Last night Wes and I were chatting idly about our day. This is a relatively new development for us, this chatting business, and it started around the time we brought Doc home. For the most part Wes despises chit-chat so we used to keep it to a minimum and just watch TV together. Now, we spend a lot of time sitting in our living room watching our puppy destroy his toys and that leaves us with little else to do but chat. So chat we do.
Five days ago I made the decision not to talk about work while I was at home. Talking about work made me grumpy and irritable and did nothing good in my opinion. Since then, I’ve been much more relaxed. What I do talk about, however, is what I did with my day while I was at work. It’s not work, it’s what I did while I was off-task at work. Big difference!
Yesterday I spent some time researching anencephaly. A family friend of ours recently lost their baby because their little boy had anencephaly and I wanted to know more about this terrible disorder.
It’s a neural tube defect, which means that while the baby is developing, the neural tube, which eventually becomes the spinal cord, fails to develop into a brain at one end. This means that the fetus has a normal body with a spine and a brain stem but no brain. The baby is alive inside the womb, kicking and moving, but as soon as the baby enters the world it cannot survive and passes shortly thereafter. 1,000 babies are born with this disorder every year in America, and 55% of mothers who have babies with this disorder choose to abort the pregnancy. Of the 45% who choose to keep their babies, only 5% of those mothers actually get to give birth to a live baby.
Our friend chose to carry her baby to term and when he was born he lived for three hours with his Mom and Dad holding him. It’s a terrible tragedy and it still makes me cry a little when I remember it.
I was sharing these findings with Wes and when I was done I mentioned that I really hope that we never have to go through anything like that. He agreed and mentioned that he didn’t think I would be able to survive something like that. He said that God only gives people what they can handle and Wes is pretty sure I would not be able to handle something like that.
To be honest, I’m not sure I could either. What I am sure about, however, is that if something like that happened the Lord would give me the necessary strength. He’s done it before and He would do it again. I never thought I could beat depression but somehow (I’m still not sure how) I’ve gotten a handle on it. Yes, I still struggle with it but that’s the point: I’m struggling with it, but it’s not winning.
I know so many amazing believers who are going through or have gone through tragedies: very sick children, rare and aggressive cancer, children who have passed away. None of these families think they will get through these tragedies and yet they do. They put their faith in the Lord and He takes them through it by helping them place one foot in front of the other.
It’s pretty neat that my chat with Wes led me down a mental rabbit trail that ended here. The only thing I can do is resolve to revel in my life as it is right now. I am not guaranteed happiness or ease for the rest of my life, but I have it now, so I’m just going to enjoy the heck out of it for as long as I can. Unfortunately for Wes this means a lot of sock puppets and high-fives in the shower (don’t ask). What would life be without a little reckless abandon and nonsensical whimsy?