Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nine Months

It has been nine months since we left our CLB.

Funny, but nine months has always been a marker for me of a new life. It was nine months gestating a new human life. I’ve been through it enough times to remember. Nine months of waiting, anticipating, and longing to meet this new person yet it was also nine months of not liking what was going on and the ramifications that it brought to me personally.

I don’t do pregnancy well. Never did. Always dreaded it. The only bright spot was the movement of the new one within me. It broke through the headaches, backaches, constant peeing, nausea, and exhaustion with the wonder of actually growing a new life in my body.

But then there was an end to it. Usually after the final last months of contractions that promised the world but delivered nothing there was that night when we knew that we were going to start a new chapter with this new life. That part was glorious and I remember each dawn with a new baby with such great delight that I endured it seven times.

But these nine months are different. It feels like pregnancy in some ways. For one, it has been long. The headaches and heartaches are reminiscent of those other days. I do feel like there is new life in there somewhere. I feel it kicking as I venture out or contemplate venturing out in the unknown. But it never seems to come. Not really come.

Sometimes it just feels like those nauseous days when I wondered why in the heck I ever got pregnant again in the first place.

Why did we do this again? Can someone remind me? We are not crazy…right?

But then I would remember why I got pregnant and now I remember why we left and it all makes sense for the moment.

I want my friends back. Not the ones who called themselves my friends and then just used my friendship – who ultimately just wanted me to follow them. I want the ones who were genuine friends. The ones I loved in my home. The ones I watched grow up into marriage and being mothers. The ones that we raised our kids together with. The ones that nine months ago had to make a choice between leadership and me.

I just feel that I am in the middle of a pregnancy that is filled with longing and that I do not see an end to. I’m not sure I can do this. I want the new life to start. Something at least.


Anonymous said...

I am very much with you in wanting the new life to start. Of course, we have an actual new baby to think about, and that's plenty, but O, how I long for...well, I'm not sure what. But SOMEthing. God'll show us when and what, though.


co_heir said...


Remember that God is always on time. I'm sorry if that sounds cliched (I hate pat "Christian" answers too), but it is true. I've learned that even though the waiting is hard, just like in a pregnancy, it is worth it.

Erin said...

I hear you and I completely know what you're saying...I have felt that way several times. It will come in waves and seasons...the missing of the past and wondering what you're doing.

But as much as I hate to say it, Co Heir is right...don't try to rush yourself into the next thing. You will miss out on valuable aspects of your healing. That might mean it will come next week or next year. And it sucks, but it's worth waiting my opinion.

co_heir said...


Hey, what's so bad about me being right? :)

Barb said...

S. I can't wait for your new life either. I know God will walk with you to and through it.

Co_heir, even it it does sound 'pat' at this time it just feels good to be spoken to and encouraged!

Erin, thanks to you too. You have been such an encouragment these past months.

Erin said...

Co Heir - I think from your smiley you know what I meant...but just to be's not about you, it's about what you said...I dislike those platitudes too, but once in awhile they are meaningful to us, as much as I don't like to admit it.

Elle said...

I can sure relate to this post! As a former leader myself, I've been "out of the system" for so long that I've gone through numerous cycles of feeling what you are going through. It's been 10 years since I walked away from the CLB. There have been waves of delight and feeling so free and then there have been times of feeling right where you are at: When does my new life begin?

For me, it wasn't until year nine (isn't that just pathetic that it took me that long?!?!) that I saw how much healing I really needed (and I'm not implying the same for you, just sharing my journey!). Not just from CLB wounds, but from my whole life. So, the past year has been a glorious, painful, wonderful year of healing and I'm not even vaguely finished yet!

Well, all of that to say this: Our time in the wilderness can be so valuable in so many ways. I'd encourage you to treasure it even in it's hardest moments. I really do think there are things that can ONLY be discovered in the wilderness. I can honestly now say that I would not give up the last decade for anything in the world, even though I still don't know what direction I'm even heading in!

Hugs from your fellow wilderness wanderer,


Barb said...

Elle, would love to know what you are doing this year to find the healing you spoke of. I will poke around your blog a bit today.

Thanks so much for the words and encouragement and the hugs. Who knew cyber hugs would actually minister to my spirit.


Elle said...


There have been so many things that have helped me this past year. I'll email you off-list about some of them, but in this public forum I'll say this much: The amazing books that have come into my hands have brought me so much healing. They've been a healing balm to my wounded heart. I've quoted from quite a few of them on my blog, but I'll list a few of them here: Brennan Manning's book "Abba's Child" had me tears on many a page. So much healing flowed into me from that book. Then I read Manning's "The Wisdom of Tenderness."(Well, the first 1/2 to 2/3 of it, before he got into some topics I don't want to be reading about right now). From there it was onto Parker Palmer's book "Let Your Life Speak." It's funny, because it's a book about vocation and that has nothing to do with why I read it, but that man's insight into the human heart is deep and profound. I highly recommend it to every human being! Right now I'm reading another Palmer book called "A Hidden Wholeness." It is making me weep and long for all that the body of Christ can be, and for what I need in my own life. It's not a "Christian" book per se, and that may be that's why it is hitting me so deeply. He understands the human heart's need.

I've also read some Gerald May books, a Christian psychiatrist, that have been a huge help to me. I hesitate to recommend them because the parts that are good are SO incredible, but there's a lot to weed through to get to those gems and not everyone has that patience! The books I've read are "The Awakened Heart," "Addictions and Grace," (he explains that everyone has addictions, this is not just for someone who has a drinking or drug problem, etc.), and am now reading his book "The Wisdom of Wilderness."

I'll stop before this gets too long, but wanted to share at least a few of the gems with you here. I'll contact you off-list with the rest of what helped me personally. It feels a bit to personal and raw still for me to share it here at this time, but maybe in the future. :-)

You are not alone, know that much!

grace said...

I wanted to offer you some words of encouragement, but I am not feeling especially hopeful of a "new life" these days. I am taking elle's words to heart about appreciating the lessons of the wilderness.

Barb said...

Thanks Elle, I have actually read May's book Addictions and Grace and loved it. I will look at his other books.

Grace, Wouldn't it be funny to speak to God and have him ask why we tried so hard to avoid him in the wilderness. We think it is all about us doing stuff for him when all the Old Testament stories are mostly wilderness stories.

co_heir said...

I spent some time in the desert a couple of years ago and I can tell you that even though it's not a lot of fun, God taught me a lot about himself and about me. I think maybe those whom God wants to use, he sends through the wilderness. Look at Moses, Paul, and Jesus himself.

I knew what you meant.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate to give a scripture verse, but this one in Hosea 2 have constantly given me sooooooo much hope: 2:14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tnederly to her."

I only hope this brings hope about the desert.

Sue said...

No, you are so not crazy. But the work you are doing now is like a pregnancy in that it is hidden away. And just like you felt exhausted during your pregnancies, then so you feel exhausted now, and some days probably wonder why, when it doesn't seem like you are actually *doing* anything.

But paradigm changing and breaking out of boxes is courageous work and it's done in secret in many ways.

You're not crazy. You're so not :)

PJ said...


Having been gone from my CLB 18 months now, I understand where you are. A friend of mine, a minister who also had left the CLB's covering before I did, told me that it would take about a year before it was no longer the first thought in my mind. And it is true, it took about that just to feel like I could desire to move forward.

There are still many times for me like that though. An old friend (who unfortunately I introduced to the CLB leader years ago...what a good friend I am...just moved to my town to go to the CLB and it really stirs up the old feelings. It's things like that which bother me now.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, it will be better, but in it's own timing. Don't beat yourself up for having more grief still. Rest in the words and support of those who have found grace, like these who share the blogosphere and those who are in the flesh with you. This is the church.

Praying God's healing grace for you.