The beginning or the end?

My life is going through a transition.

I shared my faith story with one of my camp counselors over the summer and ended with these words “No matter what titles I have, the most important to me is being a Mother. In the end that is all God will ask of me: was I nurturing, caring, responsible and loving not only to my own children but to anyone that came across where I resided and rested.”

As our children grow older, parents have a tendency to want to rise up as phoenixes and race across the dying evening skies leaving their floundering brood to fend off the darkness that will surely fall. God placed into my hands this mission of ordained ministry and as excited as I was, I needed to make sure that my Tribe also could continue the journey in these challenging waters.

My first born, whose name means “God rules” or perhaps in this case “the princess of God” is beginning her last year in high school.  Those who are blessed in having teenagers know the groaning pains and the surprise joys in traveling , more so perhaps because we have forgotten our own journey along this same, twisted, dusty and pebble ridden road.

My second born, whose name means “a mystic, a seeker” is beginning his last year at his elementary school.  Because of what I experienced with him as he came into this world, because of his gentle nature and because he wavers in my shadow I continue to be amazed each day.

And yet, this is the beginning of the end.

When my husband and I first dated and then later on became engaged, we spoke about having four children. 16 years later we have fulfilled half of that dream, and now are at the cusp of bringing another child into this world. We had names picked out and lingered happily in baby aisles at Target.

And yet, this perhaps is not to be.

Genetics, and excuse my language, can be a bitch. The longevity within the women in my family is profound but with this greatness and wisdom comes complications when having children. I experienced part of this as both my children came into the world. I have not yet reached the dreaded age of reason (i.e. 40) however my body is not in sync with the rest of me, as well as my spirit. Slowly I am coming to the realization that I may not be able to bear any children and my soul weeps.

Never to feel the stirring of life within.

Never to feel the first kicks and elbows.

Never to sing and cradle my stomach.

And yet, this is the beginning of the end. Time is turning over soft leaves that have been stained with life into my hands. My Creator has widened the horizon; there is more for me to learn and so I remain under the beautiful wilting shadow of a Tree and listen, listen to what He has to say.

This is the beginning of my third year in Seminary, of starting a new position immersed in ministry, of saying goodbye to everything that my heart is used to and stepping out on faith into the unknown. Internship looms in the grayness of a rainy afternoon, not because it is full of fear and interpretation but because of the promise of baptism which will flow into my very being over and again each day .

This is the beginning of my husband’s journey into academica once more, free to pursue his dreams after being firmly planted in the trenches, working with those who have no voice and guiding those whose voices have yet to be cultivated.

This is the beginning of thinking about opening our hearts and home one day to a child whom although does not come from within, does come from above.

This is the end of what I am familiar and what I have known. This is the beginning of stepping out of my comfort zone, kicking open the doors of the church and being involved in ministry as the Creator has always wished me to be.

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