Archive for Navel gazing

I posted

I actually tried to post somethig just now and then wordpress ate it and I’m not prepared to attempt reconstruction so…til next time. 

i am a bad blogger

Seriously, the worst right?  I’m not going to blame it on being busy, I just haven’t really had the itch to write.  Shrug.

So why am I here today?

Because I have stuff on my mind and no one to really talk to about it since it is a touchy subject…

Ever since the “Planned Parenthood sells baby parts” videos started coming out it seems like abortion has been, rightfully so, in the news a lot more.  This has made me think about it a lot more, and trust me it is not something I like to think about.

For someone as opinionated as me, I am frightfully unsure of how I feel about abortion.  I have a really hard time articulating my position, and c’mon that is just not normal for me!!

I guess the problem is that I can see both sides.  I really can.  There are certainly legitimate arguments and good intentions on both sides.  At the end of the day, though, it’s just tough, really, really tough to think of all the tiny, precious, human life being snuffed out in alarming numbers every single day.  I don’t care if your prolife or prochoice, that is just a really brutal thought.

You may never hear me say this again, but I agree with Bill Clinton that abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

Clearly, we’re missing out on the “rare” leg of that triangle since according to some 2011 numbers I found, more than 1 in 5 pregnancies in America (excluding miscarriages) ended in an abortion (40% of all unintended pregnancies ended in abortion).

Anyway, I’m not here to share my opinion on abortion since I’m still not even really sure I know what my opinion is yet…I’m here because all this thinking about abortion got me thinking about how abortion has affected my life.

No, I’ve luckily (and I do mean luckily) never had one, and I hope that I never am in a position where I have to make that decision.  (Please, God, I’m not sure I could handle it).

But my life has certainly been affected by one.

I am the oldest of two daughters, but I should have been the oldest of three.  I’m missing my youngest sibling and it wasn’t until recently that, that thought really hit me.  For some reason I imagine it was a boy, maybe because we were a family with two girls and I always wondered what it would be like to have a brother when I was growing up.

Now that I am an adult with my own child, it’s strange but yes, I actually feel a tangible loss.  I wonder how it would be to have another uncle or aunt to dote on T.  I wonder what our childhood together would have been like, the memories we could have made, the adventures we could have had.  I wonder what it would have been like to have a sibling so many years younger.  I wonder if he would have gone to UCLA and followed in my sister and my footsteps. I wonder, and I honestly miss him.  I miss the little brother I never got to meet but that I know existed.  It’s really sad.  And I see how abortion doesn’t just affect the mother’s life, there is a ripple effect sent through the entire family for generations.

Sometimes I want to ask my mom how she feels about it now.  Does she ever regret it?  Does she ever wonder what he would be like?  Does she imagine he was a boy too?  Does she imagine him at all?  But even though my mom and I are close and talk about almost anything, I can’t bring myself to bring it up.  I’m afraid it will be too hurtful a subject to dredge up.

So anyway, that’s why I’m here.  Thinking about my baby brother who never had the chance to grow up to be the man he was going to become and feeling pretty bummed about it.

ten years on

An anniversary passed early this year, quietly, unnoticed.  Perhaps not one I was ready to think about at the time.

In early 2005 I was diagnosed with lupus nephritis.  For me the moment of my diagnosis is one of those that is seared into my mind, just as clear as the first moment I laid eyes on my son.

I remember the compassion in my doctor’s voice.  The reassurance to me that this was not a death sentence.  The alarm I felt at hearing the word “death” at all, since I knew literally nothing about lupus nephritis.  It was only later as I perused Google that I realized why he had said that.  Thirty years earlier, probably around the time my doctor had begun his practice, lupus nephritis would have been a death sentence.  The ten year mortality rate in the 1970’s and 1980’s was abysmal, below 50%.

Lucky for me, by the time of my diagnosis modern medicine had progressed to the point that here I am ten years later.  Not only alive, but married to a wonderful, supportive man, and with a beautiful young son I had the privilege of carrying inside my womb.  I have a thriving career, a lovely home in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and so many plans for my future.

I am incredibly grateful for each and every day.  Beyond thankful for my miracle baby.  And oh so aware, that had I been born just a few decades earlier I would most likely not have had any of these things.  I would be dead, close to it, or at the very least, really, really sick.  The fact that I am none of these things, is a gift.

Hold on, is this really the life I’m living?
Cause I don’t feel like I deserve it
Every day that I wake, every breath that I take, You’ve given

So right here, right now, while the sun is shining down
I want to live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give You
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

– Good to be Alive by Jason Gray


And yet…

How can it be that I still want more?  I’m alive.  This is a miracle.  I have a son.  This is even more of a miracle.  But somehow something inside me still aches when I see the young mother holding her toddler’s hand as she rubs her large pregnant belly.  When I see siblings laughing and playing together.

How can it be that T is more than enough, more than I even had a right to hope for, but yet still I long for another baby.  It isn’t rationale.  But then, is a mother’s love ever rational?  The love a mother feels for her child is probably best described as primale, instinctive, all-encompassing and completely irrational at times.

So this is why I’ve come to the point where I’m torn between amazement and gratitude I feel at the privilege of being alive, of being a mother at all, and the impulse to gamble my health, possibly my life, for the chance to give my son a sibling.

It doesn’t feel fair.

But then I remember, it’s been ten years.  And here I am.  Alive.

Life’s not always fair, but God is always good.

So I’m trying my best to really leave this in His hands.  To pray.  But to also not let this consume me the way I know it could.

I feel strongly that God has led me through every step of my life.  He has carried me when I was too weak to walk on my own.  And I think maybe I’m there again, in a place where I need to let Him lead me.  Maybe I won’t like the answer, but I hope he can bring me to a place where I can accept the answer whatever it is.

And I hope that I can always remember, no matter the circumstances, to live a life well lived.

trying to try

I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I last wrote here.  It’s cliche, I know, but so much has happened and really nothing at all has happened.

I saw Dr. Kidney again and it only served to reinforce the idea that we will probaby not be having anymore biological children.  It isn’t something I have entirely accepted yet.  I continue to pray that somehow there will be miraculous healing.  

I’m grasping at straws I know.  I’m looking into various diets and exercise regimens to try and “take control” of this disease – when let’s just face it – how does that work?  Can this fucking disease even be controlled?  Nonetheless, I know something needs to change in my life.  I’ve been feeling progressively more run down as the months past and all I know is that I want to remember what it feels like to feel *good* again.  I’m not even sure what that means.  

Looking into Paleo but have decided I need a dietitian involved so that I don’t fall down into some crazy woo hole so I’m working on that right now.  

I’m just tired.  I just want to be easy.  And it’s so not easy.  And I’m thankful for my TT but it doesn’t take the pain away of wainting just one more pregnancy, one more miracle.  


I have been struggling lately. It’s been a slow descent into madness, but I can feel it like a snowball that’s picking up steam as it rolls downhill. It’s weird though, it isn’t like any bout of depression I’ve ever experienced before, at least not that I can remember.

I don’t even know if I could call it depression. I don’t know what it is exactly.

There are moments where I’m gripped by this crippling anxiety. Others when I feel like I need to break down and cry for no reason at all. But it’s not the same as in the past when there was this deep, abiding sadness inside that felt completely insurmountable.

To be honest, whatever this is feels much more like I’m going crazy than actual depression. I feel like I know depression, but this? This I don’t know.

We went to Maui a few weeks back and I actually ended up in the ER because of some leg pain that an urgent care doctor told me to “just” (I put just in quotes because apparently in Maui there is no such thing as a simple ER visit – seriously avoid at all costs, they are TERRIBLE) go get scanned, just in case. The scan turned out fine but I had a horrible anxiety attack that shot my blood pressure up to previously unseen levels.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful but since then I’ve been finding new things to ruminate on. Mostly all centered around me dying of cancer. Yesterday I had a mole biopsied that grew at some point in the last two years. The derm I saw said she would be surprised if it turned out to be anything but I’m still having a lot of difficulty convincing myself to stop googling everything I can about melanoma and completely freaking myself out.

On a rational level I’m completely on board with the fact that I’ve done all I can at this point and can only wait now. I get that my anxiety now that I’ve gone to the doctor, gotten the biopsy, is not productive anxiety. I get it. But I can’t stop it. And I can’t stop worrying about every other little ache or pain that I feel. I rubbed this lump (that two doctors have now told me is just a lipoma) until it turned red and started to hurt. Then I started freaking out that it was red and hurting.

Yeah. Crazy. I know.

I made an appointment to see my obgyn because I feel the need to have a breast check and a papsmear all of the sudden.

I think like most people I’ve had my share of Google induced health freak outs, but nothing to this degree before. I seriously wonder if I’ve become a diagnosable hypochondriac at this point.

Make me broken
So I can be healed
Cause I’m so callous
And now I can’t feel
I wanna run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

The one good thing that has come out of this intensely anxious state of mind is the realization that I need God. And I’ve been in this place where He hasn’t been a priority or even an after thought a lot of the times, and that’s really sad. I don’t know how I keep ending up here in the same place. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to prioritize Him in my life. But I have to take actual steps towards fixing that. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

In the meantime, if you pray, please pray for my mental state. Because although I sound reasonably not-crazy in this post (or maybe I sound REALLY crazy and just don’t know it because I’m that far over the edge), something is definitely really wrong with me right now.


Yesterday was the long awaited visit with my MFM.

I’ll save you the suspense, the most positive words out of his mouth were, “Well, it’s not out of the question.”

Which pretty much sums things up.

He confirmed several things I already knew:

1) If there is a good time to get pregnant again, right now is not it. I already knew this because I’ve seen my labs too, and as someone who’s been diagnosed for close to ten years, I know how to read them. I also already knew my blood pressure isn’t really controlled at the moment.

2) Another pregnancy is probably riskier than the last one given that more time (and damage) has passed, and in that same vein, I’ll just be older. Older may be wiser (maybe) but it’s just not a good thing in pregnancy.

3) My doctors are just guessing too. No one really knows how the next pregnancy will turn out. Nobody but God, I suppose.

On the other hand, things I didn’t know (or perhaps didn’t want to admit):

1) He ballparks the likelihood of what happened to T happening to another baby between 20-40%. In otherwords, there’s a reasonable chance of it happening but not an overwhelming chance. I don’t particularly like those odds, Paul seems to think they’re not that bad. But I think that’s because he’s coming at it with a bit of hindsight, knowing that T is okay. How do we know another baby can make it through that?

2) His money would be on delivering around the same gestational age or earlier. Obviously, it’s the last part of that sentence that I find disturbing. For whatever reason, I thought that not having developed pre-e and placental issues until the later parts of my pregnancy would mean I’d have a better chance of delivering even closer to term in a subsequent pregnancy. Maybe that’s true generally, but clearly my MFM doesn’t think so in my specific case.

3) At some point between being pregnant with T and now, some irreparable damage may have been done to my kidneys. I think he (and my other drs) think it was because of the pregnancy, but personally I think it has more to do with being lackadaisical with my meds, especially while I was breastfeeding and really trying to stop my meds.

It was a long appointment so of course a lot more than this was discussed, but I think the overall tone is what I’d call negative. He gets it. He knows that in a perfect world we’d probably already be trying for #2. But given our specific situation, I think if his job were to simply tell me yes or no, he would have said no. Not now, not ever.

As it is, his job is to inform us of the risks and his opinion but ultimately let us decide. And his opinion was, “Well, it’s not out of the question,” followed by a lot of caveats.

So what have we decided? I can’t speak for Paul but for myself, I’m preparing myself for the reality of T being our one miracle.

I will say that, without T, an appointment like that would have left me a complete mess. With T it is much harder to wallow in self-pity and disappointment (don’t worry though, I’m still definitely managing to do some wallowing) mainly because T is such a freaking miracle. This appointment kind of only reinforced that. I’m trying to focus on that instead of focusing on what we may never have.

I’m trying to be grateful instead of bitter.

Of course, I reserve the right to have my bitter moments in the coming months (especially here).

For now the plan is for me to get healthy. Whether this is in preparation for another pregnancy or simply so I can be a healthy mommy to T doesn’t particularly matter.

Are you feeling lucky?

So my appointment with the MFM is on Monday. Dun dun dun. I saw my nephrologist yesterday and he seemed to have been accepting of the idea of me getting pregnant at some point in the future, assuming we have the blessing of the MFM, though he did not seem like he thought it would be a SUPER good idea. He seemed pleased when I told him we were not adamant about getting pregnant in the near future if the risk factors didn’t look like they were in our favor. He said he thought from a previous conversation that this was our plan and we were moving forward with it. I think he remembers how I pretty much bulldozed our way to pregnancy #1.

Of course, this one is different for me. Things have changed. It could easily be argued that we already won the freaking lottery with our baby T (who is not a baby anymore…sad face….but also happy face…oh so much internal conflict about how to feel about all this). I mean let’s face it, we totally did. We got pregnant on the first try, had a relatively easy pregnancy, delivered about as deep into the preemie “safe zone” as you can get, and though Titus had a rough start he pulled through and at least doesn’t seem to have any lasting ill effects from it. He’s an amazing, happy, smart, loving and playful little boy, who makes Paul and I smile and laugh Even on his “bad” days he is still mostly a happy kid.

For someone who walked into a high-risk pregnancy with doctors who believed there was a high probability shit could REALLY hit the fan fast, everything sort of just worked out. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through.

After seeing what my bff went through this past summer (and let’s face it, is still going through and will be going through for the rest of her life), it only makes me all the more aware of how things could have turned out very differently for us and how life-alteringly devastating it could have been.

So I don’t take it for granted that I have one child, I know how lucky I am to have him and I take note of this every day.

And therein lies the conflict. Should we be happy with our one miracle? Is it too much to ask for another? Are we testing our luck? Is it fair to even try? I wish someone could answer these questions for me. Like definitively. Because if someone could tell me that if we try again things will go shitty, then I’m happy to just forget it. But the part of me that is all hopeful and positive is like, look how awesome your kid is….you could have another one JUST LIKE HIM. Don’t you want that?! And of course the answer is yes. Except what about the risks?

So there’s the risk to any potential baby. I’m terrified of going through what we went through with T again, mainly because, I don’t know if we’d get lucky this time. What if hypothetical baby also got really sick but didn’t pull through? What then? Devastation not only for Paul and I, but T’s life would be turned upside down, our families, friends….We would go on, we would have to for T’s sake, but it would be better to not try at all NOW than to end up with a result like that.

And then there was the risk I didn’t care so much about the first time around. The risk to me. Before T, I did worry for Paul but mostly I hoped that him being relatively young and a total catch, he would survive and go on and hopefully get remarried and live a happy life and be okay. Is that morbid that I thought about all that? Not really, it was just a realistic thing I had to think about. Now the realistic thing I have to think about is the fact that I would be leaving behind an irreplaceable hole in the life of my child because of a choice I willingly made. It didn’t bother me AS much when T was younger, when I wasn’t really sure if having me specifically as a mother was important to him, but I’m clearly now his “mommy” and there are times when he wants ME specifically and it just crushes me to think that I could do something to make it so that I would no longer be there when he wants his mommy. Yes, Paul could still hopefully get remarried and find someone to be a mother figure to T, but he is bonded to me and I have little doubt that it will scar him if I’m suddenly gone from his life.

So yeah. Paul was asking me last night what I need to hear from the MFM and the truth is, I have no idea. I want him to be all like “everything will be fine if you get pregnant again” but he isn’t God and he’s not a genie either.

I WANT another baby. I’m going through that whole, staring longingly at other people’s babies phase again. The one I thought would be solved by having T, but like I said he’s just not a baby anymore. He’s an awesome little toddler, and I’m having the BEST time with a kiddo who walks, talks, plays and has so much personality, but it must be that damn biological clock going off again, begging for those chubby little baby toes, and the distinct little newborn cry.

But it’s definitely a WANT now, not the same gut-wrenching NEED that I felt before we had T.

Of course, I’m kind of spoiled and usually go after the things I just want and don’t need so what does any of this mean?

Who the hell knows.

slowly drifting

Lately, the push, the pull, the questions, the “damn I want another one” feeling seems omnipresent.

T is turning two soon. Something about two leads to questions about number two. From everyone.

Including ourselves.

I have an appointment scheduled with my MFM. I want to ask him about what happened last time, and I know he won’t have a definite answer for me (although my fingers are crossed that MFM’s are now issued crystal balls along with their MD’s), but I just need to hear it from him what he thinks the chances are that we’ll go through all that again.

My health…

Well I know it’s not great. It could be worse. But I was healthier before I got pregnant with T and look how that turned out. So I know that right now isn’t the right time. But I also know my health turns at the snap of the fingers, maybe a few months from now could be the right time? Or not.

Realistically I know what happened last time. If my antibodies are still there, even at all, even a little bit, then the risk is there.

I look at T. He was obviously worth the risk. Except, wait, I risked him. Well, fuck.

I’ve been looking at his baby pictures. Looking at my sweet little baby with all his rolls. Watching videos of him learning to walk. I do want more of that. I want to bury myself in it and never come up for air. I want it so bad sometimes it’s like I can actually feel my damn uterus aching.

Stupid biology. Stupid fucking body.

We talk about how hard it would be. How tired we are already. How we snap at each other when we never did before. Will we have enough energy to give T his fair share AND another one?

Paul is positive he can push through anything, the awesomeness is worth it. He knows this with all his heart.

I know it too, but unfortunately I also know that it’s not my heart I’m worried about. More like my kidneys.

book review: Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

I just finished the book Son of Hamas, and I have to say, wow, I’m completely blown away.  In my humble opinion, it may very well be one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read and I think anyone with an interest in the Israel/Palestine conflict should have this on their must-read list.

After devouring the entire thing in 48 or so hours (this is WITH a 20 month old people – it’s that good) I wanted more and ended up googling for what has happened to Mosab (the Son of Hamas) in the ensuing years after the end of the book.  I was a bit disturbed to see that in 2011 he was essentially accused by another former Islamic radical (although I would argue that it would appear Mosab was never REALLY a radical) of being a “fake.” Not that anything he had written about his actions on behalf of the Shin Bet or to protect innocent lives were untrue, but that he actually is the “enemy” because he still calls Israel an occupier or something…Apparently this is all based on some Arab-language interviews Mosab gave where he was wearing a scarf that shows solidarity with the Palestinian people and he refers to Israel’s crimes and occupation against the Palestinian people.

Maybe I’m naive (okay, I know I can be) but it struck me as so sad and ridiculous that anyone who actually read his book (the facts of which were verified by his Shin Bet handler during his asylum hearing) could believe this unless they are just SO biased against all Arabs or anyone with a Muslim background.  I actually saw one comment that said there are NO Arab-Christians who are also Palestinian.

I mean, really?  Assuming this person was a Christian (which all the commenters seemed to at least claim to be), does he/she really believe our God is so weak and powerless that not one single Palestinian could accept Jesus as their Savior?

It’s funny because just the other day I had a bit of an exchange with my sister on FB about the attitudes of Christian towards ISIS, and while I still completely believe that ISIS is evil (sans quotes – just pure, unadulterated evil), I think I now better understand HER point, which is that as Christians it is our duty to try a little harder to find the humanity even in our enemies.

I still think the article she posted to was awful and ridiculous (some of the statements were just plain false, or else laid out in such a way as to obviously try to guide the reader into downplaying the evil acts of ISIS) but I will concede that for those who try to stay informed on the conflict, there is a reflex to uniformly praise Israel while never allowing yourself to go too far down the road of loving the terrorists.

There is good reason for this too.  On one side there is tiny democratic Israel attempting to defend innocent civilians from terrorist and missile attacks expressly designed to murder innocent civilians.  I think any fair-minded person recognizes that the vast majority of Israeli’s would love nothing more than to live peacefully with their neighbors and would accept a two-state solution if they felt it would guarantee (relative) peace.

Then on the other side we have the terrorists who not only attack innocent Israeli civilians but routinely use their own innocent civilians as human shields (need some proof?  how about using Al-Shifa Hospital as their headquarters?).  Mosab spells out clearly in his book that Hamas’s abuse of it’s own people is one of the key reasons he decides to spy for Israel.

So why then do people take the passages or interviews where he discusses Israeli human rights abuses (which he clearly doesn’t believe are representative of the IDF or the Israeli people as a whole – he is on their side) to mean that he is obviously a total fraud.

Trust me, as someone who is very pro-Israel, this was hard to swallow at first too.  I wanted to believe he was lying about the things he says he personally experienced or saw so that I wouldn’t have to think about the ramifications if it was all true.

Yet the further into the book I got, the more I had to face that he really seemed to be trying to tell it like it was – the negative things he wrote about Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Islam completely dwarfed anything negative he said about Israel or the U.S.

I believe strongly that the United States is made up of some of the kindest and most courageous people in the world and that those who join our military tend to be the cream of the crop in both those capacities.  We are a good people who do incredible good all over the world and a lot of that has been through our troops who have helped rebuild countries all over the globe and provided protection and comfort to countless innocents everywhere.  And yet even we have atrocities in our past.  Even we have bad individuals within our midst.  As supporters of the military we can’t and shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these atrocities and bad individuals because they are a stain on the GOOD men and women of the military – i.e. the vast majority of them – and we need to confront evil in order to stamp it out.

If we, as good as we are, could have Abu Ghraib after only a short time in Iraq, why then is it so hard to believe, that in a country where military service is compulsory, there might be a few bad individuals in the IDF?  I believe strongly that the Israeli people are good, the IDF does all it can to minimize civilian casualties, and that Israel is fighting for good while the terrorists fight for evil.  But given all that Mosab has been confirmed to have done for the Israeli’s, I have to believe that he is not lying about the abuses he has also experienced/seen Israeli soldier’s commit.

Which leads me all the way back to the discussion I had with my sister on FB (whoa! I can’t believe I still remember where I was trying to go with this).  My sister is much more loving than I could ever hope to be and was asking me to consider that even our enemies are made in the image of God and that a lot of these people are brainwashed.  I still don’t think being brainwashed is an excuse for committing terrorist acts, but after reading this book, I’m willing to think more about what we as Christians can do to understand how people come to this way of thinking so that we can figure out how to combat this evil at its core.

In my reading of his story, it’s pretty clear Mosab believes that Israel as a whole wants to do the right thing, but that there are still individual soldiers committing acts of brutality.  And when you consider the fact that this war has been ongoing for the better part of a decade (or since ancient times if you look at it another way) between people who are supposed to be neighbors (i.e. very close proximity), again, this is not exactly an unbelievable claim is it?  There is SO much bad blood in this part of the world, I doubt that we can even begin to really understand the depth of it.

It made me really stop and think – how WOULD a young Palestinian child be able to separate the acts they may see an individual Israeli soldier commit? Particularly in light of all the lies I’m sure they are fed from the time they can even begin to understand words.

I’m still not a good enough Christian to actually feel love for any terrorist.  I believe they are evil plain and simple and that their humanity has been stripped out of them.  I stand by the idea that the only good terrorist is a dead one.

But at the same time I am now willing to think seriously about the fact that at some point, some of them might not have lost their humanity had they had the opportunity to walk a different path.  Yes, Mosab actually points to a few terrorists he personally felt this way about, having known them as real people.

And that is at the heart of what I think is so amazing about this book.  Perspective.  I was telling Paul that the author it almost seems, by having ALL the bias’s (Palestinian Muslim spying for the Israeli’s and eventually accepting Jesus as his Savior) he has none of them.  He can understand how the terrorists came to be even while he actively seeks to destroy them.  He can love these terrorists even while he fights them.

It’s sad to me that so many seemed to have missed this point entirely.  So many seem to want to argue that if he doesn’t 100% support Israel in every statement he makes then somehow he is a fake?  This seems wrong to me.

It’s also odd that some seem to call him a liar but when asked if they believe he really has converted to Christianity they say he at least believes he has.  1) Converting to Christianity boils down to one thing, accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  If he believes he has done that then….?  What else is there?  and 2) If you do believe he thinks he has accepted Jesus then why would you still think he secretly wants to wipe out Israel?

Anyway, lil sis, if you are reading this, know that your sister is not a heartless bastard who is incapable of empathy 🙂  It takes me longer to get it, and reading a book that lays it out so clearly, but I do understand now what you were trying to say.

I hope it’s clear by my posts (which admittedly are never very clear) that I highly, highly recommend this book.  It seems like such an important perspective, such a highly personal testimony, yet one with so many major historical implications in an age old conflict.

Mosab’s journey is truly inspiring, his book has stretched me and pushed my capacity for empathy.  I still don’t condone evil, nor am I willing now to accept it.  (And to be clear nothing in the book indicates Mosab is either!) I still prefer the cowboy method for dealing with terrorists over the law professor take.  Yet, I recognize that Jesus would have wept that any of His sheep could become so lost as to become terrorists.  Jesus never tolerated evil, yet He loved His enemies who committed evil acts.  And I recognize that He commanded those that follow Him to do the same.

I really hope that anyone instinctively wanting to call Mosab out as a terrorist sympathizer or something along those lines, would actually take the time to read his book first.  Maybe he phrases things awkwardly at times, maybe he does still have some sympathy for the Palestinian people (they are the people of his homeland after all?), maybe he does recognize that the Israeli’s have had flaws at times in how they handled their response to terrorism…yet it’s clear that while all those things may be true, his actions speak for themselves.  He was willing to lay down his life to defend both his friends and those he grew up believing were his enemy.  No one denies this.

At the end of the book Mosab makes clear that he is not an expert on Christianity, nor is he perfect by any means.  He admits that he is only just coming to know Jesus and he asks that we not look up to him as some token convert but pray for him that he would continue to grow in his understanding of Jesus.

It’s hard for me not to think of him as some sort of Super Christian, just because of his life and the sacrifices he has made to even acknowledge Christ as his Savior in public.  I’m still pretty sure he’s light years ahead of me, whatever he might think.  But I will take his request to heart and pray sincerely for him and his walk with The Lord.

And because I’m a sucker for happy endings in this life too, I hope that he finds a nice wife and has himself a nice little family.  We need more people like him in the world.

no meaning

At some point during my c-section, the song “Love is Here” by Tenth Avenue North got stuck in my head.

This part in particular repeated over and over again (maybe it’s the only part I can actually remember =P):

All you who labor in vain
And to the broken and shamed

Love is here
Love is now
Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow
Love is near, it satisfies
Streams of mercy flowing from His sides
‘Cause love is here

It just seemed so fitting given what was happening. And the song comforted me in those scary weeks that followed.

When the song came on during the drive home from the hospital this past weekend, I hoped with all my heart that it was a good omen, but sadly what we pray for is not always what God gives us.

My friend’s story is not mine to share, so this post is purposefully lacking detail or a lot of direct talking about my friend and what happened. I’m heartbroken for her and I feel incredibly helpless. I’m doing my best to support her but honestly I know there is more I should be doing and I just can’t think of it because I’m not normally someone who’s good at this kind of thing :/

I keep imagining what she must be going through and I want to DO something, and yet, what can I do? I can’t give her her baby back and that is the only thing she really wants. I keep googling as though somehow Google can tell me how to make this better for her. (Google does actually have a lot of good tips for how to provide the best support you can so that has been helpful).

Also, I know this is completely irrational, but this tiny little superstitious part of me is questioning whether or not I somehow contributed to this happening by being terrified for every person I know who is pregnant until the baby is born healthy? I admit, I breathed a huge sigh of relief after I knew she had gotten past 24 weeks. I think I even said something like “yay” to her. Ughh….

This just really fucking sucks.