well...i suppose i should be thrilled it's THE BIG DAY considering the effort we put into decorating our house and the time invested in creating world-class costumes and buying enough candy to feed a third world country.
but it was supposed to be THE BIG DAY for other reasons...and i laid in bed this morning while the sun streamed in through the blinds...and felt numb.
and it was at that moment that i pulled the plug on wednesday morning women's bible study. forever. i just can't do it anymore. my husband used a disappointed tone in his voice when he noticed i wasn't getting dressed. i'm even a little disappointed in myself.
yet, call me a failure. i'm too numb to care. failure, after all, is becoming a pretty constant emotion these days anyways. so what's one more notch against your psyche...
the "small" group is too big. it feels too impersonal for what i withstand as i walk through the doors. fine, if it were truly a small group with 10 or less women in it, who could really GET to know me and me get to know them, then i'd possibly be able to calculate and accept the cost-benefit of being there. and the stakes are so high when i walk into those doors. and as of this morning, i decided the stakes just weren't paying off.
not that you go to bible study for a pay-off.
but i can't even focus while i'm there.
there are boobs flying around for public breast-feeding marathons....
there are car seats.
there are newborns.
there are diaper bags stationed between EVERY SINGLE folding chair.
then there are the prayer requests. and the conversation pieces.
and the SECOND the last "amen" is said, it's a race to pick up the children from the nursery upstairs. it's LUNCHTIME! playdate TIME! feeding time! NAPTIME!
and i'm literally left standing in an empty room....with a lump in my throat....and with my arms feeling exceptionally empty....
i really tried.
i really really tried.
but i just sit there, fighting back tears the entire time....and the LAST THING I WANT is to make "the confession" to 20 ladies....and never have the one-on-one time to really make the confession worth it. THIS IS MY PRIVATE HELL. this is my SEX LIFE. this is me laying spread eagle on a cold table twice a week and me having my VEINS blown out from the countless blood-drawings and me SPENDING EVERY LAST PENNY.... this is my suffering intensified to a degree i didn't know could be sustained for so long.... and i'm just NOT that thrilled to burst into tears about it in such a public setting, when, that particular time slot doesn't allow for it, and would PROBABLY only serve to make all the nursing mothers uncomfortable. wide-eyed and awkward. (if you're a young mother out there -- please tell me if i haven't given you enough of a benefit of a doubt. what would your initial response be?)
at first thought, even a stranger's shoulder to cry on for 5 minutes would feel nice. but then, i'd go home....and recognize my situation hasn't changed, and then there'd be one more person out there in this world who is going to avoid certain subjects with me, skim over the precious details in their lives in an effort to protect me, cross me off the dinner-party list of couples who all have children, and feel flustered by the overall subject in general.
there is a tuesday night small group i go to now....as well. and by small....it's 5 girls. it's not so....corporate. and one of the girls is a nurse and has already offered to do my "biggie" injections on a nightly basis if/when i ever take the inevitable leap into IVF-territory. i have NO PROBLEM breaking it down and getting vulnerable in a living room, over hot tea, when two hours has been allotted. huge difference. there are relationships there. the kids are at HOME. (actually, none of these 5 girls has kids, though one is 15 weeks pregnant...and i hesitate to make my revelation out of the desire to NOT have her feel uncomfortable.)
and i'm slowly getting into a pattern of doing coffee/tea with women one-on-one. that is the best spiritual bang for your buck out there. in my life anyways. truly hearing one person at a time...and being heard in the same manner. and that works for me very well.
so there ya go.
only time will tell as to whether it was a mistake or not. i'm just not that strong. and whatever strength i do have is carefully allocated to face the things in life i CANNOT change. this bible study issue...i can change.
but bumping into double strollers....
and having baby magazines accidentally delivered to my house....
and photographing a shotgun wedding where the bride is 7mths pregnant and her mother has her non-stop rants about her OUTRAGE regarding this pregnancy on the phone to me countless times...
and getting my blood drawn at the fertility clinic while the girl next to you tells her nurse she got her POSITIVE BETA TEST LAST FRIDAY...(woohoo!)...
and attending the string of baby showers...
those are the moments i cannot change.
...and you just cannot be that strong....all the time...
i'm emailing the pastor's wife who runs it up....to let her know. and i plan on fully explaining it. and i anticipate she'll be so loving and sweet and understanding. i really do. and bailing on it does make me feel a little bit better.
and that's the scariest part of all.
there's always peace when you stop fighting.
the fight is so hard.
no matter what the sin-battle in your life is...there is such reprieve from the mental war when you simply give in and indulge yourself in sin. (is this sinful? I DONT KNOW)
when you've made your decision to give up. the struggle seems to be over...and you've laid down your sword...and forfeited your conscience and decided to quit. of course you're going to feel better. ....right before you feel worse. sin wouldn't be so attractive if there wasn't a very pleasurable element attached to it.
where is the line between self-preservation/boundaries and alienating/isolating yourself.
at what point do you stop feeling like a martyr for your cause...and...withdraw.
at what point do you stop torturing yourself and pull back to lick your wounds...
i don't know.
i really don't know.
i do know there is nothing about our flesh worth preserving.
these trials are proof of His effort to purify us...of ourselves.
why do we strain so hard to protect our hearts from the pain, when we recognize the power behind it.
why do we recoil at the notion that others will...watch us suffer.
there is nothing in my sinful head that is of any eternal value.
"self-preservation" certainly wasn't in Jesus' vocabulary.
He gave. and gave. and gave. and gave.
He preserved nothing but His dependency on the Father.
not even His own life.
even so... i just can't do the Bible study today.
the strength escapes me...
and for the record...
...i don't feel sorry.