It is one thing to have my trust in God restored slowly over time through moments spent with him, through Brennan Manning, through the Word, and through prayer– and quite another to have my trust in life and people restored.
Though it is neither your fault nor your sister’s fault the pain I have gone through because of the love of you, I still feel at fault for having been fool enough to love.
I have been burned badly by love. I have before now, and especially this year. I feel ashamed and foolish to have loved you so deeply, and yet how could I have done otherwise? How can anyone go through life without love?
I have deeply loved friends who clearly did not love me the same. I am a fool.
I have deeply loved family who have hurt me. I am a fool.
I have deeply loved places I have had to leave behind. I am a fool.
I tend not to guard my heart as well as perhaps I should. I am a fool.
And yet where is the balance? I cannot do anything other, lest I go through life without love and without friendship, without the reciprocation that occasionally comes as a result of giving your heart unabashedly to others.
And who can fault me for my love of you? How would they dare? And yet who can fault me now for my cautious love of your sister, whom I long to love with an unabashed fury even as she kicks my insides mercilessly to remind me “I am here! I am alive! I am yours.” I want to love her with all the furious pent-up love I have suppressed since the day I lost you.
But if this horrible year has taught me anything, it’s that love hurts like hell. Hell has surrounded me and beat down my doors. It has made me a fool.
Even now I still want to love. I ache with the love of those who have broken my heart. This includes you, Rowan, though it’s not your fault.
Philosophically, theologically, love does not end. Love is mightier than hell, than brokenness, than foolishness, than hurt. Love extends beyond death. Love is greater than faith and hope. Love created the world, love created you, love created your sister, love has both of you wrapped in its arms when my own love cannot hold you. And I am beloved, and I am invited to love unconditionally too.
I long to. Christmas is coming, and my advent devotion reminds me over and over that love is the reason Christ came as a baby. For God so loved the world, that he gave his son. It’s never been more pertinent or more painful to me. That tiny infant entered the world in a dirty cave to begin the work to wipe these tears from my eyes and the eyes of other mothers who have lost their babies. To begin the work of restoring the world to what it once was. To make the way for me to see you again.
Your due date is also coming. It’s so soon. I think, as I am surrounded by Christmas decorations, how I was supposed to be 38 weeks pregnant with you now. And it hurts, and it makes a mockery of the bright happy Christmas songs and the materialism of Christmas shopping, and changes forever how I will see this holiday.
But to feel keenly the loss of you again, as your due date approaches to mock me, is easier around Christmas, I think. Because of that hope that’s tied up with Christmas. That promise that God, who gave up his son to the world because of love, will reunite me with mine one day. That, Lord willing, your sister will tear down ornaments from this tree with her 8-month-old hands next year. That love made a huge fool of itself, abasing itself to human form, to free me to love and be made a fool of too.
I am a fool. I am a fool if I love, and a fool if I don’t. It hurts, it’s exhausting, it’s lonely. It’s me, alone in the darkness, without you, but with your sister kicking me and giving me hope that I will one day hold her and love her and make my foolishness worth it in the end. But for now it all just hurts, here in the middle of it, and I feel like a fool.
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, Part Fifteen, Part Sixteen, Part Seventeen, Part Eighteen Part Nineteen, Part Twenty