This post is a two-fer. First, I celebrate a personal progress milestone in the infertility story. Second, I offer some small talk tips in the event that I made you more socially anxious about conversations with strangers due to my story in part one.
For those tracking my blog over the last week, you might be noticing a trend by now: infertility. Words keep tumbling out from me. And I think that’s going to be a thing for a bit. I’m in process of naming a lot of things. This is helping me feel sane (even if it makes you worried about me), so I’m keeping on with this adventure. If you’re bummed you missed the last posts that started this theme, you can find them here and here.
So, why all this infertility writing? I want the freedom to choose a different story, to be able, with God’s help, to resurrect life from ashes. In order to do that, I think I need to name the dream being incinerated and the pain of watching it go up in flames.
I’ve been talking about the death of the dream of biological children. And, how do we grieve death? We tell stories. We share what a person was to us — their quirks, charms and foibles. We mourn what we know we lost and also what could have been.
Sitting in a coffee shop writing a few weeks ago, I glanced up to see a man lightly brush his companion’s shoulder as they sat side by side on stools facing out the window upon the street. A quick and small gesture. She glanced up, met his eyes, and a smile passed between them. Delighted recognition. Noticing their brief reverie felt like trespassing. And as quickly as the touch came, the moment passed and they went about their respective computer work. Even as they went back to their own tasks, a little thread of contented connection lingered between them. It was a sweet scene to witness — not saccharine nor an obnoxious public display of affection.
God met me this weekend. Last week as I was preparing to speak with my pastor for the first time, I was highly nervous. Part of that was a struggle to discern what God had to say to me in the topic. So, I asked a few friends to pray that God would show me what the message was for me.
Well, God delivered. Not what I expected. Not anything related to the topic I was speaking on. But, over the past two days, I’ve had one of the most powerful God moments of my life. I’m overwhelmed. I even started writing poetry again for the first time in ten years (Meme, if you’re reading this, you’ll probably be thrilled about that, though the poem itself is rusty and clunky. Further, no, I’m not showing it to anyone at this point, possibly ever.).
It all began with communion Sunday morning.
Earlier this summer, I noted on Facebook that Chung Hyun Kyung’s book Struggle to Be the Sun Again upset my theological worldview. I found myself asking what it might mean to do theology in my context.
I thought other people “did” theology. They wrote it. I consumed it, looking for “right,” bright and shiny ideas about God. I approached theology as my own reflection about the nature of God. Grounded in the Bible, of course. But largely a private enterprise. Personal. And predominantly, right thinking about God — orthodoxy if you will.
When life happens, I default to writing about it. Well, life happened this week. So here goes another blog post.
My friend Mark passed away this last week after a year and a half long battle with brain cancer. Yesterday, J and I went to the funeral. Today, I am sad. In the midst of the sadness, I also have profound gratitude for the legacy Mark left in my life.