A bunch of women sit in a café on a Saturday morning.
“I want to have a second kid,” one says. “But my sister is getting married this fall—she is flying us all to Paris!”
Oooooh! The others marvel.
“February is my next chance to get pregnant, though. Should I try? I wouldn’t be able to fly for the wedding. Or should I just skip a month? We really want this… but we also really want to go to Paris!”
Equal amounts of Wait! and Go for it! ensue, with lots and lots of math and antidotal travel stories. Even more success stories of baby planning around various events and life transitions and budgets.
“I know,” one says, “Get pregnant in Paris!”
Everyone laughs, and it’s settled.
A girl sits at the table next to them swirling her [decaf] coffee. Wow. To be able to just summon a human life. To summon it on a Tuesday, or six months before a big wedding, or in Paris, or when you have $12k in the bank, or when your other kid is exactly 18 months and 2 days old.
And for God to consent with a subtle nod and bring forth that human life…
She wonders if they know how luxurious their options are.
This is her burden, she understands. This inability to bring forth life on her own terms.
She walks home almost unscathed, except for that pit in her stomach. The solar plexus, they call it: a giant bundle of nerves where emotions are stored. Emotions can feel all sorts of ways even though a mind has determined to feel differently.
She understands that if any one of the dozen friends she’d met across the world last year were to sit unnoticed in her bedroom last night as she mindlessly commented on how annoying it is to buy pillows that don’t lay just right—her options would be revealed as luxurious, and she would be embarrassed recalling the plywood and foam she slept on just a year ago with many of them.
And she would recall the populations these many friends serve, and how plywood and foam would be luxurious options to those sleeping on pavement, or rice mats, or to those not sleeping at all because they’re being trafficked across a Nepali border or in a Cuban jail.
And then whether or not she can summon a life seems so unnecessary, because she knows that more than a subtle nod of consent for a decision made with a functioning system, she has experienced those giant God-arms all around her as he has summoned so much more on her behalf. And she knows that he did not create the disorder that causes her deficit, but He is powerful enough to incorporate it.
That solar-plexus bundle of pain and disappointment is universal and human.
So although every day—sometimes 15 times a day—she is reminded of her burden, she is also reminded that her burden is actually quite light. And walking home, she feels quite thankful.
Also, she can go to Paris whenever she wants.
There you go lifting my load again
No longer am I held by
The yoke of this world
Come up under
The yoke of Jesus
His yoke is easy and
His burden is so light
Your love carries
Your love carries me
Out of valleys and the darkest places…
– Will Reagan & United Pursuit Band, Take a Moment