The Race

It’s been a weird journey, and recovery in The Post Emergency C-Section Tunnel is the latest pit stop. My marriage, my motherhood, and my investment as a friend – every aspect of relationship – is in that dark place, the tunnel.

Sometimes I forget that I’m not all the way back. Not by a long shot… But I also cry a lot. Because it’s hard.

I feel like a million bucks in the morning and a million years old by early afternoon; and it’s hard, even though I prayed for this baby and wanted her for all these 7 years. Even when I resigned myself to the possibility that the motherhood part of my womanhood might be a memory and deeply mourned that change, I wanted this baby. But it’s hard, and I cry a lot.

Partially because of something I heard in a sermon recently: Experience reveals our weaknesses. And Hubby and I have never had a baby in our forties…7 years later, like starting over again. It is, in a lot of ways, like being first time parents again. Except, of course, in the ways that it isn’t, like in our being the parents of 3 other kids who’d settled into the reality of a family…of individuals – all with their own significant measure of independence.

Babies don’t want to leave you. This baby didn’t want to leave my womb, ostensibly. Babies want you and want to know you deeply, trust you instinctively, and need you for everything. Every day after birth, this baby will (as all babies do) grow away from her parents. From me. She’ll grow into her own significant measure of independence.

But today, she watched me do everything, and she wasn’t just happy to watch me…as I watched my phone or the tv; No, she wanted to stare into my eyes and imprint everything about me into her soul – my skin with its blotches, and my hair. Today it (the hair) was too messy to be seen pushing her in her stroller, even for the shortest walk. Today there are gray curls where they weren’t when we took the pregnancy test that confirmed she was coming.

Today, Experience has made me afraid of the very things of which I once dreamed, made me doubt the things that I felt anchored me.

But the thing about being at this pit stop of life, about being in the darkness of the tunnel…is you don’t know exactly where you are or, when you’re almost out. You don’t know til the light starts to blind you.

This is one of those pit stops along the race – one with the table full of cups of water and surrounded by the litter of all the people who made it there before you (SEE ALSO, II Timothy 4:7.) And just like in the race you’re envisioning – your 5k or, my half-marathon, you have to realize: It doesn’t matter who or how many made it there before you. It doesn’t matter who’s running beside you, who’s out in front, or who might be drafting you (in the unlikely event that that is even happening)… The race is yours. It’s personal. And the race I’m talking about is the one with a finish line in heaven, where Jesus Christ is Himself the light and there is no darkness, ever.

And this pit stop, no matter how tough a place to abide, has to be viewed in that light…so we keep looking up up toward and, listening for God.