I pull into an empty spot in front of the store. As I open the door and step out, crisp February air blows my coat open. I reach over with one hand pulling one lapel across my body. With the other I shut the door. I walk tippy-toe over a snow mound so my heels won’t sink in.
I am so tired lately. All week I assume it’s the burden of school and full-time work depleting my natural spunk. But a voice keeps whispering.
I walk down an aisle in the pharmacy section and grab a three pack. Just in case.
Driving home I tell myself, “As soon as I silence this voice, I can start writing today’s case study.”
The stairs creak under my stocking feet as I climb to the second-floor bathroom. Plastic packaging crinkles in my hand as I pull out the white wand. I use it as directed and wait.
Two blue lines? It can’t be.
My breathing quickens as an unseen force sucks the wind from my lungs. I open a second package, repeat the process, and wait.
Two blue lines. Again.
Air returns to my lungs. But heavy smog-like poisoned air circulates, weighing down every cell of my body.
I turn the faucet and plug the drain. I feel like I’m in a movie acting out someone else’s life. In a movie, the unwed thirty something would draw a bath.
Thirty minutes later, wrapped in a towel and a haze of fear, I pass my room mate in the hall. I usually tell her everything first. This time I’ll tell him first.
I close the bedroom door behind me.
Then, like a baseball shattering the window in front of me, my life and many things I believe about God shatter around me. I feel utterly exposed and unprotected.
How did this happen? I know I did it, but how could You let me?
I gave you my whole life? I fasted often, prayed regularly. I would do anything and go anywhere for You. I’m not just a bench warmer in the Church.
During the next few months, I ask God the same questions over and over. Eventually, I stop asking when no answers come. I trudge through life surrounded by glass shards, those scraps of false stability still taunting me.
Then one day, waddling through my apartment, belly bulging, I hear His voice. “I’m still here. I never left, and I never will. You are as lovable to Me now as you were the first moment I conceived your life.”
All my efforts and failures can’t fashion or fracture His love for me. (Colossians 2:17)
When I turn to Him again, His incautious love and passionate purpose sprout through the rubble. I begin to dream, and hope, and receive love again.
In fact, the same purposes He planted in my heart pre-baby are still in full activation mode post-baby. Our mistakes will not ruin us. God redeems it all.
Tara Altay is a stay at home wife and mom of three girls. She blogs at taraaltay.com encouraging us to receive God’s radical love for us so we can Unearth our Awesome.