Thursday, December 27, 2007

Year in Review, Part 2

One of the first things I did in 2007 was participating in an hour long interview on midwifery with a popular local talk radio station. It was a first time for me to do something like that, but thankfully there were also 2 other mothers, a homebirth dad, and a friendly physician taking part in the live discussion.
Little did I know that in a few short months, I would get as many as a dozen phone calls a day from reporters, all wanting an interview on the same subject!

About the same time, I headed back to our state capitol, to advocate for legalizing midwives in Missouri for the third year in a row.

I distinctly remember my trembling feet as I climbed the long set of stairs to the Capitol building three years ago... and my awe at the soaring architecture and figures high above my head. My sisters and friends who had agreed to come on my adventure all remember my nervous, "Okay, what do we do? Where do we go?" once we got inside the building.

We found the meeting going on in the Capitol basement, and were told to go find our state representative's office and bring him/her a fact sheet about midwives and tell them that we were there in support of the midwifery bill that had just been filed.

My sisters and I still laugh about that day several years ago. We went to our state representative's office, hoping he wouldn't be in, because we didn't know what to say. It would be bad enough to drop the fact sheet off with his secretary and hope that she understood what we were there for!

Unfortunately, the representative himself was in his office, right behind the door and he asked me to explain my issue. (Talk about scary - and someone in a tweed suit from the Department of Corrections was sitting there beside him with a briefcase of papers strewn about... The corrections guy listened to my whole spiel with a smirk, which made me all the more nervous!)

To make a long story short, I left his office feeling totally foolish and wishing I had never come because I felt as though I had only hurt my cause. I went home and vowed to myself that I would never again come back to try to talk to an elected official because that was not "my thing" and I would never be able to comfortably and articulately explain myself to such people! I'd always known that people and speaking were my weak points in life... Why was I so silly to get into this?

A few months later, I was talked into coming back to the Capitol, and I've pretty much been there ever since, nearly every day that the legislators are there. I still hate public speaking and crowds of people, and thankfully manage to get out of most of that, but I have done things that I would have never thought possible a couple of years ago. I have testified before the Senate Committees, and have spoke (one-on-one) with a majority of the nearly 200 legislators who work in the building. Many of the senators who I once thought were so scary and unreachable are now good friends of mine. Many of the staff people who I preferred to quickly hand a fact sheet to and ask to "pass it on" now love to chat about their kids, cars, gardens, churches, and a million other things when I drop by their offices.

Every single day that I work at the Capitol, I am reminded of how I can't, but God can!
"When I am weak, then am I strong..." I am keenly aware of my inability when it comes to verbal communication, and I find myself constantly crying out for more help and grace from a God who is Big Enough that He never runs out or stops giving when I need it!

The Capitol is no longer frightening to me because it's a big building full of strange people. It's now familiar... almost as much as home. I know every secret stairway, storage room, and crack in the marble. I know the people walking around inside and they know me.

It's no longer scary or huge or unknown... But it's incredibly frustrating to know so much of what happens behind the scenes and be unable to do anything about it. It's so frustrating to know that in that building, justice doesn't always triumph, right doesn't always prevail. Sometime money wins. Sometimes power and greed and pride win at the end of the day.

With all that happens at the Capitol, I find myself needing constant reminders that God IS in control, and He can and will bring justice about someday.

I can't fix anything there, but He can!
I think that needs to be my mantra for 2008! : )

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mary, thanks so much for all you do on behalf of midwives in Missouri and nationwide. We need more people like you involved in politics at the state and national level, people who understand that if they want to see their beliefs enacted into law, then they need to act on their beliefs!