Monday, September 23, 2013

Carry You

It was April 20, 1989; Twenty-four years ago.  Yet, my heart still aches.  Something will trigger the memory and the pain wells up like a newly formed wound that will take forever to heal.  Or, maybe will never heal.  It’ll leave a scar for sure.  Scarred; that is how I feel.  Scarred for life.  Scarred about life.  Scarred from life. 

Today it was a song; “I Will Carry You.”  I started the day asking God to answer my whispered prayer.  I didn’t expect him to rip open an old wound.  Is that really how you answer prayer, God?  Thanks a lot!   

Why?  Why today of all days did God decide to have me read that story and listen to that song that brought twenty four years of mourning into this morning:  This regular everyday morning when I was just going about my everyday business praying my everyday prayers. 

Six.  That is the magic number.  Six babies.  Six little souls.  Six huge gaping wounds.  The one wound is the gapiest I guess.  It’s that way because the others were so young.  They barely made it to three months old.  Hardly a baby after all!  I did feel them, though.  I felt them stir.  Maybe I just imagined it, but I know they were a part of me in my heart and in my soul.  God blessed me with them.  He asked me to carry them.  I said yes.  Then, like some mean hateful revengeful...I don’t know - he took them away.  All of them.  The one I remember most was the one that made it past three months.  That one was going to make it all the way.  I just knew it. 

Does God empty you completely so that He can fill you up again?  Is that what He was doing?  He sure did a good job of emptying me.  He emptied me of my joy.  He emptied my soul.  He emptied my uterus.  I didn’t love Him then.  I didn’t trust Him then.  I didn’t turn to Him then.  I didn’t want any part of Him then.  I wanted my babies.  They were mine! 

The first five were barely a flicker in my eye.  The doctors were so cavalier about the whole thing.  “Oh,” they’d say, “There had to be something terribly wrong with the baby.  It’s nature’s way of taking care of things.”  Nature’s way!  Really?  Every time I left the office feeling so completely empty and I couldn’t explain it to anyone.  Not to my husband.  Not to my family or friends.  Not to God. 

I’m not going to lie.  I’m not going to sugar coat this.  I’m not going to say that I didn’t scream and cry and shout and raise my fist to the heavens and curse the God that asked me to be the mother to these precious souls and then cruelly snatched them out of my life.  I had no one.  No one understood my pain.  No one understood my loss.  No one understood the depths of my emptiness.  Not you and not God.

I carried the bitterness like the yoke that it was.  I carried it on my shoulders.  I carried it in my heart.  I carried it in my head.  I carried it through my life as it burdened every part of every day for twenty four years.  The yoke of unforgiveness.  I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t.  I didn’t know how to forgive myself for being the terrible mother I was.  What kind of mother would...what kind?  What kind of mother would drink a beer knowing that she has a precious life inside of her?  What kind of mother would sand furniture, paint the house, speed in the car...what kind of mother!  What kind of mother was I!!  I was a lousy mother!  I couldn’t keep them safe!  I didn’t save them!@  I wanted to keep them safe and well and happy and I wanted them to live.  What kind of mother was I@!  I could not forgive myself.  EVER!

Today.  Today I prayed that God would answer my whispered prayer.  I didn’t even know what my whispered prayer was.  I asked Him when he would answer it.  He said now.  I said, “I don’t see it.”  He said, “That’s because you are not looking.”  I’m looking now.  I’m looking at the words my fingers are typing and I’m listening to the song “I Will Carry You.” 

There were photographs I wanted to take.  Things I wanted to show you.  Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes.  Who could love you like this?  

I will carry you...I wanted to carry you not just in my womb.  I wanted to hold you in my arms as your heart beat in rhythm with mine.  But I know now my precious little babies that I did carry you then and now.  I carry you all in my heart and my soul.  Thank you God for the short time that you blessed me with my little angels.  The silence has brought me to your voice, God.  I’m listening.  I will no longer carry the yoke of unforgiveness.  I’m forgiven.  You have them in your arms and I know I will see them and hold them and carry them soon.  Until then, thank you God for CARRYING ME.