The pregnancy hormones are leaving my body, and glory hallelujah, I'm overcome with joy. Singing in the choir, Sunday, the hairs of my arms lifted. The Spirit, and how long had it been since I'd felt It that way?
I no longer startle at the sound of my own laughter. I can pray easily for others, and I want to, and I do. I asked Jim, last night, how long it's been since he's seen me crying: a few weeks, he said.
People say and write things that annoy me, and I don't even consider taking them on. I whisper-bless their pea-pickin' hearts, and I shut my ears and eyes to their words. I smile. I remind myself: the Lord hath not called me into service as the facebook police.
I saw, recently: "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate." I'm trying. (I considered writing those words up my arm in Sharpie.)
I haven't felt this happy since, oh, about September 2011.
And I'm praying the same, old prayer regarding the same, old unresolved issue, but one week from today, we'll put our trust in the hands of the top neurosurgeon this country has to offer, and we'll keep our faith in God, same as always. And by the stripes of His Son Jesus may we be healed, amen.
In the meantime, I'm trying to smooch Baby Chip's cheeks clean off. I'm leaning in close and smiling because, generally, he smiles right back. I'm admiring the delicate bones of Charleigh's face even as she narrows her eyes and works her jaw back and forth at me, as a threat. I'm enjoying the way she uses "mines," not in reference to diamonds or coal, but to say things like: "Mama change mines shirt."
I'm praising Clementine's artwork and the way she draws sunglasses for herself and curly hair and sparkly shoes for her sister. I'm up-close-and-personal watching Cade learn experimental design and parenthetical citations, and I'm loving my man's (suddenly much smaller) body.
And I can't tell you why joy suddenly sat up straight as a poker in my soul, stretched and blinked against the light that's always been in my life. "Joy cometh in the morning," the psalmist writes, but the night can last a long, long time.
What I can tell you for sure (and I've written about this before) is that, if I could have felt joyful, I would have. Also that no one could pressure or even sweet-talk me back into joy. It was in there sure as the Holy Spirit's in there, but it was sleeping. I'm guessing the Holy Spirit in me was too busy fighting off that lion to shake the joy awake and offer it to you, as fruit on a platter. I'm sorry.
I want to tell you my joy has returned because my hormones are righting themselves. Or because I've moved fourteen months past miscarriage and seven past Jim's gastric bypass. I want to tell you I'm full to the brim with joy because I got my heart's desire in Baby Chip, because someone is going to try and help my brother. But it's more complicated than any one of those things, or all of them mixed and rolled together; it really is.
If you know the Lord but feel the absence of joy, right now, I don't have an easy answer for you. I have only a promise that joy will return. In its own time, it will. I promise.
And look: I have a smile for you, today. A smile...and a prayer, too.