The photo above is what I see each morning when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep. I am on the verge of bringing forth life into the world and helping form a new family. My career trajectory is back on course to my dream job. I have brought my family to a city they love with opportunities they deserve. We are preparing to move into a nice gated apartment community in Kendall, a wonderful part of Miami to raise a family. Today is our due date! In the ocean of my life, I am sitting atop the crest of an exhilarating wave.
At the same time, I am experiencing a surge of emotions. Several people close to me are dealing with ongoing medical and personal struggles. I am feeling especially empathetic and thoughtful due to the pregnancy hormones. They make you feel more deeply, which is often characterized as crazy. I think it is an opportunity to experience life more fully for a moment.
The juxtaposition of what my loved ones are experiencing has me thinking deeply about God’s will. We all have different spiritual journeys. If you identify as a Christian, making sense of senseless suffering is the hardest part of that journey sometimes. I hear people talk about everything that happens being God’s will, and that if you are a good or faithful enough Christian you can pray yourself out of any negative situation. If that were true, a lot more of my Christian friends would be millionaires with perfect lives. Sometimes really awful things happen… they happen to us all. Blaming people for situations outside of their control is simple-minded and does nothing to help them along as they overcome their struggles.
Two of my loved ones have chronic health conditions that can wear on you psychologically as the symptoms and new medications come and go. One of my dearest friends married her dream guy, found a great job, got pregnant, and looked forward to all that entails. When she miscarried, there was no funeral. The loss of unborn children often transpires in a silent, painful solitude. If the child had been born first, the grieving would be a more social process with a gathering at a funeral and flowers… cards. Whether born or unborn, parents who lose children experience the same crushed hopes and dreams. Nevertheless my friend presses forward and is as strong as she can be in each moment. Another friend got a great job, found out she had a serious medical problem, got better news that she will be able to avoid chemo with radiation, and then lost a young member of her immediate family. She is also strong and gets through as best as she can. I refuse to believe God intervened to make my friends experience these losses, instead of intervening to say… stop a young child from being sexually molested. I do believe God is all-powerful, but the forces at work here on Earth are more complicated. They involve the decisions we make, the decisions of those around us, and the laws of science put into place that none of us can change. Good acts often breed more good, bad can breed bad, and sometimes there is no apparent rhyme or reason.
All in all, I don’t think we are meant to understand why everything happens to us and to the ones we love. The best we can do is what we should do. We all fall short of our aspirations… we all have our vices. I feel there is one source of love. This same love now exists in every location and culture. This means we are all capable of acting in love and improving the world immediately around us. That is powerful—as powerful as the negative. I hope that when my next challenges come, as they come to us all, that I will be as strong as my friends. I hope I can accept and feel the love given to me in those times, as they have received the love and support around them.
Please send me your positive wishes and say a prayer over the next little while for a safe delivery for baby Mei and a good recovery for me. The family that is about to come together and my family are now inextricably interwoven… and it is a beautiful tapestry. They have made it possible for Nathan, Elias, and I to make this move and start a new life. They are very private people, in protection of the good life they have built successfully in an accepting community. I won’t be posting any photos of the new dads and Mei on Facebook like we did with Elias’ birth. I respect that they are not making a political statement. They do not want to be a spectacle. They want to just be as a family. I ask for your prayers for them as they make the transition into parenthood, which is a wild time for us all!
Thank you for taking time to read about my spiritual journey. I hope the best for you as you travel onward down your path.