Do I Really?

Friday, January 8, 2010

The deep depression I experienced after Piper has made me consider more this time how much I need to be connected. I've been on my guard against it, taking my pills, using some gentle hormone therapy. The writing is a guard as well, a way to push out of the anxiety, put swirling thoughts down, get things out of my system. I try to remember so I don't forget the ones I love this time, so I don't miss them.

The thought crossed my mind yesterday, "do I really love God?"

I spend so much time thinking about Him, I must at least have a crush. But just as with my crushes, I am reluctant to come out and say it, say that I love God. It sounds funny coming out of my mouth.

I hardly say that I love my husband sometimes. I get embarrassed.

But sometimes when the days are hardest and nothing seems to be going right, I look up, and there he is Pete giving, or doing, or being - a good and perfect gift God told me he was long before I fell in love with him - and my heart would explode if I didn't at least whisper to him of my love.

And I've been saying it a lot lately.

I wonder if he will be there when we come out of these early days with little sleep and lots of change. I know neither of us will be the same. I think many people just live their way through this and accept the changes that come. We think about it as we go, though, and cling a bit harder to what we were.

But we're parents of two now. Last night, Piper was in her own bed for a while, and for a few short minutes before sleep claimed us, Pete and I laid together and held one another without a baby in between. I felt like a married woman.

How does a woman go about being a helpmeet for her husband when there is a new baby in the house, when her heart is going through so much, when she feels fragile and shell-shocked and uncertain? When he is at work and she is at home, when the babies have needs even at night, how does she make a place for him, give him the life she longs to give?

I realize I have been unconsciously setting me aside; I am afraid to need my husband - he is doing so much, and I want to offer him a place to rest that seems impossibly out of reach. But oh that ache for him that is constantly there...

I think it is something like the ache I know for God sometimes when He seems far away, the one that draws me near to Him to look up into His face for a moment, just to be sure of Him.

My love is so very limited in its scope. God Himself is love; how can I expect that any real love would be comprehensible, reproducible? No, I think the only love I can have - for God or for my husband or for my children or for anyone in my life - must come by way of His Spirit in me, and I wonder if perhaps I will never be able to define the why or the how behind it all.

Today, I'm okay with that.

I'd rather be in survival mode with a little God-wonder left than fighting it out with the anger and empty I've lived before.

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


Maureen said...

You ask some difficult-to-answer questions, Kelly, questions that I remember thinking more than two decades ago when my only was born, premature and needing, and I got run down with giving to all but me and wondered where any more energy would come from. The energy eventually came by staying connected -- to heart, to my only, to him, to Him -- mostly in little snatches, snatches that were enough because they carried love.

"Our hands imbibe like roots, / so I place them on what is beautiful in this world.// And I fold them in prayer, and they / draw from the heavens/ light." ~ "Like Roots" from Love Poems From God by Daniel Ladinsky

Becky Thompson said...

Oh Maureen said, you ask the tough questions. I know I asked myself those same sorts of questions when my second was born - he was a colicky baby who demanded so much of both of us. It took a while, but we made it through...and you will, too. Hugs and prayers from one momma to another.

Glynn said...

I think He wants you to need Him, Kelly, not unlike the fact that Pete wants you to need him, too. In our case, the change with #2 made us better -- but it was change.

Carrie said...

Yeah, these weeks of change & craziness are so hard on a family- I remember the change from 'just the 2 of us' to 3 of us being harder on our marriage, but still - there is not nearly enough time to give to our husbands, and I hate asking for help, too, just like you said. I'm praying for you - we've got a few weeks down, and only a few more crazy weeks to go, right? I'm glad you're hanging in there - your posts are always such an encouragement to me!

S. Etole said...

seeking Him with our whole heart we are found

Jessica said...

OH, this sounds so familiar! And not only in the first several crazy weeks after new babies... it happens to me quite often, especially since Jeremy is often out of town. I feel at times like I demand so much of him, and then at other times like there is so much I want to give him that I can't always manage. I have to realize sometimes that I cannot play the part of God in my husband's life, nor is he meant to be God in mine. Our love and our energy is so limited; it can only be up to Him to fill the aching empty spots in us both.

I thank God that we were created for each other, to be the primary agents of fulfilling each other's needs (with God working through us), but that we are not the ONLY or most important source or fulfillment that we each have.

(Here I am, preaching to myself again. I love commenting on your posts because they help me to work out these questions in my own mind. :-) Great post!!)

livingpalm said...

I just wanted you to know that I've been reading your blog for a short while. I am hearing you. I am a mother of four -- all born within six years of each other. They are teenagers now (which places a whole new kind of need on my husband and me). That's all I have to say for right now...I am listening.

Corinne said...

I have to agree with Glynn, everything he said.

The change to 2 was hard on us, but like Glynn, it made us better. It took time... but we're better for it. You're pulled in so many directions, and want to go to them all. But sometimes you need to hold tight, feel like that married woman, feel like the daughter, and know that you will be a better mother for that. (if that makes any sense...) Be well, friend.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

These words resonate. At first, as I was reading, I thought: "Oh yes, I felt that way with my second child, too." And then, as I continued to read, I thought: "No wait, I still feel this way at times."

The embarrassed I-love-yous; the surprise of feeling like a married woman; the setting of self aside ... All of it.

Once again, you put a voice to things that are deep within me. I thank you for this.

Deidra said...

I think it's beautiful that God chooses to use marriage as a model for us to see that represents God's relationship with His church...the body of Christ. Our struggles, our crushes, our embarrassed expressions of a love that even we sometimes just don't understand. And then those glimpses of the rightness of it all and the longing for more of that.

You've shared your heart well. You are loving well. You are doing it.

deb said...

hugs, Kelly.
And go easy on yourself.
I thought of you when I posted yesterday.
I had no idea of anything , when I had five , one after the other.
but that I loved.
and in the stops and starts and dark and light
here I am
here we are.
and it is good.

dawn said...

I just want to say hi...I stumbled on your blog and inspired to read it just on fact that you quoted Madeleine L'Engle on your home page. I am actually headed to read "A Wrinkle in Time" with my 9 year old and will be back to read more of your blog soon.


Anonymous said...

*THANK YOU!* for visiting and encouraging me, Kelly!!! I am in a growing season with God, so I waffle between feelings similar to yours and euphoria~what a rush and then CRASH! LOL! I am finding LOTS and LOTS of encouragement in the writings of Sally Clarkson. (((((HUGS))))) sandi~praying for you this minute!

Anne Lang Bundy said...

If a small baby could articulate their love for a parent, would it sound much different from this, Kelly?

I'm smiling ...

Denise said...

found you through erin.

you are beautiful.

this post was me. my kids are now 11,10,7, and i'm still reminded everyday of the miracle that- i survived them being little, me being depressed, missing God, missing my husband.
i wish me now could have gone back and told me then that there are way's God is taking shape in your heart, mysterious beautiful ways that you can't see now, but He Is here- moving, growing, knowing, seeing, lavishing his love on you. i wish i would have known that i was falling deeper in love with my husband. i was so dependent on him, so sad for all he had to do, but it's who God made him for me, God was shaping us both. i love him more today than ever. he loves me more. surviving that looonnggg season made us more beautifully united than i imagined we could or would be.
and i wish i could have told myself the kids will be fine. God's got them. because of all this he is shaping and molding not only you, but your family to be more dependent on Him, and on each other. a gift that in the long run far out ways all we had to endure.

may God magnify his mercy on you!

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