It is Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Jordan and Marie are both sitting on the couch. Shocked. Well, sort of shocked. They knew this day would come, eventually.
Marie: This is real, isn’t it? I feel like hyperventilating. Why am I hyperventilating? This is good news. (quiet tears)
Jordan: (gazes compassionately at Marie) Change is hard.
Marie: That’s nine months away. Feels like we’re having a baby. (more quiet tears)
Fade to even more Reality.
We’re making room for more than just a dream, now. It’s no longer an idea or a possibility, or even a probability. There’s a 5th being in our family now and it’s living, breathing, growing rapidly. Daily. I’m nauseous. But excited. But nauseous. Overwhelmingly exhausted already, just thinking of all the preparation. But giddy with joy. Nauseous.
Ask any missionary and you will be told that when the “due date” physically goes on the calendar, it feels exactly like all of the above. It does help that we’re not the first to go through this, nor the only ones to experience it right now. We are not alone, thank God.
The emotional burrito (translation: hash of highs&lows) of speaking a date – finally – it fills our plate. I feel a lot more like an emotion-ary these days. It was easier when it was more than nine calendar flips away. It was mostly exhilarating and not nearly as real. Now it’s just real.
Am I second-guessing our decision to obey God’s call to move to Costa Rica, to train Latino missionaries in business skills so they can take the gospel to the ends of the earth and remain among the people there? Am I wondering if we made the right decision when we said, “YES!” to cross-cultural missions? Am I changing my mind because of how I feel? No, not really and absolutely NOT.
At the same time … Am I delighted that God’s provision of renters for our house means we need to find another place to live in a little over two months? Am I thrilled at the thought of saying good-bye to several zip codes’ worth of dear, dear people? Am I jumping up and down at the thought of more humbling heart surgery at the hand of my Healer? No, not really and absolutely NOT.
I guess there’s a reason they call the process of bringing a baby into this world – LABOR. I wish it could truly be confined to just one day in September, every single year. No can do. This kind of labor is supposed to consistent and constant. Great … two areas of life in which I happen NOT to shine, mostly because of my
baggage, hormones, humanity.
It doesn’t help that I’ve admitted to myself, to my mentors and to our team, finally, that I pretty much stink at finishing what I start. Houston Missionary Base, we have a problem. Who let this girl in? So you can understand my fears that this “baby” will:
1) never birth and that I’ll be doomed to perpetual pregnancy (we’ll never get to the field for whatever reason) or …
2) birth and die, I’ll have labored for nothing, and I’ll be forced to face my limiting definition of failure (we’ll get there and realize we made a big mistake) or …
3) stay stuck halfway between the reality of the womb and the outside world – I won’t be pregnant anymore, but I won’t be a Mommy either (the possible constant delays of our departure for Costa Rica). I simply won’t know what state I’m in and if I’m ever there, I won’t feel like rocking in the world of “Limbo” (whoever wrote that song never really lived in Limbo, or it would be a touch more melancholy and a lot less party-inducing). Morbid, I know, but I bet more than one person reading this is going to say, “That’s totally how I felt when I found out our due date (aka, departure date)!”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled! But remember, we’re keeping it real as we walk this road with God. You won’t get posts from me which are ALL positivity and light because not everything in missions is. The last time I checked, Pollyanna ran screaming from the building when she was approached about cross-cultural missions. Even that sprightly chica has her limits. But, it won’t be all gloom and doom, either, because that is, truly, just one part of the grief process. From where I stand with my missionary hormones, there’s a ton of the transition pie which I’m craving. So what if it tasted like pickles and ice cream? Salty and (bitter)sweet is gourmet du jour for the next nine months. At least that’s what I’ve learned to expect when I’m expecting … a big change in life.
I think I’m going to go puke now. But, in 9 months, I know ALL of this will be totally worth it!
Mostly thankful to be “pregnant,” at least for today,
PS. For those of you who fell off your chairs at my initial title, photo and dramatic introduction (hey, that was a real conversation between us this week – word for word – I don’t have pregnancy brain, so I actually remember what was said!) … our “due date” is our date of departure from Denver and our “baby” is going to be named Costa Rica. If you still don’t get it, please feel free to contact Jordan. This is all his fault.