Flashback Friday: Bad Day

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Ya’ll… I KNOW you remember this song. I’m sure some of you hate it as much as some of you love it and feel all 2005 when you hear it.

I have a necessary relationship with “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.

2005-2006 was pretty rough for this chick. While 2005 was the year I graduated high school (which to this day was one of the most relieving and liberating days of my life), I also went through some rough transitions. Earlier in that year I was broken up with, which just SUCKED SO BAD at the time. It was the worst! And thinking about it now, I feel silly even bringing it up. But at the time, it was so devastating to me. (You can read all about it in my LiveJournal…. if you can find it).

So “Bad Day” along with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone” got me through most of that. Oh, and Jesus… I guess. Or maybe it’s better put that Jesus allowed those songs to keep me going, since I really wasn’t going to surrender anything to him, even though I claimed that I was a Christian.

I also did a semester at FIU, which I was not excited about at all. So, 2005 was weird, but kind of normal life. Then 2006 happened. I can look back at 2006 and pinpoint what may have been the beginning of the #RealLife Sanctification process.

My family started falling apart at the seams. It was one of those things I think I always knew was going to happen, and it was like a waiting game to see when the shit would finally hit the fan.

It hit, and the fan flung suffering all over us.

An argument turned into chaos on the front yard which pushed me to slam pictures on the terrazzo tile inside because I couldn’t contain my sorrow  and rage anymore. My sister disappearing into the dark night as my brother cried in the garage while begging me not to go stay at Jessica’s house.

(It is really hard for me to share those last two sentences, because it forces me to relive them. I’m still forgiving myself for leaving my little brother in that hell). 

The rest of that year is still one of the most painful years I’ve ever known (although the past 6 months are really trying to top that). The chaos only kept on coming, to the point where my mom and I never knew if everyone was going to be alive by the next day. People at church treated me and my sister like outsiders. My life was literally falling apart and all I got was a lot of religious platitudes.

(Disclaimer: if we went to church together during this time, please don’t hear that as a condemnation on you or our Church. I was just as guilty of doing to others what ended up happening a little bit to me, so there is no judgement coming from me. We’re all sinners in need of grace). 

For the sake of everyone’s dignity, I won’t share much more details of that year. But this song… this song stuck with me. Back when Motorola flip phones were cool, “Bad Day” was my ringtone for everyone. I just wanted to hear it anytime, all the time.

One of the only redeeming moments of 2006 was when I had to spend the day in Downtown Miami to 1) go to court over a parking ticket and 2) visit my dad in a psychiatric ward. So pretty much the two worst things ever. After court, I had time to kill, so I took the Metro Rail to Dadeland mall, and let someone put makeup on me in Macy’s. I don’t even know why I did that, but it made me feel better. I got back on the Metro Rail to go to the hospital, and my phone kept ringing…

Cause you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

I didn’t answer it. I wanted to keep hearing the song. In that moment, listening to “Bad Day” on the Metro Rail with my face fresh with makeup and strangers all around me, I felt like I was going to make it to 2007. I even started giggling, and said, “how bout you’ve had a bad year,” and giggled some more.

So, it’s 2014, and I’m still alive!

Maybe one day, ya’ll can convince me to talk about my closet ZAO obsession in 10th grade.

What songs have helped carry you through life?

Plans, Resentments, and Being a Mom.

Abe

A few months ago, I found myself sitting in my church office conference room, sobbing and speaking of feelings I didn’t know I felt.

Well, until that moment.

I couldn’t tell you the details of the conversation I was having with my pastor, because I honestly can’t remember what it was about. I know it was pretty light hearted and general, nothing too deep or major. But a few of Dale’s questions later and there I was, letting go of something and allowing a healing process to begin.

ANOTHER HEALING PROCESS. Gosh, it feels like it never ends, you know?

What grace.

For some reason I brought up my frustration over my son waking up so unbearably early (he gets up anywhere between 4:30 and 6 am), and my deeper frustration over why I can’t just accept that and be an adult and start my day. I shared how I struggled with wanting to be up at all, and how I would sit Abe on the couch to watch a cartoon, and I would fall asleep next to him.

I had identified  my sleep idol a long time ago, but this felt deeper.

I asked myself questions like, “Why am I ok with getting up at 5:30 in the morning to be at the first session of Catalyst, but treat my son waking up like it’s the end of the world?”

I shared with Dale that I love my son like I’ve never loved anyone else. I mean, I would KILL for this kid in a heart beat, no questions asked. I love him so much that I am in constant fear of failing him as a mom.

So how could I possibly feel this way about my son, and at the same time enjoy my life more when he is away from me rather than when he is in my presence?

Why wasn’t I happy to see his little face every morning, regardless of what time it was?

And then Dale’s big question came.

“Do you think you might have some resentments against having a child so early in your marriage?”

You know when you cut yourself really bad, but there are a few seconds before you look at the blood and you think “Oh, it’s probably not to bad.” Then you look down and find an unbelievable amount of blood gushing out, giving you a sense of reality and triggering the emotion. That’s when the crying or screaming or fainting happens.

Sometimes I don’t realize how bloody a wound is, or how deep a sin can be. And then someone asks a question, and all of a sudden my vision is clear, and I can see the blood.

This time, it made me cry. It made me cry so much, right in that room. It made me cry for weeks after that conversation, and is kinda making my cry right now.

Needless to say, the answer to Dale’s question was “YES.”

Abe came along about 4 years earlier than planned. We wanted to have great jobs established. We wanted to have several years of solid “married” time. We wanted to travel, and blah blah blah.

You get the point. It’s so incredibly selfish that I don’t even want to keep typing everything Daniel and I felt entitled to.

But instead, God gave us Abram Isaiah Webb. He gave us Medicaid and food assistance. He gave us a house to live in that looked like someone painted it with pepto bismol and used horse fertilizer to stain the carpets. He gave Daniel a job at a machine shop and me little things here and there. He put us back into Lake City, Florida. He spurred our marriage into honesty and sanctification, and I didn’t like it.

It was all just so overwhelming and so fast that I don’t think I really took it all in and processed it. Up until that day in the conference room, I was treating the past two and a half years, in regards to my family,  like I had treated past situations; with bitterness, apathy and repression.

Can I be totally honest right now?

Realizing that you resent your child and even your husband a little bit HURTS LIKE HELL.

So my initial gaze at the wound was not pleasant. It was gross, painful and heart breaking.

But in that moment, a spark ignited.

When heart and wound meet face to face, something begins.

Recognition. Acceptance. Mourning. Repentance. Restoration. New life.

The love and adoration I feel for my son now is unexplainable. What an undeserving gift God would give to me. Not to say I don’t have days where remnants of that resentment are uncovered. The difference now is that I recognize what it is and how to fight it.

Dale encouraged me to share this on my blog. I agreed with him that it was something I needed to share, but I wasn’t quite ready to put it down on the internet yet. The main reason being this: being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, therefore it is the area of my life I am most insecure. And in those times when I am drowning in that insecurity, I am crippled by the thought that other moms think I’m not cutting it. I also find it very easy to condemn other moms over their decisions, giving me the illusion of confidence. Maybe not always out loud, but most definitely in my thoughts.

So here it is, I’m laying it all bare. I resented my child for coming to early. I resented Daniel for being the other number in the math equation that equaled a baby. I lost my awe for God because I felt like He was wrapping grace and blessing in a very strange box, and I didn’t approve.

I’ve repented of that to God, but I also repent of that to you. If these resentments have ever made themselves manifest in the way I’ve talked or treated you, then I am sorry.

The truth is, I know almost nothing about anything with complete sure-ity (even when I act like I do). But I am starting to discover who God is, which gives me 100% confidence that I am not Him.

He is deep, He is wide, and He knows of and cares for every fiber that makes up who I am. 

Deny-ers and Obsess-ers

There are going to be some days when I completely fail as a mother.

This is true for all of us, but what really gets under my skin is moms who don’t believe this could ever be so for them. Or at least they wouldn’t ever admit it out loud.

But it shouldn’t get under my skin, which probably means there’s a little bit of that “denial” in me too.

When we deny that we fail, we will stay in that failure, and the same goes true when we obsess over failure.

I usually lean towards the obsessing. I don’t like when I fail. I’ll admit that I do it, but boy does it crush me. It can get me down so bad that I don’t even want to get out of bed.

My fleshly pride is disappointed in myself for not living up to it’s expectations of excellence and perfection, because now it has nothing to boast about.

If you want, read that last sentence out loud.

Pretty vile, huh?

It’s true for you too.

Don’t think you deny-ers are getting out of this one. That same fleshly pride tells you that there’s no way you have failed, because you are just so awesome. It’s your kids or your husband that suck! That pride makes sure that vulnerability and confession stay far far away.

Go ahead, read that out loud too.

Cause that’s probably also true for you as well.

I know it is, because I know it of me. And at the end of the day, we are all the same human-y humans. Coming from a home where one parent denied failure and the other one drowned himself in it, neither of these is going to be good for your children. (disclaimer- I love my parents, and my mom and I are working on things together. At the end of the day, I’m responsible for my actions- no one else.)

Stop denying your failures, and learn from them.

Stop obsessing over your failures, and learn from them.

At the end of the yucky day, confess, repent, and resolve to start over tomorrow.

I promise you, your children (or spouse, friends, co-workers, team members, community group, etc) will watch how you handle failure. Use it as a tool for grace, learning and the gospel.

Its not even 10 yet. You still have time to start the day over.