It would come in waves, this feeling of darkness overtaking me. I would lie in bed, deep in sleep when I felt it covering me, like a heavy hand, pushing me, sinking me, deeper and deeper into an abyss of blackness. I knew whatever it was, whatever was trying to smother me, was evil. And I knew I needed to fight with everything in me to escape it. So I fought to wake up and when I did, I’d be covered in sweat, my heart beating out of my chest, with a fear so intense I could only whisper the name of my Savior. But whisper I did and eventually, my heart would calm, peace would come in and sleep would return.
I was buying a last-minute gift on Amazon, and the kingpin of last-minute gifts at that: a gift card, when I noticed the products at the bottom of the page that were recommended for me. A sterling silver, stamped, cuff bracelet that read “just f***ing do it”. I stared at my laptop with my brows raised and thought “Wow. Just wow.” How far we’ve come in our linguistic talents over the past 6500 years (yes, I’m a young Earther). How am I possibly going to get my 6 year old to stop saying “Crap. Crap. Crap.” when we’re all inundated with much worse language on a daily basis. And, yes, I am thankful that “crap” is the worst in his repertoire at this point. I can only imagine what will come the way of my eardrums as time moves on. Perhaps surgery wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Yesterday, I read a story about a girl. She’s a woman now, but 18 years ago, she was just a girl. A scared, abused, pregnant girl. Pregnant by force; by rape. The horror of that reality often escapes our full understanding. What that must be like. The heartbreak. The anger. The utter despair. She had a choice to make and from every aspect of her situation, the choice was not hard.
Several years ago, I was told about a young woman who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. She was alone and scared. Two children from failed relationships and now pregnant again. No home. No job. No one to help her and not much hope her life would change. Her child would be born into poverty and most likely suffer the affects of drug and alcohol exposure.
Two women. Two babies. The first baby died. The second baby is my son.
Today’s epic meltdown was instigated by icy roads, multiple car accidents, and the forgetting of a blanket. The real problem was the blanket of course, but the icy roads and and ensuing accidents meant we were not returning home to retrieve it. Which led to 20 minutes of screaming from a child and an adult (that would be me), the throwing of all things unattached to his body (that would be him) and then tears. Lots and lots of tears (that would be both of us). As I tried to avoid hitting the person in front of me and simultaneously avoid being hit by objects flying at me from behind, I did not react in any way, shape, or form the way I should have towards the one I’ve been given to love. Some days I really hate Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and today was one of those days.
I have two things to disclose tonight. One, I’m not perfect. Two, I hate that. The end. Except it’s not the end, because the second disclosure is actually quite a problem and one which God has been whittling away at for years.