Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Perfect Love

So, here are a few things I've been thinking about lately.

When I was pregnant with Leah, it really took a long time for the reality of it to set in. I mean, here was this precious, amazing miracle growing inside of me, something we had longed for, prayed for, cried over. And now that it was an almost-tangible thing, I couldn't quite get my mind around it.

And somewhere, deep in the recesses of my soul, I pulled back. I didn't want to get to close, too attached, didn't want to love too deeply. Not yet. Because, after all, nothing is promised, right? What if something happened? The very thought of loving and being crushed seemed overwhelming to me.

Isn't it so very silly how we fret and worry, borrowing trouble for tomorrow that might never appear?

But a mother's heart is a strange, wonderful thing, and no matter the fear, you cannot help but love. And so I did - I cautiously loved that little being inside of me. And when she was born, healthy and plump and pink, there was no going back.

So in love. 

I think I had a little bout with hormones/depression/what have you right afterward, which I know is not terribly unusual, but still, I hated not feeling like myself. Right around her two week checkup, I had just started leveling off and feeling somewhat normal.

At that checkup, I watched as the doctor passed his stethoscope slowly across her chest, listening, moving it again, listening.  For waaaay too long. My eyes were glued to his face, and I knew something was not right.

She had a heart murmur, which he was quick to tell me was not in and of itself a horrible diagnosis - he figured it to be a hole in her heart which would possibly close up on its own. But to be on the safe side, he wanted us to see a pediatric cardiologist. 

We went the next day, and found out that she had pulmonary valve stenosis - her little valve had not formed correctly, and the extra work it had to do to pump blood through was causing the heart murmur. He ran through the different scenarios, which ran the gamut of her leading a perfectly normal life to her needing heart surgery.

My world kinda came crashing down on me. It was one of those weird things - you never expect to hear something like that about one of your own kids. I had a whole myriad of feelings to process - a bit of numbness over the situation, sadness that my little girl had to go through anything like this at all, and then some good old fashioned guilt that said I had no business feeling anything like that when so many other little ones had it worse.

And then of course, fear.

I was afraid of the unknown. Afraid that she would be taken from me in the middle of the night. I was afraid  that her life would somehow be terribly altered by this diagnosis, and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated that even though you couldn't tell from the outside, something was wrong on the inside.

But here is what I have slowly found out - love is way, way bigger than that fear. Than any fear.  Even if some dark little place inside of me says that the worst might happen, and then tries to protect itself by pulling back and saying that loving is not worth it - oh, it SO is.

And that whole thing about perfect love casting out fear - well, that's true too. I guess I would like it if it was a one time thing - bam! - I love, and so the fear is gone. HE loves me - loves us - and so the fear is gone.

But it's more like a daily thing. I get up and look at her sweet face, and start to worry. Sometimes when I lie awake in bed, those what-ifs hit me so hard. And because my own heart only knows how to love imperfectly, the fear is always there, waiting to pounce on my every weakness.

But the love always rises up to overcome it. He reminds me that no matter what, He is perfect love. No matter the outcome, He loves my Leah far more than I ever could.

And because I have no other option, and because I don't WANT any other option, I choose to rest in that.