Friday, May 15, 2009

Sam and the Savior

I suffered a major meltdown last night.

I was up with my normal pregnancy insomnia, but instead of my usual 3:00 – 5:00 a.m. time, I was awake from 12:30 – 4:30 a.m. My mind was working overtime. I began to obsess on how completely unprepared I am.

I found myself overwhelmed. All I could think about was the state of limbo we are in right now. I still have a lot of packing to do; the house is a wreck, and we’ve barely made any preparations for Sam’s arrival. IN TWO AND A HALF MONTHS!

I was slowly, steadily freaking out.

The anxious thoughts formed barbed wire as they circled tight knots in my head. My mind drifted to my sleeping husband.

I think it’s ironic how the things you love about a person are also the things that can drive you stark-raving mad. For instance, Brett has many wonderful qualities. He’s kind, sensitive, caring, affectionate, and extremely supportive. He’s also very laid-back.

By virtue of being laid-back, one CANNOT also be ambitious, driven, or a go-getter. Those are MY characteristics; that’s why he married ME.

I began to think of Brett’s job search. He’s been looking, but he’s not been !!! LOOKING!!! with the same sense of urgency I would be.

As I sat there, stewing my own juices, I felt a familiar flare-up of anger. At 3:00 a.m., I shook my husband awake. In short order, I informed him he was a rotten provider for his family. I sat up in bed, with my arms crossed, ranting and raving about his shortcomings in the weak morning light.

Brett regarded me carefully though one open eye. He took in my wrath calmly and quietly. When I had run out of steam, I just sat there huffing.

Turning on his side, he propped himself up and opened both eyes. He patted my leg.

“Sweetheart, I am looking. I promise. I’m honestly trying very hard. It might not seem like it to you, but I am.”

He smiled serenely, and I fought the urge to scream.

One does NOT wake one’s husband up at 3:00 a.m., screaming insults, to be dealt with kindly and reasonably. One wakes up one’s husband at 3:00 a.m., screaming insults, to FIGHT with someone, to work off one’s anger until someone storms out and insists on sleeping on the couch.

The fact he was so darn nice to me made me seethe. For about a minute.

Then, of course, I burst into tears as Brett groggily sat up and held me tight.

Out tumbled all my worries.

…our uncertain housing situation, the pigsty/paper explosion state of our home, being ill-equipped for Sam, the fact all three of our furniture pieces are broken (which is inconvenient when you’re NOT pregnant, but downright infuriating if you are. I literally cannot sit down in my own living room.)

Our bed is 21 years old and in horrible condition which I’m 99% sure contributes to my insomnia. I hate that I can’t be comfortable in my own home. There is not even one resting place.

I’ll likely lose my job and insurance in October. What if he’s still unemployed then? And, of course, money, money, money difficulties.

On and on, my troubles just poured out. My big explosion was about Sam’s impending arrival.

“What if we don’t have anywhere for him to sleep ? What if our baby doesn’t even have a room? What if he’s a hobo baby?” I wailed.

Eventually, the sobs subsided to sniffles. The two of us just sat there silent on the bed.

I looked at Brett. His expression was loving, but he didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything to say. He knows he can’t “fix” any of this. It’s just the way it is.

He just hugged me and eventually went back to sleep. I reluctantly lay down next to him. I started to pray God would even out these unpredictable pregnancy hormones. I prayed potently for sleep to come soon. I prayed God would give me peace and guidance and that my mind would be “stayed on Him.”

As soon as my prayers took wing, a thought occurred to me.

“Huh!” I said out loud.

Brett rolled over immediately, no doubt wondering if I was standing by his side of the bed, holding a meat cleaver and whistling the theme to Psycho.


“I was just thinking about Mary.”

“Mary who?”

“Mary the mother of Jesus. I mean, she was on the move when she was pregnant. For crying out loud, she had to ride a donkey! She gave birth in a dirty, nasty stable. Mary didn’t have a baby room all set up. JESUS was a hobo baby!”

“Okay,” Brett breathed out a sigh of relief that I had regained some sense of perspective. In three seconds flat, he was snoring his way to a good night’s sleep.

My mind was still active, as I imagined the profound discomfort of riding a donkey for a long distance while pregnant. Or giving birth in a filthy stable far away from your family and friends.

I had to smile when I thought how no matter where I go into labor, it’s highly unlikely I’ll have to ride a donkey to my destination. And, unless I go into labor at Uncle Bruce and Aunt Louise’s farm, I doubt I’ll be giving birth in a stable.

I know if the foreclosure papers arrive right when Sam’s born, or a week before or a week after, God will provide a place for us to stay. I suddenly realized something else.

This was God’s PERFECT timing. I mean, we tried to have a baby for nine years. There were times of plenty in those years, times without the bleak burden of worry we constantly carry now. God did not choose those times. His timing is RIGHT now.

Sure, from a strictly human perspective, the timing of this baby sucks. But it’s not our timing that matters. I am not privy to the plans of God. I have no choice but to trust Him.

God knows I am a planner, and in His wisdom, He’s taken that control away from me. He’s not allowing me to plan. He’s just asking me to trust and obey. To have that tiny mustard seed of faith.

The definition of faith sang though my mind. Faith is believing in something you cannot see. Faith is sitting where you don’t see a chair. Faith is lying down where you don’t see a bed. Faith is saying goodbye to earthly security and embracing a wild, rambunctious, God-ordained unknown.

FAITH is the lesson we are learning.

Peace flooded through me. I know Christians through the years have experienced this very same moment. This basic, child-like lesson we must learn over and over again.

The Lord brought another thought to mind before I drifted off to sleep.

Brett’s unemployment is ALSO in God’s plan. The fact that Brett has been unemployed has allowed him to come to every single OB appointment, maternal-fetal medicine meeting, and ultrasound.

My doctors and nurses know him by sight, and he knows all the various details of my medical conditions. If I’m incapacitated at any moment, Brett is fully armed with the knowledge to make informed decisions in my best interest.

He’s experienced this pregnancy along with me, and in doing so, has come to love and advocate for Sam with a fervency I hadn’t expected.

We lost Brett’s Jeep in the bankruptcy. At the time, I was devastated. However, sharing the car and riding with each other has been a wonderful bonding experience. We look forward to our shared trips, when before it seemed our cars (and our lives) were compartmentalized into “his” and “hers.”

Now, it’s “ours.” And if that’s not what marriage is about, then I don’t know what is.

My last fleeting thoughts were of the similarities between Brett and I and Mary and Joseph. Between Sam and my Savior.

Like Mary and Joseph, we don’t know where we’ll be or what we’ll be doing when Sam arrives. We don’t know that we’ll have a place to go, but we have to trust God to provide it.

Like Jesus, Sam is being born in an uncertain time and place in our history. But also like Jesus, Sam will be loved by his parents, no matter what the surrounding circumstance.

And, who knows, maybe Sam will be a hobo baby, too.

Eventually, I was able to drift off. To sleep the calm, untroubled sleep of a child of God. I felt nurtured and cared for by my loving Father, almost as if His angels surrounded my bed watching me sleep.

Just like I imagine I’ll watch Sam sleep. Thinking, “I promise to take care of you, child.” Knowing that God carries us both close to His side.

Knowing He’ll take care of both of us. His child and her child.

Rest came easy.


October said...

A very eventful few hours! I'm glad it was resolved.

Alice said...

Great post. So, so true. And even when you're completely prepared, you feel unprepared. Also, the beauty of babies is that they're pretty low key for the most part and don't remember anything. Honestly--you could fix up a cozy laundry basket for Sam, and he'd sleep great and never remember a thing about it. People used to put their babies in (open!) bureau drawers to sleep. Lately, we've had way too high expectations. God is a complete provider--you, Brett, and Sam will be cared for under the watchful eye of our loving Heavenly Father. I'll keep you in my prayers!

a joyful nusiance said...

What a precious post!