There is a post it note attached to the bottom of my computer screen these days.
"What would I be Doing if I wasn't afraid? If I had no fear? Only time, faith, hope and love."
Each time I read it, I think: What a great question! Let me think about that.
Usually, the answer is: write. Write my ever loving little heart out.
Sometimes it's on the Dear Birthmother letter, which I admit, is not quite finished, though it's the very last unfinished part of the pamphlet.
And the hardest. It's so hard there aren't any words to describe how far that takes me outside of- not even my comfort zone, but myself, to write that.
Sometimes I just want to hit God over the head with a baking pan, I get so angry at Him for making me go through this. He could not have chosen for me a worse, more unlikely, more personally terrifying path to parenting than domestic adoption.
(I know. It's very irreverent to talk about hitting God with anything, but He knows what I mean.)
Actually, if I were to talk openly about Jesus and not about writing, I would say that He has a habit of sneaking up on me in my unguarded moments and suddenly loving me.
He has to do this, because lately, I've been very guarded with Him and He seems to respect that. I don't know why He would; He doesn't have to.
I wake up in the morning and glare at Him defensively, in a manner of speaking. I feel prickly. I don't want to know that He loves me anyway; it offends my sense of proportion.
But every time I manage to drop the act and simply be my unguarded, awful, prickly self, I feel as if He catches me up in His arms and pours His love all through me.
He's very persistent that way. Eventually He might even wear me down.
Eventually I might give up the act entirely and surrender, in very practical terms, to this idea that He loves me exactly as I am, hidden self and surface self, flesh and blood and spirit and haywire emotions and all.
Sometimes I manage to drop the act entirely and simply be my naked self with Him, but that's very difficult to do. It's so raw.
My heart cracks open and everything pours out; I stop trying to pretend that I feel better than I do. I had a vivid, almost guttural experience of this last month, when I had my period.
I was standing in the shower, watching the blood wash down the drain, like so much waste, wasted life, wasted potential, wasted blood.
I felt as if my body was empty and becoming emptier, bleeding out all that would have warmly held a new creation, something of inexpressible value. Instead, I was being poured out, running down the drain, becoming colder and worthless, tossed aside, an empty chalice.
I gave up trying to fight this crippling pain; I let it flow through me. It went through me in waves of loss, from the deepest part of who I am, outward to the skin.
And the extraordinary thing is that I felt myself to be absolutely suffused by the presence of God. Every breathe I took, I took Him in. Every shudder of pain that I felt went through His own body, it was as if we wore the same open, fragile skin and suffered the same bruised and broken heart.
I couldn't get away from this sensation, any way I turned, any way I moved, I was enclosed and completely filled by God. I kept taking huge, gasping breaths of air, partly because I was crying and partly because the air was just so heavy with Him.
It was beyond words; He said nothing, but I could not escape His silent, complete and irresistible impression upon me. It was the most intimate that I have ever felt myself to be with God.
This has been on my mind lately, because of Valentine's Day, actually.
When I bring this up to Him- what I would consider, a waste of myself as a woman, He sometimes pulls my mind to others who suffer a similar kind of loss of intimate expression, specifically, those that long to give themselves away intimately as a gift to another person, but remain alone, a gift untouched, unopened.
It's a very similar pain, I think. It's a kind of dying of self.
And I won't lie, He sometimes brings this phrase to my mind, an old phrase from my religious background, but still, it fits- He reminds me of the offering of the first fruits- the first, the tender growth of the harvest, which could have been eaten and enjoyed, but instead was offered up, untouched.
And the deepest thing, the most compelling thing, is that it's His own pattern, it's like a reflection of His own life, which also was poured out, emptied, and so He is all through it.
These sorts of tender sacrifices are very close and dear to His heart; inexpressibly so. They have incredible value to Him, though we can't see how or why right now.
Anyway, that is what He tells me. Actually, I never planned on sharing that experience and I don't know how I'm going to publish this blog.
Stupid post-it note.