dweller by the river

sojourner of earth attempting to understand the journey home

The Need to Let Go

I was watering the plants earlier today and the thought struck me that somewhere in the next several months, I might not be able to continue watering them in the same way. In fact, I might need to move them, or even have them fostered, for a while. Maybe not all of them, but a large number will probably have to go. Not permanently, of course, but for long enough that I do wonder if my attachment to them will survive the separation fully intact.

Why, you may wonder, when I am usually so particular about their needs and haven’t had very good experiences with leaving them to another person’s care. What could possibly be the reason behind this notion that letting go of them, or more accurately my sole responsibility for their care for a significant amount of time, is necessary?

Two days ago, I found out that I am pregnant.

Okay, I’ll be more accurate: Two days ago, I found out for sure (with test results to prove it) that I am pregnant. I’d known for a week, really — what with the sore boobs, dizzy spells, bouts of nausea, odd cravings and a general feeling of weirdness, and oh, the fact that my period was late. Also, the timing fit with multiple strands of logic, Bible numerics and real-life timelines, and several prophetic dreams and visions by myself and a few others.

I haven’t had time yet to really sit down and read up on this and shortlist my options (like which gynaecologists are likely bets), so of course I haven’t seen a gynae yet, and so we don’t know for sure how long I am along. The GP we saw on Friday says her best bet is about five to six weeks, and some of the people we’ve told in the past two days have commented that it’s odd for anyone to reveal such news so early. They advised me to keep it quiet until I know for sure that I’m more than three months along.

Apparently it is not normal to announce one’s pregnancy until the supposedly danger-fraught first trimester is over, partly because of the higher likelihood of miscarriage during this period, and also partly due to superstition — if you talk about a good thing before it’s “cemented”, you might anger “the spirits” and they might decide to give you bad luck (ie a miscarriage). Or whatever other reasons there are behind those deep-seated old fears that haunt so many people.

I would be lying if I said that I am absolutely untouched and unaffected by these vicarious worries. I’m human, after all — but I also know that there is no point holding on to what you have no control over. Sure, I can do my part and be careful not to ingest alcohol, caffeine and whatever else isn’t good for a developing foetus, avoid contact with cigarette smoke and possible toxic substances, be really careful with which (and the amounts and concentrations of) essential oils I use, make sure I don’t make any sudden or jerky movements, and take care how I walk so that I don’t bump into things or fall down… but it is a fact that nothing I can do is going to guarantee that this tiny little beginning of a new human being is going to make it to full term. Only God can do that. So I need to, and will, let go and let Him do what He does best — be God.

Another thing I believe is that the God I trust in is a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever, one whose word and gifts are permanent. Where He leads me (if it is clear to me, and I’m kinda stupid sometimes) I will follow; what He calls me to do, He will equip me to complete. He who begins a good work in me will be faithful to complete it in me, for His own name’s sake. He did not arrange things such that everything has fallen into place just to have things turn out to be some kind of cosmic joke. We certainly didn’t plan any of it on our own, it just happened. (A quick mention of some it: Agreement to be open to receive parenthood in the fifth — number of grace — year of our marriage; conception in the sixth — number of man/humanity — year leading to birth in the seventh — number of perfection/completion — year; conception occurring in E’s thirty-fifth — seven x five — year of life.)

The concept of “let go and let God” is not new to me. It is something that you learn very early in your Christian walk, no matter what denomination you come from, whether or not your principle reason is trust in your loving Father’s faithful and perfect care or a belief that “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord”. For E and me, it is clear that even though we don’t always feel it to be real, our God is a Saviour, Healer and Provider extraordinaire. And He cares.

E and I have had some experience seeing it play out in real life, as getting married and getting and paying for our home was a real test of faith in God’s ability and willingness to provide for us financially. The end result was that we had enough money for every stage we went through, with enough left over to start our new life together relatively carefree. Clawing our way out of ministry-related disaster-caused doldrums from 2008 to 2013 was a long hard trek during which I questioned my faith several times, but the Lord had always provided handholds and reminders that kept me from leaving the path completely. We’re not completely fine yet, to be sure, but we’re still standing. And that, in a world where relationships burn out and die at the drop of a hat, really makes all the difference.

Does that make us ready to be parents? No. We’ve discussed it on and off and have some ideas, and we are much more mentally and emotionally prepared for it now since I passed thirty and E decided that it was time to get off birth control completely, but we don’t believe it is possible or even favourable to be absolutely prepared. Where does faith come in if you’re already so prepared that nothing can faze you? And where will iron self-sufficiency leave you if you’re wrong or your preparations turn out to be insufficient? What else is there to do but let go and let God?

So I am leaving this pregnancy in my Father’s hands, and will trust Him to bring to fruition the seed He has begun forming within me. And so I will also leave my plants in His hands and the hands of friends and family, when the time comes for that.

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T. bergeri

Another tilly that I bought on whim because I was still in the phase where I thought that collecting any species I didn’t yet have was a good idea, my T. bergeri hasn’t really grown on my all that much. It’s a tough plant, with a nice branching caulescent form that very quickly pups and forms large clumps without any need for flowering (one of its better-known nicknames is “The Mad Pupper”), and seems able to do pretty well in a variety of conditions. It’s got really small trichomes and they aren’t that dense, so it has a pretty green, smooth appearance and texture. The leaf edges are stiff and a little sharp.

But I just don’t really like tillandsias with a hard unyielding leaf texture; I prefer thick, succulent types with a softer texture. It doesn’t really matter if they are heavy on trichomes, which explains why I like T. caput medusae and T. streptophylla so much, but am not really that partial to T. ehlersiana even though by appearance alone it does seem like my “type” — its texture is way too stiff and hard for my liking.

Anyway, my T. bergeri flourished well enough that when I decided I wasn’t really motivated enough to keep on caring for it and should sell it, I had a buyer. E insisted on keeping a small piece of that original clump though, because apparently it had grown on him. Ah well.

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