I am someone who loves to feel clean. I wash my hair everyday even though I know how bad it is for your hair. I put on lipstick even if I’m not leaving home. I swear lipstick makes me more productive. These are things none of the hospital staff know about me because day after day at the hospital has made me look wildly neglected. My hospital gown is awkwardly soaked with breast milk and I have no motivation to put on a new one. My hair is so greasy it doesn’t look blonde anymore. I haven’t brushed my teeth in days. My eyes are bloodshot from the lack of sleep. My skin is sad and severely lacking in vitamin D.
With tears I tell Nathan, “I feel like someone took my body away from me.”
My picture of the future is erased: colorless, blank, and unknown. These complications are ruining me, hollowing me out and leaving me breathless. I want to be with my baby, but feel like there is no me left to be with him.
I’m honest with God about how I feel. Most of my prayers are composed of elegant demands like “Get me out of here” and “God, I hate this” and, most often, “Help me.” God is patient with me through it all. He doesn’t need me to be strong. He just wants me to come to him.
In small glimpses of clarity, I see him watching over me. He knows my tears. He feels my sadness. I may not understand what’s happening, but I know he loves me. He has not forgotten me. He is watching over Nathan and Henry, too.
Maybe I need my future to feel erased. Maybe I need to be emptied of my expectations. I too easily put my trust in what I can control, what I can make happen. Maybe I need to know the truth: I cannot make anything happen with certainty.
I see God with his arms open toward me. He gives me all of himself. He gives me Jesus—for all eternity. He alone is enough for me. Even if my body is never the same, even if every earthly blessing is taken from me.
I will always have hope—even in this darkness.