Wordpress post from 9th May, here.
This isn't my first blog. I have an old one that was sadly neglected for a couple of years. Not being quite sure how to introduce myself here, I've decided to copy and paste my 'hello again' post from there.
Since this is a new beginning, I felt it was time for a new, fresh blog.
Bear with me while I tinker.
I know it's a terrible breach of bloggy etiquette to just disappear with no word of explanation.
it's a long story.
I hardly know where to begin. The past couple of years have wrought many changes. The most significant of which is the birth of my twin daughters, Olivia and Honor.
Honor is nearly 19 months old now and the darling pulse of my heart. Olivia, a dark, curly haired angel with a rosebud mouth, was born into heaven.
I had a very difficult pregnancy and simply couldn't bring myself to blog about it. I was sure that when I had got through it, I would post a picture of me with my two beautiful twinkles and say "Ta da! THIS is the reason for my long absence!"
Of course, it didn't happen like that, and I couldn't bear to write about it.
I was depressed when I was pregnant and I complained about how pathological it felt to be carrying twins. I didn't realise I was getting sicker and sicker. I just thought that was how pregnancy with twins felt. I was complacent too. I 'knew' that when they were born I would have the chance to make it up to them, but when I was carrying them I complained and fretted about how bad I felt.
I couldn't pray either, I felt further from God than I have ever felt before.
Now I am reading Dark Night of the Soul I recognise so much of what I experienced back then during those bleak, fretful months.
I have no words to describe the contrition and remorse I felt when I held my little lifeless baby. I had no way to smooch her and make up for my moaning whilst she had been inside me.
Had she felt rejected and unloved? My heart is pierced with sorrow and regret for my fickle complaining, and for my lack of trust and confidence in God.
It's harrowing to be confronted with ones own wretchedness.
A friend who led our small womens bible study told me that she believed that by complaining, I had cursed myself. It was a little comment that she tossed out by way of explaining how 'difficult' she had found it. We were on the phone at the time so she couldn't see me. It was probably hard for her to imagine the effect that her commentary was having on me, speaking as she was, into my deepest, darkest dread. I felt as though a cold hand was grasping my lungs. It was hard to breathe. I wondered if I might actually stop breathing and pass out. It's strange how strong emotions are actually experienced in a very physical way.
I managed to squeak out that " I have to go now". She was breezy, she had no idea. People can be strange. This is what she said:
" OK, well can I pray for you?"
"No, no, not now, I really have to go"
" I see" she said, her voice clipped now, I had offended her " How interesting. I find that very interesting that you won't be prayed for. Goodbye"
She also shunned Olivias funeral because it was held in a catholic church. She discouraged the other women in the group from coming. She acknowledged, and hotly defended all this because " The truth is very important".
When I protested that Jesus ate with tax collectors, she shot back " Not while they were actively defrauding people" She wanted to know why we hadn't had the funeral service in HTB, the Anglican church that we attended ( Although catholic from my youth, I no longer considered myself a Catholic, I was 'just a Christian', with no denominational affiliation as such. I was happy that way and had no axe to grind with Rome. I was just completely disinterested in what I saw as the folderols and complexity of inherited religion )
The truth was, the funeral was in a catholic church because my husband organised it. I was just a sleepwalking, albeit assenting, passenger. My husband, although he really appreciated the vibrant faith evident in our 'new' church, had never really lost his sense of Catholic identity, and when it all hit the fan, his default port of call was our local parish priest.
Fr John was a man who knew all about my walking away from the church. I had met him over other business related to the school my children used to attend, and had been upfront from the beginning as I didn't want to mislead him about where I was. We hit it off well from the beginning, perhaps he appreciated my honesty, he certainly didn't bat an eyelid and seemed to accept my position. For my part, I was happy to meet a catholic priest who unabashedly loved God and was a man of prayer. Nonetheless, I didn't feel I needed to go to his church which, I felt, couldn't hold a candle to HTB in terms of vibrancy and enthusiasm.
Still, when it came to our daughters funeral, my husband knew it had to be Catholic.
The story of my return home is one that I want to document for my own sake, so that I will always remember the 'treasures of darkness' and how God really is a God of surprises.
There is so much I want to write about. It's a process of catharsis I suppose.
It's good to be ready to talk about these things.
It's great to be home.