The Mister and I have returned to Guernsey for a few days to spend some time with our family. It has been an absolutely gorgeous sunny day and we have spent most of it in the garden with my parents and sister, her husband, my nephew Barnabas, my niece Eden and my cousin Stefi.
It is good to be home. It is also quite hard. Today I met my gorgeous niece Eden Phoebe for the first time. It is impossible for me to describe how beautiful and cute she is. She is very sweet and my sister is very generous in letting me spend time with her. It is also hard as we started trying to conceive about the time my sister announced she was pregnant. So far, she has produced the lovely Eden and we have not managed to get pregnant yet. So, there are mixed emotions. Delight and pleasure at our new lovely niece, and sadness that we do not yet have a baby. I hope that the pain of the not-having is eased soon. It is pretty hard to manage those emotions and I have to admit that I have had a little cry.
Oh well, here are some photos….
“You are my rock in times of trouble.
You lift me up when I fall down.
All through the storm
Your love is the anchor
My hope is in you alone.”
It’s all very well singing this when life is ok but it is much harder to sing this when life is a big tougher. I am happy to believe that god is there in the good times but I struggle to believe that he is holding me up when the ground feels like it is falling away.
This week my younger sister has told me she is pregnant again. Last time she was pregnant I practically had a nervous breakdown. I will admit that I am both annoyed and jealous. I had hoped that I might get pregnant before her this time!! It’s so hard to believe that God is good when you see him blessing other people with the things you most want. Of course what makes this even more difficult is that being jealous of your sister seems to be perceived by others to be totally unacceptable. Being told by family members and friends to ‘deal with it’ and to ‘think of all the good things you have’ just isn’t helpful.
Life is good but there are also moments when it is tough. I hope I am strong enough to deal with this… and I hope the Mister is strong enough to deal with me!!
Somehow when I was younger I had an idea of how my life would pan out. I thought it would all turn out OK and pretty much as expected. Today has been one of those days when I realise that life isn’t like that. It bears no resemblance to the picture I had in my head, and in fact it is almost the exact opposite. Instead I have to watch my sister fulfilling that dream.
I have lots of good things in my life but today all I feel is loss. Loss for the dreams I had when I was young and loss for a relationship with a God who I believe actually gives a shit about what happens in my life. Loss.
So instead, I consoled myself with good friends, wine and tennis. That’ll have to do for today.
“Dear Lord, today I thought of the words of Vincent Van Gogh; ‘It is true there is an ebb and flow, but the sea remains the sea.’ You are the sea. Although I experience many ups and downs in my emotions and often feel great shifts and changes in my inner life, you remain the same. Your sameness is not the sameness of a rock, but the sameness of a faithful lover. Out of your love I came to life; by your love I am sustained; and to your love I am always called back. There are days of sadness and days of joy; there are feelings of guilt and feelings of gratitude; there are moments of failure and moments of success; but all of them are embraced by your unwavering love.
My only temptation is to doubt in your love, to think of myself as beyond the reach of your love, the remove myself from the healing radiance of your love. To do these things is to move into the darkness of despair.
O Lord, sea of love and goodness, let me not fear too much the storms and winds of my daily life, and let me know that there is ebb and flow but that the sea remains the sea. Amen.”
Henri Nouwen – A Cry for Mercy