I don’t know what I’ll do if I step on another g-damn Cheerio…. They’re all over the place. Sometimes when I buzz around the house I step on one by surprise and it explodes in a final fit of glory. On other occasions, I can detect it’s presence before it’s too late, and pray my weight didn’t crush it and make a bigger mess. It induces the same anxiety as when I accidentally call someone I definitely didn’t want to dial, trying to hang up as quickly as possible, praying it didn’t go through. Praying that the receiving end didn’t see your name pop up on the phone. Maybe the Cheerio didn’t feel me step on it. The Cheerios are everywhere.
As I vacuumed them up this morning, it finally sunk in that I can no longer comfortably pick stuff off the floor; the baby and the belly are too big. Usually I can bend over to pick up the whole ones because the cordless vacuum doesn’t pick those up as easily. This morning it was too hard. I ran the vacuum on top of one of them about 17 times, getting more and more frustrated with each thrust. Then I lifted the vacuum up and tried gingerly placing it on top of the Cheerio in hopes of bypassing the bristles and getting a direct shot into the suck-y air tube. Then I tried just holding the vacuum over the Cheerio. I was going to win. Vacuum victory was the only option.
Finally it hit me, I have to crush it. I have to make more of a mess before I’m allowed to tidy it all up. So I stepped on it and all the crumbles easily disappeared into the vacuum. At that moment it hit me that maybe this technique could be applied to other areas of my life…
There is a lot about this pregnancy I cannot control. No, life. There’s a lot about this life I cannot control. Okay, there’s nothing I can really control, at least for very long or at all successfully. One day maybe I’ll have time and a context to talk about exactly why this pregnancy and this delivery are really triggering and hard for me to process and feel. There’s just not time here, now. But I can communicate how this final pregnancy has revealed the last few un-repaired rips in my family’s fabric; in my fabric.
This miraculous surprise was/is essential to the completion of a traumatic, earth-shattering last 4 1/2 years. It’s also the last chapter in the last book of the volume of my first twenty-seven years. This pregnancy and the physical and emotional triggers it’s bubbling up are forcing me to release and trust and grieve the deepest things I carry. The most stubborn false selves and wounds & the most vivid PTSD flashbacks. If I am called to tell and show people that all things are good, all the time, then this pregnancy and delivery can complete that puzzle. Romans 8:28 will be proven true, again. I have to believe that ALL THINGS ARE GOOD in order for me to show others that all things are good. I have to believe that an emergency c-section is good. I have to know that no matter how much I wounded Lucy, it’s all good. And if I leave behind four wonderful monsters and a saintly husband, that is good too. These are the things I’m afraid of fully feeling and believing. Before I can fully move on, fully rejoice, I have to tread through the triggers and Truths of this pregnancy. So does my family.
I knew the wounds existed. I could smell the decaying from a distance, I just kept hoping someone else would take out the trash. I saw them, just like I see those Cheerios under ottomans and dining room tables, nagging at me while I go about my daily duties. If only God could just suck all of them up and out of my heart! But big, whole, important, ungrieved, unfelt, defended “Cheerios” (aka wounds) can’t disappear that way.
Nope, God has to smash them first. In order for everything to get tidied and deep cleaned I have to allow myself to be shattered. The tower of fear, control, shame, and grief must fall down in front of me first so that God can build up a new one with Jesus and Love and Grace as the cornerstones— the foundation. I must willingly put myself under the pressure, feel it, and explode from the inside out. Only then can God suck it all up and out of me. So for the next couple months I’ll exist in a state similar to one of a stomped Cheerio. Please bear with me.
We all have Cheerios scattered around our existence and our hearts, things that just won’t stop nagging and tugging. We all have towers we try to keep erect, even though the foundations are crumbling and giant chunks of brick and building materials rapidly hurl toward us from above. Debt, a wayward child(ren), a resentment or strained relationship, a death, a birth, positive PET scans, careers (or lack thereof), divorces, abuses, abortions. I just imagine us walking through life praying we don’t accidentally step on one, praying nobody else sees them or steps on them either. And finally, when we’ve had enough avoiding we say eff it, these won’t vacuum up, they won’t go away. God, do what you gotta do. Then we get smashed, but in the most loving way possible. I imagine us, sweaty and weary, supporting these nasty, old, horribly engineered towers that God is begging us to step away from. Sweet things, you were never meant to hold this. Please let me start from scratch?
Let’s be strong and courageous! Let’s show up for each other! Let’s show each other our cheerios and the true state of our towers, and watch all the glorious destruction happen while holding each others’ hands— together. I want so badly to run away from the final trimester and from delivering this sweet little girl, help me stay still, please. Help me wait for the inner explosion that brings a new Life, new Light, new Love, and a Peace that surpasses all understanding.