I was pregnant with my first baby. Elated. Everything had gone as planned. First try. Textbook trimester. Sonogram at 10 weeks showed a shell of a soul that had died weeks earlier. So then I waited. I waited for my heart, and my body, to let go. To let go of the baby, which I knew was no longer my baby, but was just a body. For nearly two weeks I walked around with this lentil sized baby body inside me. Unlike my usual extroverted self, I found it rough, paralyzing even, to be in public. To the naked eye I was a normal woman with a normal life. Everything on my outside would tell someone that my body was functioning as it was intended. Healthy. Breathing. Moving. Feeling. But I knew. I knew I had been hit by an invisible freight train. I knew, this odd and morbid secret, that there was death inside of me in my very womb. I wanted to shout it. The weight and the burden and the shattering reality. Suddenly I was living in two worlds at the very damn same time. I was in line at the grocery store, carrying paper sacks and bricks of agony. I was putting gas in my car, only to flood tears out faster than that station pump. I went to a wedding. I watched two people I love vow themselves to each other, and I celebrated and I smiled, yet in the very same moment I could hardly fight air into my lungs from the pain of loss.
Two worlds. At the same time. And here I am again. I haven’t lost a baby this time. But you have. She has. They have. Maybe not a baby. Maybe a parent, or a leader, or a lover. Or maybe it isn’t loss of a life at all, defined by beats of a fiery heart, but maybe it’s the loss of a life, defined by freedom, or safety, or ability. Maybe its simply the thing which you thought would be, should be, is just…not.
And we feel the nearness of our Rescuer. We dance in church aisles and devour His words and laugh at his goodness. We enjoy dinners and drinks and destinies and dreams. We cheer loud at soccer games and sing loud at concerts and snort loud over a funny joke . We can take a breath and inhale the gifts and exhale the gratitude like it is the easiest thing we have ever set out to do. It is heaven. Here. And it is light. The burden is light. But then there’s the heavy. The jaded. The fall. All of the creatures who groan in unison for that eternity thing. The thing we all know down deep in our soul, the thing that began us. And we groan. We groan for wrongdoings. Groan for the answers. Groan for the end in which answers aren’t needed.
And here we are in one moment bearing two hands carrying two burdens. We are blessed but we are bent. We are free but we are not finished. And while this body is His hands it is not at all our home.
I try to make sense of it, the two burdens, to reconcile them. Instead I learn to rest in them. To rest in all His goodness I get to taste on this side, and to long, to painfully and tirelessly long for the more. For the return. For the “as it should be”. For eternity.
And I swing from light to heavy and from laughing to crying and all the while His eyes are locked into mine and He sways with me. He weeps and He laughs and He groans for the day when our bodies can function without death inside of them, in our very bones. When there is one reality, with one burden, and it is only light and it is only love and it is only right. And it is coming.