Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sweet and Sour

(that's how my heart feels)

This is a long post, but stick with it!

Tonight I just read the sweetest, tenderest story.  It was a letter from an adoptive dad to his son.  The letter was the story of the little boy's adoption.  What I didn't know before I started reading it was -- there was basically a failed adoption situation, but in the end, the little boy comes home to his adoptive family.  It was so beautiful.  You can find the story on one of the very coolest adoption blogs you'll find.  It's right here if you want to check it out.  The point of me bringing it up  is that it kind of killed me.  I don't hope for that.  I can't bear to think about it.  The hope of that is too poisonous to the rest of my life.  But for one tiny little second I thought about it just now.  What it would be like.  Because you know, I would really do anything in the world if I could make that happen.  (If you wish that for me will you please not tell me?  I can't really go there on a normal basis.  Thanks.)  

I wouldn't have brought any of this up except that I read something earlier that has really touched me and made my grief seem more bearable.  I wanted to share it with you because a) it's awesome b) it feels important to me, and c) you might be going through something awful too.  Maybe it would resonate with you like it did with me.  

"The experience of the loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives.  Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss."  Yes! This is what I have been thinking and hoping would prove true for me.

and then this next quote

"Tragedy can increase the soul's capacity for darkness and light, for pleasure as well as for pain, for hope as well as for dejection.  The soul contains a capacity to know and love God, to become virtuous, to learn truth, and to live by moral conviction.  The soul is elastic, like a balloon.  It can grow larger through suffering.  Loss can enlarge its capacity for anger, depression, despair, and anguish, all natural and legitimate emotions whenever we experience loss.  Once enlarged, the soul is also capable of experiencing greater joy, strength, peace, and love.  What we consider opposites -- east and west, night and light, sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, anger and love, despair and hope, death and life -- are no more mutually exclusive than winter and sunlight.  The soul has the capacity to experience these opposites, even at the same time."
              -- Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows Through Loss
                  (or as I like to call it, Read This Book if You're Both Sad and Smart)

COME ON, PEOPLE!  Isn't that so fantastic?!  This is what I hope becomes of me.  That my soul stretches like a balloon and becomes something joyful and peaceful in addition to raw, tender, and bruised.  I can live with the gunk if I get some of that lovely stuff too.

(This part might read like a tangent, but hang in there; it'll come out on the other side.)  My big deal is "and."  It stems from one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.  It's called (aptly) And by Waterdeep.  I will crudely sum it up by saying they call Jesus "And."  So instead of hanging crosses in my house I hang ampersands.  To me, they are a beautiful representation of who He is.  Also, all of the best things in my life are connected to me by that beautiful word: Matt and Molly, the two of us and our girl(s).  My sisters and I are Molly, Ashley, and Corinn.  You get it.  When my brilliant psychologist sister was in school she was talking about the situation of things going mostly well for a person but them always being fixated on the problems in their life, whether they be big issues or not.  The professor she was talking to told her that these people can reframe the problem into an "and" instead of a "but."  For example, "I'm doing pretty well, but I haven't been sleeping well."  Well, you don't have to negate the whole lot of good you have in your life.  Instead, that person could say, "Things are going well.  And, I am having a hard time sleeping."  Okay, that was a stupid example but I'm tired and want to finish this business up!  The point is, you can have both.  The thing that is the problem doesn't have to trump or undermine all of the good in your life.  SO!!!  The concept of and is all around, a huge one in my life.  

When I read the above quote  I thought, "AHA!!!" It's the and in my heart.  The and in my soul.  I can be miserable and joyful all at the same time.  It's the Holy Spirit.  It's me surviving.  It's AND.  When I started this post I was crying and worn out, but just writing this all out and re-reading that quote has helped me so much.  I really do feel so much lighter.  In fact, I am doing a little shimmy.  I can cry AND I can shimmy!  And that's today's good news.


jaymorgner said...

Funny, I woke up with And in my head. I guess I know why now.

stephanie garcia said...

Your words today are inspiring - thank you for sharing the "And" - such a great thought. Sittser's book is the best I have read on walking through (not avoiding or circumventing) grief.

LA said...

Hi! I know you don't know me, and I don't know you.(although we know a lot of the same peeps) And our stories are a lot different, but both deal with grief and a whole lot of AND situations. I really needed this post today. I have been and will continue to pray for your sweet family. mmkay. I think I need to pack up the child ad go get that book now.

Katy said...

Molly, you are so inspiring! I do continue to pray for you and Matt as well as Harper even though I don't know you or her. I pray that Wavy is happy and truly and completely loved.
Keep your faith in God, he will get you through anything, as I have learned through the tragic events in my life. Ask Kelsey sometime about me. God Bless!

Sonya said...

Glad you are in a place where you can share your heart with those of us who love and care for you all. Always praying.

brit said...

hello! I randomly stumbled upon your blog (you know how those things can happen) and I want you to know your story has moved/inspired/taught me so much. the things you have had to do, a mother and father should never, EVER have to endure. but you did. and you are standing. the lord sees that. I can only pray to have a fraction of the courage and faith you have had to deminstrate.

It boggles my mind that the courts did this. that the interest of the child is not taken into account. that someone could be so cold as to take a child away from the only loving home she knows....absolutely heartbreaking.

the part that speaks to me the most is how you continue to say and proclaim that even though waverly may not be "yours" anymore, she will ALWAYS be Gods child. there is NOTHING or NO ONE or any court ruling that can change that. I pray daily that God will protect her from her current situation. That she will grow one day and know you two and Jesus Christ.

This story has made me truely appreciate the time I have with my daughter. How huge of a blessing it is just to feel her next to me. It has also encouraged me to trust God, in that, she is HIS. No matter where she goes, what she does or what happens to her, she is a child of God.

I will continue to pray for your family that God will plant a peace in your hearts and the tender memory of Waverly alive. I pray that your next adoption journey will go smoothly. I pray that you will invest in Harper and enjoy each and every day with her.

Just curious: do you have any contact with Waverly? or have any idea how she is doing?

in christ,

Pipsylou said...

A great friend sent me that Sittser book after my 4th miscarriage. Your description of it was perfect.