.  Not just a little annoyed.  Not just mad.  Big Hot Anger.  You know, I had spent the last several months surrendering and making peace with all the living and dying my babies had been doing around me, and I was finally ready to fully embrace being pregnant and enjoy it to its fullest extent.  And here I was, five months into it with still nothing enjoyable about it. 

I stood there in the aftermath, shaking, wiping my mouth, legs spread wide over the damp bathroom rug and crying loud angry tears.  "God!  I'm finally happy about this pregnancy.  So why can't I just enjoy this good thing You have done for me?!"  I would have yelled if I'd had the energy.

Jeremy came in from the car while I leaned unsteadily against the shower wall, steaming water mixing with my tears and washing my skin.  "Are you okay?" he asked carefully. 

"No," I barely uttered, my throat hoarse from choking sobs.  "You guys should go to church without me."  They were already going to be late.

He silently picked up the pretty clothes that I had been wearing fifteen minutes before which were now angrily discarded all over the bathroom floor.  He took them and the now soiled rug by the bathroom sink to the laundry room and started a fresh load of laundry.  Then he returned to the muggy bathroom and said, "We'll wait for you."

I didn't have the energy to respond.  I continued crying in the shower, pouring out my frustration to my God Who already knew, Who already felt it all, Who already held me in His arms and cried with me. 

By the time I was ready again and dressed in a new outfit, my family had completely missed the first hour of church which for us is Sunday School.  We'd be there in time for the main service, though.  I still felt shaky, and Jeremy tried to get me to eat something.  I'd learned my lesson though -- I wasn't about to reenact the bathroom scene from earlier that morning!  I dully got into the car, pasted a smile on my face for Liberty and Mercy's sake, and we all headed to church.

Our pastor, Clare, asked us to open our Bibles to Exodus chapters 32 and 33 where the Israelites chose to make and worship a calf made out of gold instead of God.  God, of course, was angry, and told them that He was still going to give them the promised land with all its wonderfulness and blessings, but He was sick of them and would no longer go with them to the wonderfulness.  They could still have all the good -- just without God.

Then Clare asked us to think of the one thing we wanted most in the whole world.  Well, at that moment, that was very easy for me -- I just wanted to enjoy this pregnancy.  No more sickness, no more emotional crazy, no more weakness.  Just fun, and happiness.  After all, I'd already worked through the emotional crazy, all I needed was for God to take away the physical pathetic-ness that I had no control over.  Next Clare asked, "Would you be willing to trade God's daily presence in your life for this thing that you desire?"  He paused while we thought that question over.  At least, I think he paused.  I know I didn't hear anything more that he said after that because my heart turned that question over and over and kept coming to the same conclusion:  Yes!  I would trade God's presence for some physical strength and joyfulness in this pregnancy.  I would let go of God, if He would just give me relief from this constant nausea, vomiting, passing out, weakness.  If He would just give me the energy to enjoy the gestation of this longed-for baby, I would part ways with Him. 

I don't know how long I pondered that, but eventually I started talking to God about it.  Would You? Please, God?  I just want to enjoy this pregnancy.  I really, really do.  I'm so happy about the baby now.  Finally!  I want to enjoy being pregnant like I did with Liberty and Mercy.  I'll let go of You if You'll do this for me.

What a bargaining tool, right?  Offering God something that would break His heart in exchange for a temporary happiness that would end up breaking my heart?  I suddenly realized how sad God would be to let me go.  Especially after He'd gone to such lengths to establish a relationship with me.  He left Heaven.  Lived life on earth as a lowly human.  Suffered rejection, humiliation, and torture.  Took my sins into His own absolutely perfect body.  Separated Himself from His own trinity and holy nature to pay for my sins with His death.  Fought Satan and the grave to rise again!  And now that I've chosen to trust Him to cover my sins, He's declared me clean and forgiven without me having anything to do with it!  And since I'm clean now, He in His holiness can hang out with me all the time.  He did all that, suffered all that, just to hang out with me because He likes me!

What a slap in the face, that I would be willing to write all that off as insignificant so that I can have a nausea-free pregnancy.

Then I started thinking about my end of that bargain.  I thought about how God had surrounded me in the shower that morning while I cried and prayed.  About how He had loved me and cried with me and just been there.  I thought about the emptiness I'd feel inside without Him in my life.  I thought about who in the world would I smile and joke with when no one else was around and who would I marvel with when I felt the baby kick in the middle of the night while everyone else was asleep?  Sure, I'd feel great, but I'd also be so alone.


The barrenness of going through the rest of my life with wonderful people by my side -- Jeremy, Liberty, Mercy, my family and friends -- but without God in me and around me at all times, felt so empty and lonely.  How would that possibly be worth the trade?

Nevermind!  I told God while I sat there in the church service.  I changed my mind!  And He and I laughed together inside at my foolishness. 

But you know what?  Something amazing happened because of all that.  I never have gotten better physically -- I still vomit usually more than once a day and feel miserable the rest of the day.  I still pass out sporadically.  I still get frustrated when I have to change my clothes at the last minute because I've soiled my current outfit -- but my appreciation of God's presence has drastically increased.  A few weeks ago, I came back to consciousness on the cold tiles of my kitchen floor, and my first thought was a happy exclamation of our inside joke, But You're still with me!

On days when my energy level has dropped so low that I can barely speak above a whisper, and people ask me innocently, "How are you feeling today?"  Inside I'm laughing joyfully, God is WITH me!  Outside, I nod, try to smile, and figure out the shortest truth I can muster past my un-cooperating lips.  Which is usually a naming of the countdown day.  (Today I have 41 days left till the baby is born.)  But underneath it all, there is constant VICTORIOUS JOY! 

I've learned to enjoy this pregnancy whole-heartedly even while vomiting into the closest sink.  It's not really something I can adequately describe to you, but it is certainly concrete and amazing.  What a wonderful gift -- GOD IS WITH ME! 

And I once thought about bargaining Him away from me.  Silly me!
1 Response
  1. Suanna Says:

    God is with you! I'm glad you are finding joy in the midst of the trial of your pregnancy. Thanks for sharing and being a Godly example.

Post a Comment