where the beautiful things are found: giving up, not giving in

June 17, 2014, Michaela Evanow, 21 Comments

I’m always frustrated by those spacey moments when everything seems so far away.

You know that feeling, right before you enter into restoration? It’s when all hell breaks lose, something triggers your fear, you’re thinking the worst about everything, you’re tired, too tired to even mumble a prayer, and is He even listening anyway?

Fear is crippling. It knocks me out somedays. When the baby doesn’t move as much as it did the day before or as much as I’d like. This is a trigger. I palpate my belly and can tell the baby is breech with the legs almost cross legged. This is a trigger.

Boom. I turn into a mess.

Fear, oh, how I wish I didn’t have to battle fear.

It is awful. Let me just tell you straight: it is hell.

And then I get confused.

I should have done amniocentesis, I think to myself, after a long day, and dishes pile in the sink.

I should have done it. And now it’s too late. This is also a trigger. I’m in the third trimester, an emotional wallop by it’s own merit. This baby is coming in a few months.

But no, I didn’t want to test. We didn’t want to. 

My husband, unfazed by my near nervous breakdown, tells it to me straight: Relax, the baby is just chilling out. We didn’t do testing because we really didn’t want to, we didn’t need to, we are walking this out. Old fashioned? With faith? With hope? Without needles. That’s the decision we made.

Oh my God, I kind of want to crawl into a hole and die.

I can’t do this.

And the mantra continues until I’m worked up and begging God to help me see clearly.

I just want to be in control.

I just want control. So I panic, and fear ebbs away at my resolve. The resolve that I carried for so long! It was real, it was so strong. It was and is real.

So where did it go?

I feel so weak and wounded, so unable. I chant scripture like a monk. Nothing.

I realize I don’t want the comfort of God. I want the comfort of a ferocious, kicking baby. I want it so badly.

I happen to have an appointment with my midwife the next day. She tells me baby is in a funny, breech position. Tucked down low, limbs entangled. The movements will be low quality. Don’t worry.

I go home. Relief floods in. She tells me I made a strong decision, and basically I need to own it. Don’t worry. You are strong and capable.

Friends send text messages after I ask for their helping hands of prayer: I’m not worried for you. I know you might be, but I’m not.

I suddenly start to get it. I’m in this little cage alone. I’m in this whirlwind, this storm I’ve created all by myself.

I want out.

I find peace. I begin to read scripture again, and the Word sinks in deep this time, nourishing my marrow. I push back the dark thoughts and they actually flee. I am not consumed.

The next day, baby moves into another position, and I feel those familiar kicks again. Sometimes it even hurts. It moves again, and back and forward and back into the cramped corner of my womb. I’m not worried.

I take deep breaths until every little alveoli expands and fills with riches. An exchange takes place.

I look at my stack of books with delight. I drink my coffee and watch the rain fall onto the overgrown grass. Berries are appearing on the tree. The garden soaks up nutrients from the earth and the sky. I decide I will bake bread today. I keep the lights off and let the blue gray flood the house. I light candles and drop essential oils into my nebulizer. I throw a silky bamboo baby blanket across my bare legs.

This is the now. This smattering of marigolds across my lap, the nearly empty coffee cup, the smell of yeast in the kitchen, the intake and exhale of breath from my sleeping child, the constant rush of her BiPap machine. The knock knock on my womb: I am here, I’m your baby.

photo 2 (2)  photo 3 (1)  photo 1 (2)
photo 5

I’ll live. I’ll live through this, day by day. This life is so beautiful. It makes me ache, in a good way. It makes me want to weep. I couldn’t imagine a life without meeting my Florence, just the way she is.

She has taught us so much. She has brought us to Jesus. She has brought life and love and beauty to our marriage. Diagnosis day marred us, but Time is healing us.

“Some beautiful things can only be found in the hardest times.

…finding the treasure is the trick sometimes. It can be difficult because so often we invest so much energy in surviving a battle that there’s little left for discovering what wonderful things might have happened inside of us in the process.”

-Bo Stern, Beautiful Battlefields.

21 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Naiad June 24, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Congratulations on your pregnancy Michaela!

    I haven’t left a comment for you the past few times that I’ve visited your blog, but I’m still around, watching your sweet little daughter grow, and enjoying your stories and beautiful writing.

    xoxo

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      oh, hi Melissa. The same to you! I have been catching up on your new family of 4. So exciting!

  • Reply Amy Hunt June 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    THIS is worship. Right here. The raw, the real . . . the brokenness bleeding out beauty.

    (And, I just had a thought when I looked at Florence . . . she teaches gentleness, doesn’t she? She brings it out in you and your groom. For, there’s no way one could get angry and raise a voice at her quite like I do and have done with my son (my how I’ve spoken to him sometimes!) . . . what a gift in the gritty day-by-day of your life, as it is.)

    Praying you peace, friend . . . in those moments of chaos and confusion, might He remind you that you are loved . . . even with all those doubts and wanting control. Might your confession give way to confident assurance of His peace. Amen.

  • Reply Nicole Joshua June 17, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Wow! This is do beautiful Michaela. I’m going to rest deeply with your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Thank you Nicole!!

  • Reply Sandy Hau June 17, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Please continue to be honest. Please push publish. Although we don’t walk in the same shoes , your vulnetabilty gives us permission to be vulnerable. And we can walk this life arm in arm.

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Thank you. *sigh*

  • Reply Tina/@teenbug June 17, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    Aww darling girl. I’m so grateful that you have a strong companion in your husband for the moments when the cloud of grey doubt takes over. I love your faith. AND I love HOW MUCH Flo smiles. That girl is such a little heartbreaker. And I love how her daddy looks on adoringly. *sigh* #allthefeels

    P.S. Last night Kupa and I spent 20+ mins staring at my peach fuzz covered belly hoping for impromptu baby ripples. Hahaha. This is what my life has come to. #NothingGoodOnTVintheSummer

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      oh Teen, you always make me laugh.
      I also know those moments of watching and feeling the belly, waiting for baby to show off. It never gets old. And I agree, TV sucks right now. I’m reading a lot! Got to get it all in before baby comes! If you want to know my favourite book on childbirth, it’s “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth,” by Ina May Gaskin. It’s super crunchy, but freeing!

  • Reply NannyLou June 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    The hardest thing we have to do in this life time ongoing and as long as we draw breathe is “Let go and let God” – we humans have a need to control and when it’s out of our control, isn’t that when we say, “Dear God, I’m turning it all back to you now.” Let the fear subside my lovely – breathe in the blessings and breathe out all else – Nanny knows 🙂

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      We humans need to have control. Yes, it’s an ongoing fight, isn’t it? Thanks Nanny.

  • Reply Tamara June 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    We are thinking of you all daily and praying.

    Those smiles of Flo, oh how much joy she shows. She has touched the lives of so many. You and your daughter have challenged is to walk closed with Jesus daily. I can’t thank you enough for your openness and honesty.

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Tamara, thanks for being here, for showing up faithfully and using your words to encourage! Means a lot!
      xo

  • Reply Sandra June 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Michaela – absolutely you are not alone. Reading your posts brings tears to my eyes every time, because I, too, frequently battle fear, and it can become so debilitating. I admire you so much for putting it out there and showing your true vulnerabilities. You are able to put my own experiences into words that so completely describe me at times. In a cage. All alone. In the storm I’ve created on my own, because no one else can feel my fear. I know the Lord is with me during these times, as He is with you. God bless you – though we don’t know each other in life, I am following your journey and am praying for you to be able to relinquish control over to Him. It’s hard, but I know we can both do it.

    ~Sandra

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      Sandra, I am so glad you’re walking through your journey faithfully, and in this with me too. It’s a gift to me. Thank you for being here. And thank you for sharing that I am not alone. I know I’m not. I know we all battle fear. It’s just nice to hear it sometimes, because fear can make us…crazy!
      xo

  • Reply Tanya Maksymic June 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    You teach me every time I read and re-read your posts. You’ve got this, as God intends it to be! Sending love to you all!

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      I teach myself when I read my posts! 😉 Writing has been the greatest gift to me. Thank you for standing with me.

  • Reply Donna-Jean Brown June 17, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    Oh Sweetheart – what a gift your blazing honesty is. Christians toss around the word “testimony” but how often do we hear each other admit to the real stories of our recurring times of desperation, hopelessness, terror and then our latest recovery?
    Yours is the testimony I want to hear – how you have not yet given up on God nor God on you as you describe the way you focus on whatever joy comes along. You are such an example to us of what life is really like for real people who know Jesus amid the mess. I’m remembering Amy Grant’s song “Mercy in the Middle.”

    • Reply Michaela Evanow June 17, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      thank you Donna-Jean. It’s often so hard to hit publish on a post like this, because it is honest and vulnerable, and shows all my lacklustre attempts at overcoming and failing…
      I have been beaten by fear so much. Sometimes putting it out there really does help.
      For I know I’m not alone in these struggles, not at all alone.
      xo

      • Reply Donna-Jean Brown June 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Well I can imagine that from the inside your attempts feel lacklustre, but to me, as an observer, they are heroic.

      • Reply Amy Hunt June 17, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        THIS is worship. Right here. The raw, the real . . . the brokenness bleeding out beauty.

        (And, I just had a thought when I looked at Florence . . . she teaches gentleness, doesn’t she? She brings it out in you and your groom. For, there’s no way one could get angry and raise a voice at her quite like I do and have done with my son (my how I’ve spoken to him sometimes!) . . . what a gift in the gritty day-by-day of your life, as it is.)

        Praying you peace, friend . . . in those moments of chaos and confusion, might He remind you that you are loved . . . even with all those doubts and wanting control. Might your confession give way to confident assurance of His peace. Amen.

        And . . . your raw “vulnerability” does remind us all that we aren’t alone, for we face our own fears and flop like fish out of water moments in each day. Thank you for being real. Thank you for choosing courage to be real.

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