A comfy little place exists in the world: the scoopy, curvy part of J’s neck, between his ear and his shoulder, where my head fits perfectly. I call it The Nook.
In the nook, I am sheltered and tucked away. In the nook, there is extravagant love and attentive kindness. In the nook, the past disappears, the future drops out of my hand onto the floor, and I curl up inside the present moment, grateful and mindful and deeply content. In the nook, we are safe and warm. We are alive and breathing. We are content in each other.
Last Thursday was our 18th negative pregnancy test. Eighteen times our bodies have failed. Ten of these were under the care of a Reproductive Endocrinologist, three were medicated with high-tech ultrasounds and equipment, and once (once?!) all systems were functioning at a level that would give us a chance—below average, but still a chance—at a possible pregnancy.
For that reason, we did something we never do. We invited others into our space: our hopeful, fearful, vulnerable, intimate, day-counting, symptom-measuring, God-bargaining space. Doctors and nurses and mom-friends and sister-friends and retreat roomies and accountability groups and family members and a random dude who just happened to be in the right place at the right time prayed for us almost every single day of this two-week time frame. And I’m talking hands-on-belly prayer with one or two hallelujahs.
We had never done this before. It had seemed a little too private, and a little too self-indulgent, and a little too embarrassing.
But these are the people who caught us on the other side. And although I’m tempted to write out all the confusing thoughts and questions so I can piece together some hopeful insights or draw meaning from the experience, the only thing I can come up with is an image of Jeff and I curled up in God’s nook.
Each time this happens, we are pulled further up and further in— like in the Last Battle of the Chronicles of Narnia when the gates of heaven are thrown open, and Aslan calls for the kids to come further up, come further in to their real country, their real home. As they run, the world becomes bigger and more beautiful the higher and deeper they go.
Yes, it’s like that. The higher and deeper we journey into this mess, the bigger and more beautiful God becomes. If we had everything we wanted, if we’d had this baby on the 1st or 4th or 11th try, we would not have seen the depth of his ability to save and sustain and comfort and maintain us. Eighteen times our understanding of God and each other has expanded. Eighteen times we found our way to the nook.