If you were to go into the Drafts folder of this blog, you’d find the following:
1. “The reality of day to day life, this challenge of just living, is nothing like what I expected. After ten years and two kids, I’m just now becoming the mom I had always hoped to be. I more often punt the evening meal duties to my husband than actually prepare the delicious recipes I’ve Googled. My house is in a constant state of half-completed projects, partially cleaned rooms, and general chaos.
There are empty picture frames hanging on my wall because I only got as far as choosing and hanging the frames. Really.
2. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalms 34:18
I’ve found myself over the last year and a half frequently in a recurring situation. I’m sometimes with one other person, at other times a group, and there’s a moment, a pause, that I have the opportunity to fill with prayer. Thankfully no one has ever come right out and said, “Amy, I’m going to stop praying, and I want you to pick it up from there.” Instead, the other person will say something along the lines of, “Let’s pray,” they’ll pray for a couple minutes, and then they’ll sit, silent, waiting. This is where I pretend we’ve now moved into the silent prayer portion of our time together and wait what I feel is the appropriate amount of time before saying “Amen,” and breathing a sigh of relief. Group prayer is slightly less fear inducing, but as I stand in the circle of friends in silence with eyes closed, I often find myself quietly praying that at least one other person will also refrain from joining the chorus of prayers.
3. “Yesterday I saw someone mention on Facebook that Kate Middleton was suffering from HG (hyperemisis gravidarum) again, an announcement that accompanied the royal family sharing with the world that she is expecting her second child. My heart sank, but I clicked away, not wanting to have that moment at that time. This morning the HER (Hyperemisis Education and Research) Foundation shared this article: Kate Middleton Suffering From Hyperemisis Gravidarum. What Does It Mean? and I rejoiced that as a result of the Duke and Duchess’s suffering, more people will begin to understand the devastation of HG, and more women will be able to find the treatment and compassion they need.
But at the same time my heart broke knowing what Kate has been feeling for the last two months.
There was a moment in an elevator full of people ten years ago when I turned to my husband and I said, “We’re never doing this again.” I had survived an entire pregnancy of debilitating illness, my 8 weeks premature daughter had made it out of the NICU after three weeks of roller coaster days and sleepless nights, and now we were in the thick of what would in many ways come to define my first year as a parent – appointments with specialists. On this particular day we had met with the geneticist who was attempting to rule out a laundry list of potential genetic disorders. My girl had already cleared the guesses of Downs Syndrome and Fragile X, and further blood work showed only that there were symptoms without answers. The result? Hours of x-rays. Thirteen x-rays that day alone, my naked newborn’s limbs stretched straight as she was pressed onto the cold table. Her skull examined for signs of disorders I didn’t understand. The length of her arms and legs analyzed and discussed in front of me as if this beautiful creature hadn’t formed in my body and shared my life force for seven months.
As we left that day I felt wholly unable to face this hell again.
And then my friends began to get pregnant with their second children.
One sad little draft has nothing but a title – “My Fantasy Life.” I have no idea what that post was meant to be, but apparently on June 10th I felt it was important. For a moment.
The single unifying thread across each of the abandoned drafts in my blog post folder is this – by the time I got to the point where I walked away from the unfinished post, I couldn’t remember why I cared to write it in the first place. For years I found myself so overwhelmed by the urge to write that I would at times yell “blog post” and run to my office, slamming the door behind me, my family aware that they should stay silently away from me until I emerged. On more than one occasion, I blogged with my hair dripping down my naked back, a towel hastily wrapped around me, the words that came to me in the shower needing to escape in tact onto the page, the time it would take to get dressed too risky.
Those moments of urgency have all but disappeared.
Last month I wrote about one of the people I loved most in this life – Alison. I wrote once again from a deep, primal urge to get the words onto the page that have been rattling around in my head and my heart for ten years. Sharing her memory became one last blue-ribbon wrapped gift. The post after hers remains in draft.
This morning while looking through hundreds of Instagram photos to find a specific picture from two summers ago, I stumbled upon a photo I took moments before finding out that a family member was pregnant. I made it from the restaurant to the taxi before the tears began to flow, and I cried the entire train ride from Philadelphia to Baltimore. I stood there this morning looking at my phone in awe of what a difference time can make. Then this afternoon I read yet another pregnancy announcement on Facebook and the tears welled up again. Write it. Get it out. Other people are feeling this and can’t find the words.
But I didn’t want it to be another unfinished draft.
I have no idea what has killed my urge to write. I have restructured my life and my business, carefully, intentionally. I’ve given most of my work day to my church, a decision that I felt called to make. But even after making these tough decisions and changes, I continued to write from time to time. Now it just feels senseless.
This morning while answering emails, I listened again to yesterday’s sermon, which began with this point:
The starting point of GREAT is God.
Pastor Kevin went on to talk about how very few of us are truly willing to make God the focal point of our lives instead of ourselves. There’s nothing quite like writing about your own life every day to solidify that you are, in fact, the center of your universe. And yet saying that I can’t write about my own life anymore because I’ve made God the center of it is not only a pat on the back I don’t deserve, but it’s simply untrue. In fact, my pastor has asked me to continue to write and share my story, now more than ever as my story becomes far less my own and far more God’s.
But here I am, unsure of where my desire to write has gone, missing it, wondering when it will return, and if anyone will still be here to listen when it does.