For the past few days, I haven't had much energy after getting home from ministry. This week has been pretty busy; I wish I had time to talk more about those things, but this recent development with the woman I used to call my daughter has greatly over-shadowed much of this week.
I find myself checking my email inbox over and over, being afraid when I actually see a new message, and then dying again when it's from reunion.com or an ad from soccer.com. I don't know what to expect, I don't know if I should expect, but this feeling that I have is a sense of loss, a sense of failure, and a tiny hope that perhaps I can, in some way, reach out and try to mend a broken relationship with someone I still worry about.
Last night, I dreamed I was in a relationship again. The woman I was with resembled someone I work and interact with in ministry, something that was covered in a previous post about dreams. Anyway, we were in a relationship and she was pregnant (not showing), but the kicker was that I was public knowledge that it was not my child. In spite of that, I wanted to be with her and be a father to the child, regardless of the father.
We'd moved in with my uncle (at least when he used to live in Michigan...now he lives in California) to kind of prepare and save money for the baby. It's quite appropriate that I thought of him; when my mom had me and she was by herself, we stayed with him when I was young (3-4) and even a few of those old memories entered into that dream.
But while we were there, it became clear that my family had serious worries about what I was doing. Some of my aunts told me that it was not my child, and that I shouldn't make it my responsibility. Some of them thought she was using me because I was trying to be a nice guy to both her and her baby. Some thought I was even being stupid, and I needed to start my own family. Without revealing the actual identity of the person, I can say that we both come from vastly different cultural and racial backgrounds, and there was this sense that they wanted me to have a Latino child.
At some point, when I was running around and trying to get things ready (as if this were all happening tomorrow!) she ran out of the house, crying and upset. When I confronted her, she was hateful and resentful of me. She said she wanted to go her own way. She said she didn't need me. When I told her that I loved her and cared for her AND the baby, she said something so grossly offensive and hurtful, I don't think I can even put it down in print (knowing full well that in reality it came from my subconscious and not her lips). Upon waking up, I found myself crying.
I know I'm dealing with a loss; I don't know if others understand it. My community has been supportive because they have seen how much this has rocked me in the past few days. But my situation is one I can't talk about to celibate men who've never had kids, how can they relate to my loss of being a father?
There's a lot of anger and resentment and hurt inside of me, and the best I can do is offer it up to God. If this is my cross, then I will do my best to bear it. More importantly, if this is the sacrifice I made to be here, to follow the calling I was given, I'm going to have to learn to trust that God will heal all wounds.
I just don't know when I'll get to that point...