Friday, June 7, 2013


I give a LOT of props to women who make it through the process of birthing a child without any medication or help.  I'm not that kind of woman.  I was more than happy to suck in every drop of "help" the doctor and nurses were willing to offer me.  But despite medical intervention, I still remember that the "transition" stage of labor with both my bio kids was extremely intense. (Can't imagine what it would have been like WITHOUT medical help.) 

I have been thinking a lot about that word - "Transition."  I'm not a fan - not of the word, and not of the process.  It's really just a fancy way of describing change, and I REALLY don't care for that.

I remember particularly with my longer labor process with Jacob, my oldest, how things had calmed down because of my epidural - pain had been numbed, and I had been able to rest in the midst of labor.  But when transition came, I still had this huge reaction happening in my body, even though my legs were numb.  I shook, I was nauseous, the contractions intensified above the medication, but most of all, I remember wanting to give up.  I didn't feel like I could go on. But physically speaking, I was several months past the point of no return, and moments away from the reason everything was going to have "all been worth it." 

Spiritually speaking, the stage of transition is far less clearly defined. The labor is intensive, but the birth ahead is far less clear.  And unlike a doctor's admonition to "push" having a power to impact the process, there is no clear action or breathing that can necessarily have the power to impact the stage - but the desire to give up, is just as strong.

I've been thinking alot about the story in Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestles with God.  He's fallen, exhausted on the banks of the Jabbok River.  He's running from the past, dreading his future, and doing everything he can to manipulate his desired outcome, but I think at the core of the man, he knows - he is powerless. He's just there, stuck - in transition.

In my mind as the story plays out; the "Man" who is God has come there to wrestle with Jacob. I see the two of them holding the fronts of one another's robes, like schoolyard boys ready to break out into fight, each gripping the other tightly until they have fallen to the ground and are rolling and "wrestling about." 

I see myself in Jacob's position - clearly outsized by my "opponent."  I can only imagine that He has grabbed first, and my response is simply to grab back.  But when I imagine myself there, I think the sense of being dwarfed inclines me to wanting to not only let go, but push away - walk away even and give up.  It's where I feel like I am right now in my "spiritual" life.  I put the quote marks around "spiritual" because in the core of my belief I don't think that is a part of life that should be separated out as different from all the rest of what we do, but I digress.  Back to today.

I don't want to hold on - I don't even want to engage.  I am at a place where I want to let go, walk off, give up and not look back.  I am ready to walk away from "church life," which unlike a "spiritual life" can in fact be completely separated out.  It's too damn complicated.  And I don't want to do it anymore.  I'm spent.  And whereas in the labor of birthing physically, where there is a human being coming forth that cannot be stopped - in this different type of labor, I don't have to push forward, and I really can just give up.

So I let go, I stop engaging (translation: reading my bible and praying just isn't happening right now); I'm ready to walk away (Neal has given me "permission" to stop attending church for a while if I need to.) But as I turn to walk away from "the Man who is God," the other wrestler in my story, I don't know that He has returned the favor of letting go of my "robe" as well.

Don't misunderstand me - I do believe his is letting me walk away from engaging, but I don't think he's actually letting me leave Him.  In some crazy (70s toy) Stretch Armstrong kind of way, I am able to push farther and farther from where the battle was meant to begin, but He's just not letting me go.  And I just have no idea what to do with that.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I climbed in the boat with brokenness,
I hoped for a quiet respite.
Not knowing that was the place,
Where my heart and soul would be split.

In a storm my arms gripped tight,

Holding tightly to the boat.
Waves rage high, then drop low,
Dragging me off somewhere remote.

Off to solitude and silence I drifted,
Pushed by waters so adverse.
Floating out into aloneness,
I found it a blessing and a curse.

Storm weary and beat down,
I was spent down deep in my soul.
Broken apart by crashing waves,
Can't remember what it was to be whole.

Because it was all I'd ever known,
For so long there I did remain.
Not because it didn't hurt,
But it was an acceptable level of pain.

But acceptable is ever changing,
Till it reaches a level one can't bear.
Then always comes the day,
When one just can't remain there.

The last days on the boat were painful,
Holding on as the waves began to lift.
Then suddenly it came down hard,
And I was tossed completely adrift.

But quickly I was drawn in,
To a quiet pool that seemed safe.
A hand of welcome was freely offered,
For they didn't really see this sorry waif.

Homeless, and broken and sad,
There was voice that bid me "Come."
Desperate I fell on their shore,
They didn't see from where I'd swum.

It was an ugly painful place,
Of which they could not know,
And when I told my tale,
They did not believe it so.

There on the shore I vomited,
All the poisoned waters I'd taken in.
It wasn't the way to enter their world,
A bad way to make a friend.

A beautiful place I'd landed,
I yearned to see it all.
I'd never seen such a loveliness,
Seemed like Eden before the fall.

But I didn't fit there in paradise,
There was simply too much damage done.
There was no place for ugly here,
And I knew I was the ugly one.

I found the waters beckoning me,
But I had no desire for another boat.
I just wanted into the waters,
A place to lie back and float.

Alone in the water I longed to be,
My ears covered to mute the sound.
Drifting out in the stormy waters,
Is where I wanted to be found.

Relationship is just too hard,
When I have revealed too much of me.
I don't want to try anymore,
I just want to drift alone out to sea.

So I am walking out into the water
Grabbing a wave that'll take me away,
Because belonging is so much harder,
Than just living my life astray.

Deep waters no longer alarm me,
If I know I can ride them alone.
There my pain is my problem,
But by no one my suffering known.

Adrift is powerfully beckoning,
And it's where I long to be.
I can just be sorry I'm alone,
And no longer sorry I'm me.

by Diana DePriest
© June 3, 2013