Thursday, May 15, 2008

Conversations with Sarah, Part II

Greetings, all! Today I thought I'd do a quick post - just a copy-and-paste of a fellow HG-mum's emailed thoughts on "Spirituality and Hyperemesis Gravidarum." HG can have a ruinous effect on one's spirituality and faith - it actually seems to be quite common. I have had my own spiritual struggles (still do, actually), and that will be the subject of an upcoming blog. However, that requires a good amount of time, which I don't have too often! So that will have to wait for another day. In the meantime, here are some thoughts from Sarah......

"Finally I have some time to sit and write. My older two are in bed and my husband has the baby.I am feeling pensive so perhaps this will be productive.I have thought so much about what you (Diana) wrote about your own spiritual struggle. So both of us are in a place where our faith was revealed for what it really was, which was (sadly) not what we thought. Hmmm.

"I have always had a pretty easy time with faith until the HG. Even with my first HG pregnancy I trusted that God knew what he was doing. I have not had great spiritual struggles, ever, except for the occasional period of conviction for some ongoing sin that I soon repented of. I have had lots of mountaintop experiences and only a few valleys. This, however, takes the cake.

"I liken it to something I read in Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. He quotes St. John of the Cross who went through a time of spiritual drought and called it his "dark night of the soul". This is surely my dark night of the soul. It isn't depression but rather silence and stagnation. At least St. John of the Cross kept seeking God during his dark night. I can't say that I am seeking God--maybe a little. I think constantly. I wonder how long my dark night will last. I wonder what I should be doing to end it, if anything. I wonder if my HG was a punishment for something or perhaps a testing that I failed miserably. Maybe it was an unfortunate consequence of living in a fallen world. I wonder if I had to experience HG to prepare me for other work/ministry/people. I wonder if I could have somehow prevented it, if it really was largely psychosomatic. I wonder if it would happen again. I wonder why it had to be me. I wonder why God did not answer my prayers and the prayers of many, many others that I would be healed.

"I feel confused that I am having such a struggle "getting over" my pregnancy. I feel like I should be happy to have a fat, happy, healthy baby and be done with it. I don't know why I can't be like King David who sought and trusted in God when he was in dire circumstances; the psalms are full of evidence of this. I just cannot accept that God intentionally did not heal me. But then I think of the sacrifice he made in sending Jesus to suffer for MY just blows my complaints out of the water. But I don't think it invalidates my very human struggle to take God for what he says he is and to ponder the question of suffering and pain.

"All last summer when I was desperately ill and even clinging to life, my dad kept telling me one thing. He kept saying, "God is too kind to be cruel and too wise to make a mistake." But when you are in the bottom of the pit planning your own suicide or curled up in a hospital bed, pumped full of drugs and fluids and still puking, praying to either die or miscarry, it doesn't feel kind or wise.

"My friend J. told me to just pray that God would help me to love him. I occasionally do ask God for that and I think he is answering that prayer in showing me how he is taking care of some of our financial and physical needs. We have been very, very blessed with baby clothes and clothes for A. and K., plus we got an unexpected sum of money. We can always use money! :) God has also revealed himself to me through my husband, who has been Christ to me when I was at my absolute worst and all during my recovery. V. is so amazing and I have seen him show me Christ-like love. So I can't say that I feel warm fuzzies when I think of spiritual things, but I am aware that God is at work.

"Another thought--is this sin? I mean, is doubting and grappling sinful? Am I supposed to just swallow whatever I am given? Someone told me this week that I would eventually return to God and repent, but what am I repenting of? I don't feel like I am sinning and I certainly know what a life of sustained sin feels like because I have done it before. Mostly I feel numb, angry, cynical, or tentative. But if being angry at God is a sin then I may be in trouble.

"I hope I am not damaging my kids during this time of struggle. An. is frighteningly perceptive and I am afraid she knows something is going on. Things I used to do with the girls before like pray, read Bible stories, incorporate spiritual truths, etc I just don't do anymore, nor do I want to. I feel false trying to pray in front of them so I avoid it. I do still take them to church, though, so I guess that is something. When I think about it, though, I realize that I am not the only one responsible for their spiritual development. V. is a big part of that, too, and their teachers at church to a lesser extent. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit who draws people to God because I am failing in that area.

"Whew. I think that is it for now. It feels good to write this out and bare it all to three people that I trust. Please let me know your thoughts and musings when you have a moment. And thanks for reading this thing. I am tired as I write and I suspect that tomorrow morning I will re-read this and just shake my head at how disjointed it is.

"Love, Sarah

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