My windows are open, and I have so many thoughts I don't even know where to begin.
I am having a boy.
A sweet baby boy. A son. He is Judah. His full name means "gift of praise". He has big shoes to fill -- a big name to grow into. He will be a lion.
Maybe I will tell you more about this later. About what it is like to go for a first ultrasound and see a speck of light. A shape. To be told this shape is your baby. Your child. Only then to return, months and months later, and have an image of your child flicker onto a screen. In a dark room, where you're laying all by yourself save a stoic technician. You watch him stretch. He turns to look at you and you realize he just heard your voice. You recognize his jaw -- but it's not your jaw. It's his father's. And he doesn't have your nose either. But maybe he will have your eyes. Maybe he will have a sweet, dark face with green, green eyes. Or maybe. If he's lucky. He won't be much like you at all.
Or I'll tell you about how just now... just this minute... with the laptop propped on my lap and the rain coming down and the window open, after weeks of feeling him move inside of me, I just felt him move on the outside. I just watched my belly move. And I think about how in a few years, at 9:45 at night, I will be scolding him and telling him it's time for bed. And he won't want to go to sleep then either.
But actually tonight I'm here to tell you about other things.
I am laying in bed tonight, giving up on this day fairly early, because I feel like I've been fighting a battle. A very hard, strenuous battle. The same battle I've been fighting for years and just didn't know what to call it. I feel like I am losing.
A battle against the very demons of worthlessness.
As the semester wraps up, all which stands between me and another successful semester are three finals. Just tests. I don't worry about tests. I don't study. Because I truly believe if I learned it, then I know it. And if I didn't learn it, then studying won't help. I have to have it taught to me. Or teach it to myself. Or learn it by teaching someone else. It's that simple. I don't stress about tests.
But in the morning I have an interview. For a new job. Where I won't be serving food anymore. Where I'll be paid more for every hour of work and those hours of work will not extend into the late nights or on Sundays. A job with adults. A job, which will look good on a resume.
I am a nervous wreck.
Tomorrow I also am going to look at a new apartment. Up by a park where I used to play sand volleyball with a boy who would never love me. An apartment I drove by in the middle of the day and there were EMS and fire trucks and police cars responding to a call.
I haven't been in my current apartment for very long. But I'm ready to leave. I feel like I've overstayed my welcome. Too much life has happened here. These walls have seen too much. And there is no longer enough space for me and all my life.
But to me, looking at a new apartment feels almost like going on a date. I walk in the door and make an initial assessment. Check the closets. Turn on the faucets. Say hi to the neighbors. Wonder, in six months, if everything will start falling apart. Or if this is the real deal.
These are big decisions. Decisions I have to make. Decisions I need to make well. Because the decisions I make now no longer affect just me. I am no longer allowed to do some of what I used to. What used to make ends meet, what used to be enough, no longer is. And so here I am. Doing what I do.
Which is what I have to do.
But surviving is a hard thing to do when the enemy is telling you, you are broken. Used. Worthless. Not good enough. Unwanted.
Persevering is almost impossible when you no longer believe you have what it takes to do so.
Resilience is not a trait you can cultivate over night. People like us, we're born with it. Generations of grit and mistakes and learning the hard way made you come out of the womb ready to fight. But the enemy wants nothing more than to think this battle has been lost.
It's funny, you see.
Because I don't stress about tests.
Why? Because I know what I know.
Today I was reading a book called "Love Does" by a man named Bob. A man I wish I knew. Mostly because I feel like I already do. Kind of like how I feel I know his friend named Don. Who confirmed that my crazy, out of the box, non traditional way of loving Jesus was still.... love. Who sent me to Africa. To the ghetto. To Haiti.
Now Bob is teaching me a brand new thing. And I didn't have a name for it until today.
Until today when I was stressed. Tired from sleepless nights because of nightmares. Tired because I'm not allowed to lay on my back anymore and all I want to do is pass out, lying flat on my back, staring at the ceiling. Stressed because I have no money. And need a new place to live. And have to tell people tomorrow morning that I am amazing and competent and exactly what they're looking for.
But I picked up Love Does.
And realized what it is Bob's been teaching me.
Part of me hopes he reads this and is not offended. That he understands what I mean when I say...
I have never known someone so confident in their failures.
So confident in rejection.
So secure with who they are, their place in this world, and their worth in Jesus... they wrote a whole book about the ways they made a fool of themselves. About the ways they FAILED. And the ways God used it. The brokenness. The failure. The every-day screw ups.
Just because some people like to talk about their brokenness, does not mean they are confident in it. Just because someone claims they've "screwed up" does not mean they can own it in a way, which makes them healthy. And ironically... whole. Just because they admit to the addiction, the adultery, the cheating does not mean they are secure enough in their worth to admit they got fired from a job, that they were reprimanded by their boss, that they were given a speeding ticket, that they were dumped. More than once. It's the little failures, the ones with perhaps no redemption, which we are afraid to admit to.
I am not good at failing. I suck at taking criticism. I beat myself up. And anything negative ever said to me has chipped away at me like an ice pick. I bear the scars of the words of others, but find it hard to let the encouragement and uplifting words of some to soak in. I am bad at failing. At the big and the small things.
I better get over this soon. Since I'm going to be a parent.
After reading Bob's book this afternoon, I forced myself out of bed and got ready for a meeting I had this evening. Almost like magic, as soon as I got up, I was hit with this overwhelming sense of joy. This overwhelming feeling of peace and affirmation. And I heard the faintest whisper of the One who's been obnoxiously quiet for so long: It's going to be ok.
These words brought a smile to my face. Because I know them to be true.
And I can't help but wonder why I worry.
Because this is all kind of like a test.
I know what I know. And no amount of cramming, worrying, studying will help. The key is to remember what I know. And whatever it is I don't know, to learn it. To teach myself or have someone teach it to me, or to teach someone else until I know it by heart.
I know what I know.
Although I need to get to that place where I fail well, I also need to remember how capable I am of succeeding. That no matter how it might feel like they are, all the odds are not stacked against me. All those little failures do not make it impossible to succeed.
And just like I always have... I will survive. I will do what I need to do.
In the book of Job there is a verse I learned when I was fourteen years old. Chapter 23, verse 10 says: But He knows the way I take, and when He has tested me I will come forth as gold!
The demons are quieter tonight. Their nasty voices are being drowned out by the truth and wisdom of others who are also the children of my Father. Because even though it's hard to believe on some days, good wins. Love wins. And God never left.
I know what I know.
Hopefully tomorrow morning that will be enough.
And if not. I will just have to get better at failing.