Wednesday, September 13, 2006
“Inconceivable” by Shannon Woodward
09/11/06: I finished it. The book. The one I ‘won’. The title sums up so much for me. I know God has been preparing me for days…months…perhaps years to read this, and yet I still feel such pain and sorrow, such crippling emotion as I put it down.
I know beyond all else that NOTHING I have read to date touches or digs at scabs more intently than Shannon Woodward does through this personal story. My head is physically throbbing as I continue to hold ‘in check’ the tears fighting to race down my cheeks. A bit over-dramatic…perhaps…but honestly that is what I am feeling as my heart works to process all the emotional ‘spillage’.
09/12/06: It’s a bit less ‘raw’ today. The feelings and emotions that were flooding me yesterday from “Inconceivable” and yesterdays 9/11 anniversary and subsequent tributes have eased a bit.
I’m still processing so much of what I read and yet I want so badly to convey the way Shannon crept into my life…my heart really…and absolutely captured a bit of my personal journey.
At first it’s a bit offsetting because as I’ve shared, my journey is MINE…I own it. Its part of what makes me--me. For someone to not only totally relate to what I’m experiencing and have experienced, but to also word these experiences so eloquently and honestly is at first breath…intrusive; then at second breath…a relief.
Was she with me as I cried over the physical conception that would never come to be? Did she hear my cries to God about the unfairness of it all? Could she see behind the shadow of my downcast eyes as I tried in vain to worship the God I felt had betrayed me after yet another negative pregnancy test? Did she feel the failure I felt?
In my reading, it is clear…she did. She not only related to my own journey, she experienced far greater tragedies in failed adoptions and failed fertility treatments. At first it began to discourage my own consideration of adoption. But each time I felt myself reaching the absolute end of my SELF, God met me. He listened to me yet again as I cried through chapter after chapter.
You see, for me, when I feel like I am the only one that has ever experienced such depth of emotional torture…endless tears, fists to heaven, all of it…it somehow makes it seem a bit more valid. How could anyone have ever experienced even remotely close to what I had experienced? And since they could NEVER truly understand, it was a new challenge, one that God would meet and conquer for me. Every other story of infertility I had heard ALWAYS ended in childbirth. That was what I was banking on!
This one did not.
Suddenly, my own experience was no longer novel to God…it was no longer some NEW challenge to be conquered by the ALMIGHTY CONQUERER! It was the same thing as I was reading.
Shannon Woodward has this way of pulling you into her story and it’s as though her story and yours collide and with the replacement of a few names you could easily be reading your own personal story. She reaches these points of ‘breaking’ throughout and as I began sensing the end of her story was close…I felt so unresolved and unclosed and UN-ready to face the conclusion. It’s like when you’re at a movie you become so engrossed in…you don’t ever want it to end.
I hadn’t reached my breaking point. Then she shared how she held the passion of authors and teachers that had taught her. She states:
“For a while, my new understanding and my old anxiety coexisted unhappily…”
God then challenged her:
“You want to leave your mark? He asked. Then leave an impression on the hearts I bring you.”
I couldn’t believe she included it! The very thing God has told me time and time again. “Kim, you cry out for children to teach and love and grow and nurture and yet you reject the very ‘children’ I bring to you.”
God showed me how through these two start-up churches we had been a part of, during the heat of this infertility struggle, that He had placed me and positioned me in the midst of young women who needed AND desired to be taught and loved and grown and nurtured. He showed me faces and names and I had to seek his renewing forgiveness as I repented of my own selfish pursuits.
As I re-read this and re-edit this it seems I may again have over-shared…but that’s okay. It’s where I am today, and almost everyday if you know me at all! It’s my story, my journey and if you’ve made it this far, you’re practically family anyway. Thank you for being here and listening and praying and understanding…or at least recognizing that even in the midst of darkness…there is LIGHT! You see, without the hope I have in Christ…I wouldn’t have made it this far.
Now here is the abridged review…Inconceivable: 2 thumbs WAY up. Check it out!