I see you, friend – you who think you are just way too much to take and somehow simultaneously not even close to being enough. See, you and me, we may have been cut from the same cloth. The shears have torn our souls in the same places.
I see you trying to hold it all together in the middle of it all falling apart and running through the spaces between your fingers. I see you staring at the mess and thinking that somehow, the falling apart was your fault, that somehow you’re to blame.
I see you wondering how you can get through another day of the hardness of life when you know there is beauty up ahead.
I see hope’s flame dance in your chest as you read that challenge to be bold and declare your dreams right there in screen-lit white and black. I see you type and delete, type and delete, and I see doubt’s smug grin as the flame flickers, dreams choked back, words unsaid.
But that smoldering wick? He won’t snuff it out.
I see you living your brokenness brave in redemption and wondering when the final pieces will fall into place and you’ll walk even more fully in your calling.
I see you and my heart is heavy for you, for me, for all of us who feel like we’re stuck. We used to think we were marching right on into Canaan, but the journey hasn’t gone just how we’d planned, and we know we’re out of Egypt, but we’re pretty certain our sandals haven’t touched the Promised Land yet either.
And I’m choosing to believe – for you, for me, for all of us – that we’re not stuck. I’m choosing to believe that these are the final stages of labor. I’m choosing to believe that we are just one or two hard pushes away from delivering destiny.
I did not birth my baby the way my body was designed to deliver her. Just as I neared the final stages of labor, my body got stuck. It refused to cooperate. All had looked so promising, and then, in a moment, it did not. I remember 17 hours of contractions being gone in an instant and 60 minutes of waiting for an OR to open up and being prepped for surgery lasting an eternity. I remember counting seconds that I would have sworn had stood completely still, waiting for my child to be pulled from my body, and I remember time actually seeming to move in reverse as I waited to be sewn together and wheeled to her side.
Those 60 minutes of waiting and surgery prep? They were the longest, and they were the loneliest. All I could think was: I’m stuck. I’m out of options. This baby has to come out right now, and I can’t force her out…which means they have to force their way in to bring her out. Or we will both die.
I had tumbled down into the dreadful dark of night and the voices surrounding me, speaking love and strength and encouragement were muffled echoes at best.
If I could go back and do one thing differently in those 60 minutes, I would have opened my strangled throat and told my people just how terrified I was. I would have begged them not to leave me until the nurses barred the door. I would have asked them to hold onto me and pray for me and I would have wept and flailed and I’m guessing one of them would have grabbed my hand and told me that we were almost there. That we were mere moments from the beauty I’d been waiting for all this time.
Instead, I sent them all away. And I lay there in darkness as time stood still.
I see you, friend, and I will not let you lie here in darkness. I will not let you believe the lie that you are stuck. I will grab your hand, and I will tell you that you are almost there. You are mere moments from the beauty you’ve been waiting for all this time. And yes, those moments may be filled with peril and pain and labor, but you do not labor alone. And you do not labor in vain.
In a little while, dear one. You are almost there.