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James, part IV…

May 13, 2008

On leaving the perinatologist’s office, I remember thinking how I was going to relate all of this information to Husband, and still persuade him, and myself, that everything was going to be okay.

The problem was that I was not okay with things being only okay. I wanted, expected, required, demanded, and insisted on my version of perfection. It was the curse of my childhood and adolescence, and plagued me in marriage. It made me quick to criticize, easily discontented, and constantly craving after the next experience that would leave me feeling satisfied because “it” had gone my way. Mistress of moping, wife of the whine, and princess of the pout were all part of my standard operating procedures.

My behavior was a true reflection of my beliefs. I behaved as I believed. And my theology of God was so poor and anemic that I reduced events to simple cause and effect, as if…then relationships. For example, if I was good, then God would bless me. And the reverse of course, if I was bad, then God would punish me. My definitions of good and bad were not Biblical ones, but rested only on my personal opinion and feeling. I was postmodern before I knew what postmodern was.

I had established in my mind how my pregnancy and childbearing were to proceed, and this pimple of an event was threatening my plans. I was angry about this, because as I argued with God, I had made really big concessions regarding all this Biblical womanhood stuff. I was the girl who did not want her MRS from college, who if she condescended to even get married would have an equally submissive relationship, not any one-sided deal. I wanted a high status career containing power, status, and wealth, and I definitely did not want children.

In my mind, I had diligently and oh so obediently punched my ticket of being good, and now dadgummit, I expected, nay insisted, that God bless my plans my way.

I made up my mind that this was a test of faith, and therefore, always one to relish a test and excel at them, I decided that God wanted to see how diligent I would be to pray exactly right, with my request propped up on a yet to be discovered Bible verse, involving the exact and right amount of people also praying this perfect albeit uncomposed prayer.

I had so much work to do.

Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 of James.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2008 12:37 pm

    So much of this sounds so personally familiar. Prior to their birth, I didn’t know anything was wrong with my children, but at their births the evidence came in like a ravaging cyclone and I became a ravaging woman. Oh, the mercy of God!

  2. May 13, 2008 4:54 pm

    My heart aches every time I see a new installment of James’ story, Elle. But I love seeing God’s glory all over it.

    Last week, I was listening to a Bible study when the teacher started to explain how, exactly, we share in the sufferings of Christ (Romans 8). She took us back to Gethsemane, where Christ was pressed (the literally meaning of the word) to his very core. She related that to our personal Gethsemanes, and said we will often be pressed to the very marrow so we will see what truly lurks inside. It comes out in the press. God is good that way.

  3. May 13, 2008 9:52 pm

    Loved your comment on postmodern. 😉

    This is so revealing to me, Elle. I would have NEVER pegged you as a high-power, career-driven kind of woman. That’s so not the you I have gotten to know in these months of reading and learning from you. Always submissive to and in awe of The Highest Power – that’s the Elle I know. Wow, I cannot imagine the changes God has allowed and encouraged in the life of James (and other chapters of your life, too, I’m sure).

    As always, thanks for trusting us with all of this!

  4. May 14, 2008 1:31 am

    “I decided that God wanted to see how diligent I would be to pray exactly right, with my request propped up on a yet to be discovered Bible verse, involving the exact and right amount of people also praying this perfect albeit uncomposed prayer.”

    I so get this. Problem? Take Action. Are you a first born?

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