I am currently a mess, having cried again and also just snotty, my face is now puffball red (prosecco is not aiding this situation) and I have my daughters dinner placed at various points of my mum uniform (striped t-shirt and leggings with a dungaree dress over the top-same old, same old).
I have just opened and read one of Faith’s birthday presents…I am that kind of mother who opens her child’s gifts, and obviously I will give it to her tomorrow but I was curious and I get overly excited about presents. Hence over a third of the presents are now opened even though her birthday is Wednesday.
Anyway the gift was a book called ‘On the Night you were born’ by Nancy Tillman. It is beautiful, so well written and a celebration of your child, without being sickening or idolising. And I cried-I cried because it says:
‘so enchanted with you were the wind and the rain that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name’
Oh my sweet Lord…it is too much.
As you may all know I didn’t get to really meet Faith until quite a long time after I have given birth to her because she needed some support. I was pretty out of it in those first few hours, but I love the idea that nature was with her, that she was surrounded by a presence. I guess it is the place that I believed God inhabited, God was with her.
That sense that there is something greater, the more than when we can not be-that is what I believe in. I am pretty certain I have seen it in action my whole life, through love and community and encouragement and patience when I cannot be.
I saw it as we were surrounded by some of our friends and family yesterday, so I started crying-which despite it occurring fairly regularly-still is a tad embarrassing! I then was pretty unaware of what I was saying, and a little nervous that I was just swearing at everyone, so desperately seeking out my Dad’s eyes to see if I could gauge how bad it was.
I couldn’t see my Dad but I was distracted by little people around me and eventually handed the microphone to Mike, who didn’t apologise or excuse anything so I guess it wasn’t too bad.
But here is what I wanted to say:
We found out we were pregnant at the same time as our friends lost their little boy. Knowing his mum, and watching her journey (and still journey) through the grief has shown me more of God than I think any one other thing has. We had a reading from a book called ‘Gilead’ at our wedding:
“There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?”
When my friend carried her son in pregnancy, when she held him, when she talks of him and remembers him-in her mothering, I saw love,I see love, an eternal thing, something that is from beyond ourselves-I see love and in that I see God.
I read an article recently that described faith as the ‘mystery of knowing and not knowing being held together’, it is the belief and hope of more, it is the belief and hope of love. Our daughter is called Faith because of this, because we know we need more than ourselves, because she reflects to us a love that speaks of more than ourselves. She is called Faith because of our friends and community that speak of love, and share a love that is more than ourselves.
Lots of you, our incredible friends and family do not believe in God, and this isn’t a post to try and convert you. This is to explain that our values and beliefs they are made real through you all, through love being acted out. Yesterday was about celebrating (survival as well as everything else) Faith but also all of you. We are beyond thankful.
A great, and very wise, friend and heretic (her words…haha!!) gave me a card yesterday (And prosecco and choc-she’s a keeper) and she wrote ‘Those times we keep going even when we don’t know how we’re doing it comes from a far greater, more patient, loving, enabling and encouraging place-and that gives me great hope and faith’ me too.
So my darling daughter, soon you will be 1 (we really have drawn this out haven’t we), and I want you to know this…from the moment you were born, before we even saw you, and before we had chosen it, I believe the wind whispered your name ‘Faith’.