My girlfriend and I have a pact. We are both pregnant (she’s due at the end of the month) and we have agreed that when she goes to the hospital I will keep her son, and while I am pushing a watermelon out of my haunches, she will take care of Monkey. Last night she was having some complications and the doctor wanted to have her come in for follow up.
Her son came over with his hospital bags packed and was looking forward to a night of popcorn (with M&M’s of course) and a late night movie. The kids played in the toy room for a while, then came down to settle in. They were about 20 minutes into the movie when mom called. False alarm. The baby is out of room, but not ready to make any moves yet. She will be back for her angel in 30 minutes.
After a battle of tears with the kids, due to the change in plans, I really started thinking. This baby hasn’t even taken her first breath of air, yet she might have had a revolution that I didn’t realize until just recently.
It’s okay to be out of room.
I have carried the guilt of trying to make sure everyone is happy my entire life. My mother-in-law who also has this issue, recommended I read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, in an effort to make me understand that if I give and give, I will be nothing but a stump by the end of the day. You know what I got out of that? Even a stump has something to give – he was a chair for the old man when he needed to sit.
The woman I partnered with for the VBS crafts this year really planted this seed of transformation in me. She is a little older than I, and far more versed in the Bible than I am. We met for the first time about two days before the week of VBS. During some down time at VBS we were chatting about families, kids and life and somehow we got onto the subject of tough love. She explained she had a family member who they had struggled with, and over time they were led to have a disconnect in their family. She cut all ties, and although she continues to pray for this person, she doesn’t feel lead to reconnect. As she was telling me this, she commented a few times she didn’t even know why she was telling me all of this, but somehow felt led.
I sat there stunned.
I have never met someone who has gone through the same family issues as I, let alone someone who had been led to the same course of action. The hardest part through the last year of ups and downs was not if I was doing the right thing, because I fully believe God doesn’t make mistakes. The hardest part for me was convincing others that this was God led and I was on the path that He has chosen for me. What I learned in the few minutes we had to share was that it doesn’t matter what others think. Sometimes that is misinterpreted as ‘I don’t care’ about them. I do value their opinion and more importantly their connection with God, however, His opinion and our connection is the ultimate factor in my life.
So, not unlike baby Watson, I am out of room. I don’t have the mental or emotional space for the people in my life who are so focused on my actions or inactions, instead of what is really important here. And to be honest, I don’t feel guilty about that. And for a long time the fact that I really am numb to the issue at this point, made me question if what I was doing was right. But, after almost a year of prayer and research, I know it is right. Maybe not right for everyone in the family, but right for me.