Last Sunday was Epiphany. Epiphany is when the Magi present their gifts to baby Jesus. The definition of epiphany also means to make an illuminating realization or disclosure.
This Sunday at Church our priest spoke about gaining an epiphany when we speak less and listen more. It's in those moments that we reveal our true selves. This thought really struck me and reminded me of the scene in the waiting room after my niece's birth. I wish I had an epiphany then, instead, I let my horrible and angry self show through. I, along with my four other sisters-in-law, were invited to attend the birth of our newest niece. Hubby could not get home any earlier than usual, but as soon as came home I jetted happily to the hospital sure that my sister-in-law would give birth before I got there. She hadn't and I was so excited to be a part of this event. I have never been invited to any of my SILs births, though they had all been there at one point or another when each of them gave birth. In the 20 births in our family I had only attended the ones in which I was giving birth. I was so excited to be included in this celebration.
So imagine my disappointment after all four of us (the sisters) were kicked out of the by the doctor to find out that 10 minutes later my sister-in-law gave birth and the other sisters had been there to witness it. Two of us had initially gone out to the waiting room to keep company with our nieces who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their newest sister. The other two hung around the door hoping to get back in. While waiting for word the one sister-in-law who was with me went back to room to give something from one of the children to my laboring sister-in-law. Within minutes my sister-in-law had given birth and I.had.missed.it.
When my two of my sisters-in-law had come into the waiting room excitedly to tell me the good news I wish I had shut my mouth and waited to speak. I wish I had experienced the epiphany the priest had spoken about last Sunday. But no. I didn't. I yelled at my excited sisters-in-law. As my friend's husband said the other day when hearing me retell the story, "Keepin' classy, H." And he was right. His words stung because they were so true. I was not classy at all and I was hurtful. My anger stemmed from a deep hurt. I thought I had finally been included into the family only to feel left out and still not quite part of the family. Even as I write this I have tears because I'm afraid it's true. I'm afraid that as much as I want to be a part of the family, I'm not quite there. I'm an in-law and not blood related. It's taken me two months to even write about it because the possibility that I may not fully accepted as family still hurts and I am very ashamed of my reaction. You have no idea.
I was hurt because when we first thought my SIL was going to give birth my other sisters-in-law and thought to call in the fourth SIL who was in the waiting room. And when we were all there the doctor asked us to leave. I was okay with that because we were all asked to leave. At the time my SIL was only 5cm dilated. I thought we had a little more time than 10 minutes. Granted, when she delivered it was quick. The doctor missed the birth, the nurse delivered Pumpkin. It was so quick the bed wasn't even pulled apart.
Here is how I wish I had reacted right away: JOY! Joy at the birth of my new niece. Joy that my SIL and her baby were well. Joy that I was able to serve my SIL where she needed me and that was with her daughters who were also waiting just as anxiously for their new sister. After expressing my joy, I wish I had kept quiet and reveled in silence. Because my true self is not vindictive (gee, I really hope not!) or angry. My true self is joyful at the news of niece. I wish that through this joy, reflection, observation, and listening I would have had my epiphany. The epiphany that my true service was being there for my SIL by sitting and waiting with my nieces. I wish I had seen it then, but I see it now.
I am not comfortable with my initial reaction and so, so, so wish I could take it back. It still takes me to a completely vulnerable place. The place where I don't feel entirely accepted, that I'm still on the outskirts. You know, the last kid picked on the team kind of feeling. Admitting it here is still as painful as when I felt it in November. I have since apologized, but of course I'm still bothered by it. I really need to let it go and be done with it.
This year I am going to work on listening more and speaking less. A hard thing to do from someone who is very opinionated. But maybe, just maybe, I will find my epiphany. I pray that you will find your epiphany this year. Peace be with you as continue your journey through 2013.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-inspirational-bible-verses-about-gods-love/#ixzz2HbVfJN5I