Yesterday I posted a picture of me gritting through the beautiful mess of attending my first baby shower after my own baby daughter’s unexpected death. It was a story of victory no doubt and about what is really worth fighting for in this heart of mine.
I’m glad I posted it because maybe somebody will get enough courage to do something equally hard in an effort to let God accomplish true healing in their life. That’s what our stories do for eachother. They show us what’s true and possible. What’s hard and worthy. But upon reflection , I worry that you might think I sailed through those rocky seas without taking on any water. I did not. Rookie sailors don’t have the skills it takes to keep a deck dry in that kind of wind force.
Ironically it was the prayer that knocked me off the captains seat. . . Made it impossible to reach the wheel to steer. The time came to pray for this young mother. This young family. This soon to be released life. And my breath stopped as my heart raced and I couldn’t walk toward the circle that I needed to be a part of.
I was a bit paralyzed because I was already there and the most important thing was for my grief not to become a focus of their JOY filled event. I don’t know if she was watching me the whole time or if God told her to glance my way at just that time. But however it happened, my big sister was suddenly there. Somehow.
I can only tell you that she was there and she calmly said ” do you want to come take a break with me? Let’s take a break.” She made it sound like she was already going that way and needed a buddy. She made it sound like no big deal. And she took my hand and walked me to the back hallway. I stopped there.
” I don’t know why I can’t do this,” I said.
“It’s OK, ” she replied.
” I love them and I’m so happy for them,” I choked out.
” I know you are” she said strongly.
” I want to pray for them but I can’t pray with all those people. ”
I can’t explain why that would break me. Why it was too much. Too intimate. Too tender. But it was. So we held hands and we prayed over my dear friends and their precious baby in the hall because I wasn’t strong enough to pray in the presence of others. And I took a deep breath and brushed the water off the deck of my ship, dried off my Captains chair and sat my hiney back on it. It looked like hugging some people I love and taking some goofy pictures.
And my big sister was right. It was OK. And it was Ok to not be Ok. It was OK to come to the shower and OK to not be able to navigate every part of it. Ok to take a break. Ok to break a little bit myself . . . Ok to grab a moustache and get back in the boat.