You’re trucking along, minding your own business and feeling like you’ve got a handle on life. Then, when you least expect it, mist descends on a bend in the road. Your sense of security evaporates, and you hover on the brink of the unknown. My journey into healing is anything but linear, and some days are better than others. And in this journey of becoming more whole, taking each day as it comes, in frustration and in thankfulness, I can be flattened by a bend in the road.
March 15, 2017: For the last two weeks, my exhaustion and moodiness had reached new heights. The nausea and fatigue dragged me from my bed to the couch and back all day long. I told David repeatedly that it was over, I was done with GAPS, it obviously wasn’t working anymore. When my period was late, I decided to cover my bases and take a pregnancy test. I had a feeling it was going to be positive…and it was!
I had been detoxing, resetting mental patterns and coming off most of my medication for months. My naturopath told us back in the Fall that at that point in my healing, there’s no reason we couldn’t have a healthy baby. This possibility was one of the driving forces keeping me on track with my intense regimen.
Even so, this bend in the road was unexpected. If it had been up to me, I would have waited much longer before trying to conceive. I wanted more time to heal, time for David and I to recover from the most tumultuous three years of our lives, time for the creative work and community life that I’ve missed, time to rebuild our finances after the pressure of mounting medical expenses.
Darkness pounced on my vulnerability. My fear and anger raged, coupled with nausea and trying to figure out nutritional balance for baby and me (the only thing worse than throwing up all the time is feeling like you have to throw up all the time and being largely unable to experience the relief of purging your system). There were moments when I was sure I couldn’t have this child. Abortion and adoption seemed like my alternatives.
Peace has come, though at times I’m still terrified. I feel loss because getting well has cost us everything, and the independence I have regained won’t ever be quite the same. I also feel gratitude for greater emotional freedom and learning how to take better care of the body I’ve been given, and that these things will bless our son or daughter. I feel both overwhelmed and equipped to make decisions on their behalf while they are at their smallest, with relationships and resources that I never would have found if I hadn’t been sick.
One of my sisters in faith, Katie Jo, posted an article that sprung my thoughts on becoming a mom unexpectedly after being chronically sick for over a decade. In the article, contrasting superficial spirituality with a heart that admits frailty and enters into suffering when Jesus calls us, Lore Ferguson Wilbert quotes Ann Kennedy: “Don’t be fooled. The woman reaps what she sows. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy, but those who sow the wind won’t get anything back but a destructive whirlwind on the last day.”
We have known much of weeping. In addition to my illness, our baby is due exactly one year to the day David’s father left this earth. There is purpose in every bend in the road. Sowing through our tears, we are reaping a song of joy.