Thursday, March 21, 2013

Waiting for Joy

In a waiting time. In a holding pattern. A perfectly round, empty sac within my womb. A quiet miscarriage, with little of the external drama, but plenty of internal angst, which I have found I can only sooth by talking some, writing a great deal more, and maybe eating more than anything else.

Because of the upheaval of this experience, I have broken and recovered over and over all sorts of Lenten promises and disciplines, and continue to pick myself up, with the words of many of my confessors in my mind: keep on. Continue as you would, in spite of failure. Giving up is not an option. Be compassionate to yourself as you would others--one gives way to the other.

I am still waiting--for the end of this trial, for what lessons it holds, for what lies ahead. I have hope for what lies ahead, but am ever-wary of my limitations, of the noonday demons which weigh me, drown me in self-pity. I’m shaking them off. I’m looking for the silver lining, as they say. For the joy that I do have in my life. I’m still apprehensive of the pain to come, but I have at least made peace with it, and not with a platitude kind of joy--not cheap joy.

Cheap joy is too empty.

In the meantime I see many women beautifully round with child, expectant for something joy-filled, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I envied this. Tempered with reality and mercy, serendipity comes my way in the form of a *young* couple, homeless, with a six week old. I held this little boy, this little bit of warmth and wriggling, tending to his comfort and alleviating his mother during our IHN host week. In a way, this little man’s vulnerability was like mine. We sheltered him and his young parents, but I wondered what would become of him in the long run, and prayed over him as I fed him his bottle.

I guess in a way I prayed over my uncertainty, too. Sometimes we’re forced to live with ambiguity. In it, we might find the strangest joys--bittersweet, unexpected, but certainly NOT CHEAP.