Pregnancy works such a remarkable number on the mind and the heart and the body. At the end of my days, I would like to know what it really means to carry this little life inside of me and why it is such a struggle (even the best pregnancies have their struggles). Isn't it amazing to think that I am one body full of life, pregnant with another soul . . . this wiggly, little girl that bumps and twists against me throughout the day. This child is full of bursting joy and I feel so happy as she makes herself known to me.
Insomnia has accompanied my last few pregnancies. My mind locks onto an idea or an anxiety and I cannot let it go. Minutes turn into hours and night gives way to day, while I roll around meditating the life out of one thing or another. Tonight is one of those nights. Logismoi is at its worst when I am pregnant.
I had a shock recently. Events from my past, choices I made and have greatly repented and despised have found their way into my present. How and what they are are really unimportant . . . because in the grand scheme of things nothing has changed. My life will continue on as it has with no difference. Nonetheless, it is painful.
Whenever I have had a terrible struggle, my Beloved, has always taken me to church. Whenever I have experienced deep pain at my own hand or by another, he gets me to Vespers and Reconciliation. I know someone out there is thinking, "what an oppressive, jerk!" In reality, God is the only one that can heal this pain. When I first became a Christian, I was seeking shelter. I had broken my own heart through sin and error and bad ideas. I became a refugee of the Church. My husband knows this is the cure for what ails me . . . another reason why I love him fiercely.
So tonight my husband brought me to Peace. He doesn't ever ask if I'd like to go, he just announces that he is going to Vespers and anyone who would like to go needs to be ready in 10 minutes. This saves me from thinking too much about how I am feeling, what I am wearing, the location of my headcovering, etc. Do I want to go, yes or no? Yes. Yes, I want to spend sometime in the quiet with my dear husband. Yes, I want to sit in the darkness of the temple and let the prayers and the incense wash over me. In many ways, I am still a refugee in Christ. There are times when I feel like a half-drowned thing washed up on the seashore, tonight was one of those nights.
I've been home and beginning to walk finally just in the last week or so. Standing for any length of time is excruciating and so I availed myself of one of the chairs that line the wall near where we usually stand. Just closing my eyes and listening to the chanted psalms and prayers is such a gift.
Lord, I cry unto thee:
make haste unto to me;
give ear unto my voice,
when I cry unto thee.
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense;
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
My heart melts whenever I hear Psalm 141. God is merciful and so is my spiritual father. He gave me a chair to confess from. He endured all my blubbering and fear, my poor, illformed confessing with love and gentleness. He reminded me of God's mercy and God's protection. He reminded me of all my blessings and amazing gifts that the Lord has bestowed on me. His reproofs were easy and kind. Truly, our priest is an amazing man.
And yet, even if he weren't, Reconciliation would still be my favorite sacrament.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness;
that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence;
and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Even without a tender confessor, this is God's promise. In seeking absolution, we are not seeking a magical word or a comforting phrase from the priest. The absolution we seek and are so blessed to receive comes from God. If you ever find yourself broken hearted at your own hand, burdened by grief and despair, worn out from worry . . . get to church. Were you to break your arm, you would get to the hospital. When you rent your soul let Christ send his angels to minister to you. Seek absolution; be unburdened.
Pray for me as I seek to give thanks for my blessings and opportunities for humility. The Lord is such a faithful Father. His love astounds me.