The sadness that followed was debilitating. I had worked so hard to change my mindset in the beginning, to believe that if I worked hard enough I could make it okay, I could build a beautiful life for this child. When I found out about Max’s condition, it felt like God was bullying me. And believe me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. But it truly felt like he had reached down, and with his finger, shoved me hard in the chest, knocking me off my feet, and back into the dirt, exactly where I started when the pregnancy first began.
I was angry. I felt abandoned. And deep down, I felt like I was being punished for something. Even deeper, I thought I was being punished for straying from my faith, and a small voice I tried to silence would whisper insecurities to me at night. It would say that God had condemned me to a life of watching my son suffer, that it will be because of me that his life is hard. And I can’t say that those thoughts ever truly left me.
That night I had a dream, one of those dreams where you are so exhausted, you have dreams within your dream about dreaming. As I laid down to sleep for the second time that night, I started to drift off, and in the dream within, I dreamt of horrible things. Things that I couldn’t now recall. But, before I woke up, the last thing that went through my head was a question from something dark and hidden in the shadows: “For your son’s health and happiness, would you sell your soul?” The dream shook me to my core, and I sat straight up in my bed. Only to lay eyes directly on my son, swinging in his rocker, fast asleep, as I just was. And as my heart broke into a million pieces, I knew I would. But I also knew life didn’t work that way. You never truly get what you want, even if you’d give the very essence of your being for it.
The next day I was plagued with black thoughts. Things that I desperately tried to block out, but I was being tormented. I subconsciously opened a door, and now my mind was heavy with demons dragging my thoughts around like ragdolls, slinging me through the mud. In the pits of my own personal hell, a friend threw out her hand, and pulled me out. Nothing prompted her to reach out to me. We were always friendly with each other, but it must’ve been inspired by some divine intervention when she grabbed hold of my soul and shook off my torturers. She pulled me aside and asked how I was doing. I responded mechanically, just letting my mouth make the words they had been trained to trace. Then came the rope, thrown into my open hands. She said she hoped this wouldn’t upset me, but a close family member once told her and her brother, that God had their lives planned from beginning to end, and everything in between is intended for your life. No matter what, He will see you through it all.
It was so simple, but it yanked me out of the darkness. For the time being, I was whole again.