Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hurting, Healing and The Chronicles of Narnia

God is a great designer.
For example, He knew that a busy mommy might not sit down and care for herself.
She might not rest like she should, and stop herself from doing dishes and sweeping the floor.
But she will sit down to take care of her baby.
And so, in those first days when Mommy so needs to sit, but might not otherwise, there is a tiny person who cries every 2 hours to eat.
And Mommy has to sit.
To take care of her baby,
And thus, she also takes care of herself.
It is a great design.
And it is no accident.


One of my favorite things about nursing, besides being forced to sit when I otherwise might not, is that lots of reading goes on while I feed the baby,
If the kids are busy playing, I get to read myself.  
It's wonderful to have all that extra time to read and not feel one speck of guilt about it.
After all, I have to feed the baby,
But often times, the kids aren't busy playing and they sit down with me and we read together.
There seems to be a need for extra cuddles, and snuggles and Mommy time after a new baby comes home and this nursing/reading time provides that.


We started reading Prince Caspian of The Chronicles of Narnia series right after we were all back home together.
We've read it before and listened to it on cd before.
But somehow, those books never get old.
In fact, no matter how many times I read them, they just get better and better.


In the past year, I have listened to the entire series on cd and read the entire series on my own.  This is my 3rd time reading through them in just one year.
I am a fast reader so this in no big commitment.
It is just pure enjoyment.
And also, it is a lot of balm for pain.


God has used the words of C. S. Lewis, the words in these books to provide so much healing for my aching heart in this past year.  
He has ministered to me as I read of His grace, His forgiveness, His faithfulness and more than anything His deep, deep love for me.
I have known God almost my whole life.
I became a Christian when I was 3 years old.
But when I read the words of C. S. Lewis, in these "children's books" I see God, and Jesus in a whole new way.


This time I could not hold back the tears as I read this scene between Lucy and Aslan:


"She rushed to him.  She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment.  And the next thing she knew was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far round his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful, rich silkiness of his mane.
"Aslan, Aslan.  Dear Aslan, sobbed Lucy. "At last."
The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws.  He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue.  His warm breath came all round her.  She gazed up into the large wise face.
"Welcome child," he said.
"Aslan," said Lucy.  "You're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not.  but every year you grow, you will find me bigger."


And He is bigger.  And more beautiful.  And He loves me so very much.
I love the way Lewis shows Aslan loving everyone in those books.
His love is so tender, so dear and so very real.
It helps me understand and feel Jesus' love for me even more deeply.


And then there is this scene with Edmund, the traitor.
He follows Aslan, even though at first he cannot see him.
When he finally does, Aslan says to him, "Well done."  
All is forgiven.  
His past is past and Aslan sees instead what Edmond has done well, not what he has done wrong. 
Such a great reminder, isn't it?


And Susan, who knows Aslan is there, but is afraid to follow him.
"You have listened to fears child," said Aslan.  "Come, let me breathe on you.  Forget them. Are you brave again?"  
We have all been there before, but we only need to come back to Him and find His strength to be brave again.  Oh, to let His breath fill us is strength indeed.


My boys recently told a friend that these books are so good they make me cry.
And they do every time.
In an amazing way, they meet me where I am.
It is a spiritual experience to read them.
I learn about myself and my faith and my relationship with others.
That is some truly powerful writing.




I knew there would be some rough days after the baby was born.
Postpartum can be hard.  It can be very, very hard.
With past pregnancies, I experienced a day or 2 of it, and then it passed.
With my miscarriage, it lasted much longer.
I didn't know what to expect this time.
But I knew I needed to be ready.
I needed to know there would be a day where I'd think, "I can at least fit into my "skinny" maternity clothes."
And I would try.
It doesn't work 4 days after the baby is born.
And then I would lay my head on the steering wheel, crying, "I hate being fat."
Ridiculous, you say.
Maybe.
But at the moment, it felt pretty real and horrible and overwhelming.


But far worse than those feelings are the other feelings: of fear, doubt, frustration and wanting to give into old anger and hurt.
Those are the things I knew I really needed to watch for.
It is hard to hold them back when you have a really good excuse to let it all go.
"I JUST HAD A BABY!  I'M TIRED!  I'M EMOTIONAL!  I'M FAT! I HAVE 4 KIDS AND THEY ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY! I'M OVERWHELMED! I HATE EVERYTHING!"


Have you ever felt that way?
I have.  I did.
It was the day of the me laying my head on the steering wheel and crying.
It all sort of snowballed from there.
After a while, I picked my head up.
I told Aaron how I was feeling.  He let me cry some more.
I was so thankful he was home with me.
I was sure I'd die if he'd gone right back to work like usual.
We prayed together.
And things were better.
Not gone, but better.


And then, through James picking what book we'd read together, God put The Chronicles in my hands again.  He let those beautiful stories bring healing and calm to my stormy soul.
He cares for us so much.
So much that He created a world full of creative people who reflect the Him--the greatest Creator of all.
I am so thankful for books, for stories, for beautiful language and for the people who tell them.
What a blessing.


It is easy to put God in a box. We think He can only minister to us in one way: at church, or when we read the Bible.
But He is so much bigger than that.
He cares for us in every way, from making us sit down to nurse our babies, to giving us great literature to read.
Don't think for a moment that you don't matter to Him.
"Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7




Love from,
Greta

6 comments:

ally said...

i needed to read this tonight! thank you for your honesty! i am a new follower, & i am so looking forward to reading what you have to say, & re reading this post over again to soak it all in.

xo,
ally

Pam... said...

You are one breath of fresh air. We love you! I can identify. It's 'the best of times. It's the worst of times. Yet God is in it, so we will be ok!

Mrs. Haid said...

I linked this on my blog, Greta, and I thought you should know I said kind words about you and encouraged others to read so that they may be encouraged by you!

Bethany

http://thefabulousmrshaid.blogspot.com/

jessie said...

i actually found your blog from the above-mentioned link! and i'm so happy that i did! i have tears in my eyes reading your words -- i'm currently pregnant with our second child and the description of the days after having your fourth sound like me after our first... and i think what i can expect with this next babe, too! i love love love how you described the ways God can show his love for us in so many ways. i'm especially fond of the scene in the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe where edmond and aslan are walking together early in the morning after edmond has been rescued -- such a beautiful picture of the Lord's grace and forgiveness. looking forward to reading more of your words. :)

jessie
jessica.linneman@gmail.com

mymcmlife said...

This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your heart! I love the Chronicles of Narnia too, and that is one of my very favorite parts/lines, "Every year you grow you will find me bigger." I was really bummed that it didn't make it into the movie.

Monica said...

hi there! i just found your blog and i really enjoyed reading this post. thanks so much for the inspiration! you seem like an incredible woman.