Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Spiritual Rubik's Cube

Years ago, Mom gave me some sage advice:

"When the Spirit talks to you, you need to listen, otherwise he will stop talking to you."

Ever since then, I've tried really hard to follow her counsel.

It's not always easy.

In fact, it usually isn't.

However, it does have it's benefits, peace usually being the main one.

And you can never have enough peace.

I've sorta gotten into a groove with my communication with the Spirit, and when he speaks, I listen and follow. It's usually pretty straight forward: I am going to do something, and it's a bad idea, and he lets me know it's a bad idea, and I veer away from my previous course, and I move on. Peace descends.

This is how it's been for years.

It's a great system.

And quite magical, really.

Well, apparently I was due for an upgrade.

Got a little too comfortable and smug as I am wont to do at times.

So, here's how it went down...

We got the news that Jeremy's Grandpa's health was declining, and that he had six months left to live.

Days later, he was gone.

We got the call, and frantically began making plans to go down to California to attend the funeral.

The creepy-creepies then began rearing their ugly heads.

I had this feeling of awful dread enter my soul.

Why did I feel this way? It was only a funeral, for pity's sake.

But it would go away.

We made our plans anyway, reserving hotel rooms, and calling upon So. Cal. relatives (thank you, Becky!) to let us crash in their home.

And we were all set.

I then began having horrible conversations with myself, waffling back and forth, and since I'm such an emotionally stable pregnant woman, I quickly came to the solution.

Ha ha!

No.

No, I waffled for days.

Why was I waffling? I kept asking myself. Should we all go? No? Just Jeremy? No? No. Yes? Ugh...

I mean, if we're not supposed to go, and I go with that feeling, why do I keep feeling the way I do?

It didn't make sense.

So I did the only sensible thing.

I had a nervous breakdown.

Now, before you say anything, I have to tell you that I was in a constant state of prayer for the four days I was dealing with these complex feelings. But there is only so much God can do with an emotional mess.

Shaking, I texted Jeremy saying that I just couldn't do it, and that I didn't think he should go either, but that it broke my soul to say it, since I knew it meant so much to him.

I then asked him to cancel our reservations, and then I had the job of informing Becky that, just kidding, we weren't coming.

She asked why.

I told her how I felt.

She said I should go with my feelings.

And I cried.

So much.

Jeremy came home from work in a very somber mood.

I was expecting him to be super angry.

He wasn't. Just sad.

And it shattered my heart.

He gathered me into his arms and I cried.

And that was that.

Decision made.

But the feeling didn't leave.

What was wrong with me?

It was like my soul was skipping like a broken record, and I couldn't break free.

Then, after much more waffling, I decided that since the feelings weren't going way, that, dang it, we were just going to go. No more waffling. Just act.

And we did.

The funeral was beautiful, and I knew we needed to be there. It was important.

But that in no way prepared me for the hell we would endure.

Before we left, I had taken all of the things we would need to the back door so we could cart it all up the stairs to the door.

Leah, upon realizing what was happening, started to scream.

And then, in an act of indeterminable solidarity, she laid down across the door way in an apparent attempt to stop us.

She stayed there, completely silent, through the whole loading process, and when we finally picked her up, and tried to put her in the car, she screamed like she was being beaten.

She knew something was up. She knew.

And I knew she knew, because I knew, but I couldn't comprehend things that hadn't been shown to me.

Well, it was all revealed over the process of the week.

It started on the way down, with Leah throwing up everything she had eaten that day all over the place, four times.

Then, Eden broke out in a mysterious rash that was immune to several baths and Super Man hydracortizone.

Then Eva got violent diarrhea during the post-funeral luncheon that lasted for days.

Then Lily started throwing up repeatedly.

Then Eva started throwing up. Repeatedly.

And then Leah decided, after a two day break, that she needed to compulsively throw up all over the place. Repeatedly.

And Josh and Eden just looked at them like they were diseased scum of the earth.

We had the joy of carting three vomiting girls home over a two day span. Let's just say I'm super glad I had decided to bring tupperware bowls in the car for the trip and that, in the very least, Lily and Eva have good aim (though Lily did decide to throw up in one of the side compartments next to her seat when she couldn't locate her bowl in time).

The phrase "weeping, whaling, and gnashing of teeth," only begins to describe the two days spent in the car with my sickies, not to mention the hours and hours of rushing her to the bathroom in the middle of the night the day before we left. I think that's what Outer Darkness must be like: Vomit lakes, languishing souls, and exhausted parents of young children strewn about.

My mind would flash back at these moments to the day we were supposed to leave, and the words I spoke to Joshua that morning.

I had sat down with him and tried to explain to him how it was important to listen to the Spirit, and how something bad might happen, that while I knew he was disappointed (as all of us were), it was better to listen.

He understood. And apparently internalized what I said.

At one point during this whole thing. Joshua looked at me with all the severity and depth of a 10-year-old little man and said, "THIS is why we weren't supposed to come."

I think I glared at him and told to be quiet.

The whole time we were slopping up squishy, warm, partially digested food from off our little people, I thought the same thing, but it's annoying coming from someone who doesn't brush their teeth consistently and has to be told to change their underwear on a regular basis.

Still, even though I thought the same thing Josh did, it didn't quite fit.

I returned to prayer, trying to figure out why, oh, why I felt the way I did that something bad was going to happen, and DID happen, and yet feel like we should be at the funeral.

That's when I realized that this whole thing was so I could learn something.

Yes, the Spirit will tell me when something is wrong. Yes, he will tell me when something is right.

I needed something different this time. My spiritual growth required more.

Instead of it being a straightforward, somewhat simple 2-dimensional interaction, my communication with the Spirit just took on another dimension resembling a Rubik's cube.

After some deliberation, I finally figured out what it all meant, and what he had been trying to tell me all along:

You are going to go, you should go, but it's going to be bad, super, ugly bad.

Hence the conflicting feelings.

And now I feel peace.

And it makes me feel like laughing maniacally. But mostly because I'm still up to my elbows in squishy poo and wispy, emaciated, nauseated children (Leah decided to one up everyone and have the shooies all over the place after she got back. Repeatedly. Speaking of which...ew...how can such a small person poop so much?)

I'm just glad that Eden waited until we were home to explode from both ends.

I think God prevented her from getting sick until we got back.

Plus, I threatened Eden that I would throw her out the car window if she started throwing up, but I'll just quietly sweep that under the rug...

1 comment:

Trillium said...

And now you know you can do hard things.

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