Monday, March 20, 2017

By The Number of Breaths I Take: Embracing Powerlessness

Today, for the first time in all my life, I was truly overwhelmed and terrified of the future.

Okay, bear with me because it may just be these pregnancy hormones that magnify every minute detail in life, but wow! I generally take things in good stride and haven't ever really bitten off more than I could chew. When I was single, I had a pretty good idea of what my limits were and stuck to it.  In our first year of marriage, my husband and I keep life very simple. We grocery shop and watch a show together on weekends, but most days are spent in silence. For my husband, the hours are spent studying or going to school, though the evenings he uses to unwind. That means I usually keep the house under control (except the laundry), maintain our budget twice a month, plan dinners and try to figure out what hobbies I like now that I'm out of school. Life is about to change, though.

In short, we will soon have our first baby and my husband will begin the second half of medical school. The second half means we will be moving and he will start putting in any number of hours into rotations at the hospital. Without going into much detail, I'll just say life gets crazier from there.

Knowing all of this, I did some research. I spend several hours reading blogs by the wives of residents and medical students and even delved into a few books I had purchased myself. By the end, I knew that medical marriages can be considered a special phenomenon, finances take extra care and attention, and family life must be crafted with steady hands and all the fortitude of the universe. And here I am, just 22, and I feel utterly incapable.

I know nothing and at the moment, I am searching for incentive and the inner voice that says "I can do this!". I'm not sure where all those motivational speakers found theirs, but pretty sure mine is lying in some deep dark cave somewhere. If I let my thoughts run deeper into my sense of despair, my self-worth will shatter completely. I simply have no idea what I'm going to do, or if I can pull this off at all.

 I'm going to stop wondering. This is my calling and I'm tired of looking myself in the mirror, asking if I have what it takes. I search my mind and soul, but I find nothing there to help me. I have already let myself down.

Our Lord has not, though. He has given me my breath, and every heartbeat belongs to Him. If I consider them as I own them, they are dull and hold no meaning. I can do nothing with my own functions. But if Christ owns them, if I surrender each heartbeat, each breath, each movement...

I can be happy to be small. I can find joy in the countless hours I stay awake, to ensure my children fall asleep, or to catch a rare moment with my husband as he comes home after so many hours without him. I will embrace each mess and frustration, even though I'll do so blindly.

Because I have no power, and I never will. I will never find that "special" ability within myself and no inspiration will ever be enough. I embrace that I cannot do it.

But only by the number of breaths I take, by the number of breaths He gives me. Lord, give me the grace.