Miracle Spigot Part III - Coming Full Circle

Bill and I sat on our little couch in our apartment six stories above Fort Tryon Park for several evenings in a row, discussing whether or not we were *really* feeling like we *really* had to leave New York. It seemed so soon...but we couldn't deny that it also felt right.

So even though we basically had our answer, we still poured over the things we'd miss (Meeting Bill downtown for lunch at Schnippers, walking through the park to church, the freedom of the subways, buying grapes and mangos from the makeshift markets lining the sidewalks of Washington Heights, getting free donuts at Dunkin because Daphne has such a winning smile, the people, the PEOPLE) and consoled ourselves with the things we wouldn't miss (The sticky heat of summer and the impossible-to-traverse-with-a-stroller slushy snows of winter, the epic ordeal of a simple diaper run, the back-breaking job of our weekly grocery trips, the creepy costumed people on 42nd street who always accosted and terrified my kids because we look so much like tourists. EVERY TIME.)

(Though that one time I got into it with a grungy looking Elmo wannabe was pretty cool.)

And as we poured and reminisced and tried to get ourselves into a head place that made more sense of what was being asked of us, here, I ventured aloud the thought that had pricked me several times during our conversations.

"Maybe we're supposed to move back to Utah because we're supposed to have another baby, and I just don't think I could do pregnant, here."

Bill nodded. "Maybe," he said. "It would be easier in Utah. We'd have our van back. You'd have the support of your family."

I sighed, and we were quiet for a moment, contemplating, and then I said, "But Utah doesn't have Schnippers' sweet potato fries with maple dipping sauce." And we circled around, again.

But I was compelled by the idea that I was being called; that there was a little soul that had been waiting for her chance to become, and it was finally her turn.

That thought gave me courage. I still had doubts (I was still not getting any kind of real confirmation from Heaven.), but I knew that no matter what was in store for us, it was the next adventure - and we were always up for one of those.

We sold or gave away everything we couldn't fit into three suitcases, and hopped a late flight to the middle of winter in Utah Valley. We landed a few minutes shy of midnight on December 31st. My dad collected us from the airport, and as we drove with 3 sleeping children along the quiet streets of Salt Lake toward the Point of the Mountain, 2012 silently became 2013. When the clock changed, Bill and I shared a look. Here we go.

The first few weeks were a wonderment of re-acquainting and discovery. My parent's gorgeous back yard was covered in clean, white snow that my children reveled in. They had a brand new cousin they hadn't yet met. Friends and family greeted us with open arms and homemade food and game nights.

And get this - the bath water wasn't brown! And it didn't slowly drain away while I tried to bathe my babies - or rise rise rise while I tried to hurry through a shower!

We found a little house for rent, and marveled at how inexpensive everything seemed to us, now.

But then, as you know, all Hell broke loose.

I didn't ever stop thinking about a baby. But there were many other thoughts that were distracting me, as you might expect from someone who was drowning. Besides, if I couldn't even handle my own blessed life, there was no way I could be the kind of mother a newborn deserved. I still prayed about it, but it felt more like a 'just checking in, you know, like I do.', and not an earnest seeking.

Until one day in October.

I had been seeing Janey for a few weeks. Not very long, it seemed, but I was amazed at how different everything felt. I tried to figure out just what it was that had changed - why I was feeling so...empowered. I had learned that I had so much to learn about myself. So much to work on. But there was this overarching sense of something restored to me, but not just given back. Amplified. I had lost an apple seed, but had been given back a tree!

I tried to explain it a few times to Bill and to Janey.

What was this great change that had taken me? Why, amidst all the feelings of discouragement and being overwhelmed, did I feel like such a pillar of power?

Finally, the word came to me. What I had been missing and what was now restored to me 100 fold.


It seems obvious to me, now - but I had never been hopeless, before. I didn't know what it felt like. Not really. Losing hope goes so far beyond sadness or discouragement or even grief. I had taken it for granted. And for whatever reason, I had lost it.

But now I was filled with it. Best. Drug. Ever. I found myself feeling excited for no reason. Dancing from room to room because one body cannot contain this much life. It was shooting out of my eyes!

I still had a lot to learn and a lot to work on with Janey, but as far as my depression was concerned?

There was simply no room.

And so the moment came. I wasn't doing anything remarkable. I may have been sitting on my bed, folding laundry. And suddenly, a closed door deep within myself crashed open, and a mighty current rushed through, flooding me with an absolute and unquestionable answer.

This had happened to me once before. When a boy who was supposedly off-limits to me (he had dated my best friend and roommate, and she was still heartbroken over him) showed up at my office and asked me on a date. My knee-jerk reaction would have been to kindly decline - I couldn't do that to my friend. But that crashing door and that rushing flood and everything inside of me and everything in the air all around me shouted at me that the ONLY answer was YES, YES, YES!

And now, the swirling floods inside and the electric air outside answered me.


It was time.

I wanted to wait to tell Bill when we were in NY for his cousin's wedding the next week. It seemed appropriate and special, and I pictured a quiet walk through Central Park in the fall, hand in hand, and me stopping, pulling myself in close to him against the chilly October breeze while I whispered in his ear, "guess what?"

But I couldn't wait. That night, we went to the temple. It turned out it was closed, but that ended up being kind of perfect because we sat in the car looking at the white and glowing glory of that place and talked. About how strange and chaotic this new phase of our journey has been, so far - how unexpected and how difficult, but ultimately good it had been for us. And I told him.

And, the thing is, I think I know why it took so long for me to get my answer.

I think I know why I was asked to wait 3 long years before I was allowed near the idea.

I had to fall apart.

My whole life, I've wanted to become something great. I've wanted to be strong, and good, and brave - the kind of person who makes everything better. But I'm not strong, or good, or brave. I'm weak and overwhelmed and prone to freak-outs. But still, I pray to become this new kind of creature. Someone who really gets Charity. Someone who has figured out the whole patience thing. Someone God can really use, you know?

So I had to take a for-reals trip through the refiners fire. I had to be burned away until my resolve was nothing but ash, and I could be open to becoming something different than I could have been on my own. I thought I was supposed to be golden - but there was an emerald waiting within me.

So many intricate threads woven together in a seemingly impossible pattern.

Bill wouldn't have been in the position to be considered for the New York gig if we hadn't left our comfortable home in Spanish Fork to live in my parent's basement and quit our jobs so Bill could rush through his last two years of school. The timing and his talents were perfectly aligned, though the choice to abandon everything at the time didn't make any sense on paper.

We wouldn't have been able to financially survive in New York if we hadn't sold the Townhouse right before the kids and I flew out. Something we'd been trying to do for the two years after we'd moved out. Something that seemed discouraging at the time.

I wouldn't have had a breakdown if I hadn't had the chance to live in New York and then had to give it up.

I wouldn't have known how much I was being held back by my own limited thinking if I hadn't been basically forced into therapy.

And so, as my world has opened wide, again, and I am once again capable of being filled with that kind of love and awe, I am able to let go of my doubts, and have that delicious confidence that, even though I am FAR from perfect, I am able to be enough for this sweet little soul who has been hanging out with me in very tight quarters for the past 8 months.

It all had to happen for it to be able to happen.

And so, she is my little personal miracle.

(And while we're being honest, here, I must admit—while the whole experience has been miraculous, it's also been a pregnancy. And I'm quite ready for this little miracle to vacate, because DAG, yo. The constant claustrophobia, hip pain, nausea, headaches and PUNCHING OF THE BLADDER is really destroying my calm! I have dreams where I am at the hospital, and I DON'T WANT TO WAKE UP because it is such an exciting feeling...finally, finally!)

(32 days officially left! Think positive, EARLY LABOR thoughts at me, will you?)


Emily said...

What a wonderful story. And I'm thinking LOTS of positive labor thoughts. :)

Nae said...


:) And I love that you write this down and let us be a part of your intensely personal but somehow shared journey through life. Thanks.

Sasha Francom said...

Ahhh!!! I've had hours to contemplate your words and I know I needed to respond ever since I read this during my lunch break with tears in my eyes. My heart swells with love for you dear stepper!
I love that you had the courage to lay your heart and soul bare to the world by sharing something so intimate and personal with us.
I am encouraged by your actions during this time, and the actions of your husband and the actions of your children.
I love the fact that everything wasn't peachy and that it took a long time to resolve, because guess what? That's life! That's growth! Struggles take time and resolution doesn't always come in the forms that we desire.
Yet, I am inspired. I discovered long ago that my favorite stories and the greatest attribute of my storybook heroes are those who struggle, those who are knocked down, BUT those that also rise again. They overcome and they don't let that struggle pull them down but rather they let it refine them into something better, something greater, something more capable than they imagined and stronger than they realized. (Read The Way of Kings to know my favorite story of struggle and overcoming, Kaladin. yes. love it.)

And so dear Stepper, you too have become another hero in my eyes. You are a pioneer. You have a way of eloquently writing about real life and the daily struggles that we all face and what actions you took to grow through them and become something more.
I love you for it and I am motivated through it. Having recently passed a tiny struggle of my own and already swimming in the blessings from it, blessing too many to count that they have created an ocean of joy, humility, wonder, awe, and peace surrounding me that I can't help but wonder. I wonder why the struggles are such struggles when the outcome is so fantastic? And yet I know the outcome wouldn't be so fantastic if we didn't truly struggle and yearn and fight in order to change and grow. I know that the two go hand and hand and that we have to take many steps forward in the dark acting on faith and finding that hope in order to get to where we need to go.
And so I hope that I can remember your story and remember the time frame because I know there will be many more instances in my life when I will be faced with such hurricanes and doubt and fear that answers won't always immediately appear and I will need to move forward as you did and take actions in the best way that I know how so that in the end I too can regain that hope and peace and understanding as well.
Yes, thank you!