the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. 2. the ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely.
In the natural world there seems to be a sort of an order. The wind blows and the rain falls. Water freezes when it is cold and melts when it is warmer. The tides come in and they go out once again. We can work with that order or we can resist it. We have a choice. We can fight, struggle, strain and wrestle with something or we can simply, calmly move with the flow, drop our hostility and resentment and simply trust in Someone bigger than ourselves. He is the author of that order. I remember when I was in labor with my daughter understanding this about half way through that experience. I had a difficult time with my first birth, that of my oldest, my son, and that labor ended up in a c-section after 24 hours. Thankfully, we were both OK. At least physically. Although, I wasn’t left with just a c-section scar. I had another, on the inside, in my mind, that continued to haunt me. My c-section was very traumatic and I had painful complications after his birth. I had a difficult recovery and a bout with fairly severe postpartum depression. With my 2nd pregnancy, my oldest daughter’s, I was determined to have her naturally. I really didn’t want to go through that again but as my labor with my daughter ensued I began the same familiar battle with my body. I felt a tremendous amount of fear overtake me. I fought and struggled with every painful contraction. It was soon apparent that I was getting no where and the doctor was once again hinting at the possibility of another c-section. He said he would let me labor throughout the night and evaluate where I was in the morning. If I had not progressed when he came to see me in the morning he would then do another c-section. At some point in the early morning hours, with my husband sound asleep in the corner of the room, I had a realization. I realized that I needed to cooperate with the pain, stop fighting it and let it wash over me. Just let it flow. I needed to experience it even though I was frightened. I needed to just let go. As a first responder, working in emergency rooms for years, this kind of thinking was very contrary to the way my mind had been programmed to operate. I was used to surpressing my emotions, being quiet and strong, and remaining in control but something deep inside of me was telling me to do something entirely different. Strength, I would find out, isn’t always about resisting pain. Sometimes it is working with it, moving with it, through it and finding out where it leads. Pain, properly honed, can give birth to progress and growth. It doesn’t have to swallow one whole as I feared and understood properly it isn’t for naught. It can lead somewhere wonderful. So I stopped fighting and struggling and when the doctor checked me in the morning my baby girl was on her way. I gave birth quickly at that point. My doctor struggled to get ready in time, because whether he was ready or not, she was on her way! It was a peaceful rainy morning when she made her appearance and I was at peace as well. Not only had my daughter been born healthy and whole, something inside me had healed.
So, this last weekend we traveled to see my youngest son. He is in a facility where they work with young boys with severe behavioral issues. I have talked about this before but I will refresh your memory just in case you forgot or maybe this is the first time you have read my blog. My son is adopted from the foster care system and he has what is called reactive attachment disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, and that manifests in all sorts of severe, constant, out of this world, often criminal behaviors. He was put in care because he became dangerous to other children and we honestly could no longer function living like that anymore, as a family. So if you didn’t know before, now you know. That, by the way, is the short, extremely sanitary version of what our family has endured. So use your imagination, or maybe don’t. I don’t know. But at least now you have a little context.
The Thursday before my husband and myself left to visit our son for the weekend, I started to cry. I cried and I cried and I cried. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t stop! I could hear the ego/flesh (you know, that little idiot that lives in your head who has a real smart mouth, bad attitude and sucky timing) chime in about how silly I was, how ridiculous I was and if I didn’t stop this, now, I might never stop! But, no matter how it badgered and insulted me, I just couldn’t stop. The flood gates were open and out it came and the ego gave up and shut up, thankfully. The anguish that I had been holding in, for months and months, was now pouring out at an alarming rate. Finally I decided to cooperate and just let myself feel it. And I did…..and eventually, thankfully, it did stop.
So, we went to see my son two days later. He is living on a rural farm learning to work with animals. He builds and plants things and is focusing on his academics. (Not too much time to focus on schoolwork when you are plotting to take over the world, so he is quite behind, from years of such endeavors.) He looked healthy and he has gotten taller. We took him out to eat, spent time with him walking around town, bought him a watch he was wanting, something to share with the other boys and then took him to the movies. We had a pleasant day. I thought to myself this is a friendly, intelligent, talkative child that happens to have no remorse about his behaviors nor any empathy for anyone, but I have no bad feelings about that. It simply is this way, for now. This is where he needs to be and I do wish him the best in his life whether with us or not. I honestly quite like him and after all the trauma he put our family through that feeling really surprised me. I understand why he can’t live with us or function well in our family. I don’t know if that will ever be possible and it’s OK. I am not resisting or fighting or struggling. I am just trusting and surrendering to my Creator. I was frightened but I decided to cooperate with my pain rather than battle it. I allowed it to wash over me, worked with it and I am working through it.
And….. I am OK.
Something good is being born.