The past few weeks, I’ve heard a little bit of bad news here, had a minor disappointment there. On the whole, we are in a good, happy, fruitful place, but eventually these things started to weigh on me, and I began to feel something that bordered on down.
I knew the best thing to do would be to pray, but I also realized I’d been kind of avoiding prayer lately. I was still going to Mass, saying rosaries with John, and trying to fit in my structured prayer routine. When I was honest with myself, though, I knew that I was going through these motions without investing my heart in them.
The first thing I had to do was figure out why. Again, I came back to my beloved prayer, “Love and Fear”:
There are only two feelings. Love and fear.
There are only two languages. Love and fear.
There are only two activities. Love and fear.
There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks,
two results. Love and fear.
Love and fear.
—from “A Common Prayer” by Leunig
The truth is, despite my growing belly, my appetite, my moodiness (well, maybe in conjunction with my moodiness), and my recent cleaning rampage, I still don’t really believe this pregnancy is going to result in a healthy child in my arms this winter. I find myself biting my tongue when making plans for a few months, or even weeks from now. Will I still be pregnant then? I have no reason to believe I won’t, and yet part of me is having trouble letting that hope live.
For some reason, giving my grief and pain to God with Ethan was relatively easy. I was so beyond any semblance of control that I had nothing left to hang on to. Now, I am clinging to something I really can’t hold on my own. My head can see this, but my heart isn’t convinced.
I won’t pretend that self-reflection is as easy as I make it sound here. I should mention that this revelation of sorts came not through one big ole’ prayer session, but through many single moments of prayer thrown up to God throughout the days. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.” “Your will, not mine.” “I know you know better than I do; help me figure this out.”
Determining what it was that made me feel distant brought me a step closer to God, for sure. But He wasn’t finished yet. Over the weekend, I had an idea, a good one, I think, involving my work. It is nowhere near fruition, and honestly, the chances of success are slim. And yet I was so willing to give it a shot, I so believed in it, in what God might be doing through it, that I jumped right in. I’ve gotten a positive response thus far, and that’s enough right now.
I spend a lot of time trying to keep myself in check, reminding myself that my work does not define me. Still, it is encouraging that God chose this way to show me how to trust in Him again. If I can trust Him in the little things, I know I can trust Him in the big things.