My memoir’s journey has been a windy one. Just when I think that I’ve heard God correctly and go down a specific direction, God changes the course. I believe that this has happened at least three times since I began writing cathartically about a year ago.
The time to settle on a path and query publishers for the book has come. I can feel it. God recently shifted things again, but this time feels different. I feel grounded and confident, a change I welcome. I am not certain where God and I are going, but I know that this is the way. God may be asking me to abandon the title and theme I’ve been holding onto for so long, Labor Pains. The Lord knows what she wants, what will help and heal others, and what will bring glory to her name.
That’s enough for me. I will follow.
Below is a new intro that I cranked out earlier this week. It hurt like hell to write because it was honest. That’s how I knew that God was pointing and saying, Go this way. I pray that it blesses you, as I pray the same thing for my book whenever it is published.
The fetal position. Here I am again.
I don’t think that this is what Madonna had in mind when she musically commanded her fans to “strike a pose” in the 1990s. Vogueing is fashionable and bold. It makes the poser feel strong and beautiful, if not invincible, even if for only a few minutes.
Vogue! Look at me, everyone. Vogue! I’m awesome.
The fetal position, on the other hand? Not so much.
My body does everything it can to disappear. Like a hungry black hole devouring all matter shame sucks limbs, shoulders, and head inward, towards an undefined center. My eyes violently squeeze shut, but tears are still able to escape and flow. (And do they ever flow.) Maybe I shake or rock. It varies.
You don’t see me, says my fetal-positioned body sometimes. Even if you could, you shouldn’t want to. I am hopeless, and not worthy of anyone’s sight.
Other times it says, I am so very afraid, and feeling totally vulnerable and unsafe. How tight do I need to compress myself until this feeling goes away?
Still other times my scrunched-up body cries out, Mama! Hold me! Love me! Soothe me! Tell me how extravagantly you love me, and how much I mean to you.
For nine months I’ve been striking the fetal position pose way more often than I ever thought I would. God has stripped me of vocation, income, home, health insurance, and understanding of myself, and I’m feeling naked and exposed. Thank God (literally) that my marriage and family are intact.
I’m exhausted after another colossal cry. My eyes are red and swollen. My nose is running the Boston Marathon. My abdomen is already sore from my gut’s wrenching. The pile of used tissues, standing in stark contrast to my green-living ways, is like an altar of ancient biblical times that marks what happened.
Expelled here: great sorrow.
And yet, I am compelled to rise. It’s as if my body is moving itself. Tears still streaming, nose still dripping, composure still lost, I feel the need to speak. To myself.
I look at the lady in the mirror, and I wait. It’s important that I have her full and undivided attention. I place my hands on the counter beside me, steadying my stance. We will wait here, the lady in the mirror and I, until we know that our time here is done – however long that will be. The lady and I look at one another for a while in silence. I see myself, truly see myself, for the first time in…well, I don’t know.
The time to come speaks. This I know, but I have no idea what will be said.
Breath in. Dramatic pause. One last check on the eye contact. And …
It stops with me.
For nine months I’ve been railing, railing at the formless entity that caused my ache. I’ve been crouching in the fetal position and standing erect, shaking my fists while letting her/him/them/it have it. I’ve been spewing pent up emotional rage and dirge whenever my heart heaves. I’ve tried and tried, but have been unable to pinpoint the ultimate source of my angst.
But, at last I understand.
Let the digging, the confronting, and the healing begin.