hope

Even On Days Like These

Even on days like these

Some days I don’t want to be a mom.

Today is one of those days.

Every moment of motherhood feels like a strike against my selfishness, a blow to my pride, or just utter failure. Mixed in with all of that of course is great piling heaps of joy and abundant laughter. I could not have imagined how much better my life would be before I had them, and I’m very grateful for these two silly boys. But choosing to get up every day and be Abram and Emery’s mom is to choose to die to my flesh, and some days, I’m so sick of it and I just want to do what I want to do.

I want the day to go my way. I want to take off just for fun, and I’d really like to not be responsible for someone else’s well being.

But even more, the hardest part on days like these, is feeling so small and insignificant. Day in and day out, with the diapers and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the spoiled laundry and the apologies for freaking out over jumping on the couch and the NEVER ENDING teething; it starts to feel like I contribute nothing to the world.

It’s a lie, I know. But in a culture that marvels at dream chasers and hustlers, I get to feeling worthless.

And on these days where my flesh burns hot and wants nothing more than to take over while I’m sobbing next to the crib because the baby won’t nap, and I’m still in my pajamas and I wish I could lose 30 pounds, I’m so glad I have a God to weep to.

There are meltdowns that only my Creator can comfort. I’m always surprised by days like this, and find myself angry for not being better, like HOW COULD I POSSIBLY BE FEELING THIS WAY FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME… but He’s never surprised and I don’t think He’s angry at me either.

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24

This is what happens when I go to him instead of stew in my own muck. It usually looks like a disaster at first, a few words here and there through the sobs and snot. But once I get it all out enough to approach repentance and ask for help, I start to feel like I’m being given strength. My flesh starts to let up on the clench it’s had on my heart all day, and peace trickles into my mind.

Confessing to others is big, too. Sometimes it takes any shred of humility I can muster up to message my friends and tell them how I’m feeling and ask for prayer. But I always feel a little more sober-minded afterwards, which is one of the beauties of living in communion with other believers.

I know most of us wish putting off our old selves could be easier and look a lot more dignified, like some kind of formal ceremony. It’d be much better if someone could just knight me with a Bible and then I’m magically new. But that’s not what it looks like at all. It’s approaching Him, day in and day out, asking for the same help, over and over. It’s confessing to my people. It’s quiet, it’s repetative, and the reward isn’t instant perfection but the hope that maybe I won’t be such a selfish person all day long. 

God ALWAYS wants to be my father.

Even on days like these.

Crying.

I am uncomfortable and a little scared to start this post, which means it’s probably something I definitely have to write.

My mind goes blank when it knows it has to do something it doesn’t want to do, so I figured I’d just start it off by telling the truth about that.

There. The beginning is out of the way now. I started.

I’ve noticed something about people, and while there are a few exceptions to the rule, pretty much the general consensus seems to be that crying equals weakness. And we’d rather be damned than look weak. I’ve been a part of many conversations where a person is sharing something painful, and wants to cry, but can’t. They’ve shut that useful tool down a long time ago. I’ve even had several people tell me that they don’t want to cry because they don’t want pity, or to come across as weak. People just flat out say it.

What’s funny to me is that we are completely blind to the illusion that we are strong to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with this too. And while I am more comfortable with crying in front of others than a lot of people, I still hide it or force myself to swallow it, because I too believe the lie that I’ve got it handled. This comes into play when I’m around Daniel. It is excruciatingly difficult to cry in front of my husband.

Last night I was sitting at the computer, working on an overwhelming amount of Beard Sauce orders after a hectic week of helping my mom and brother move up here, Thanksgiving and Black Friday madness. For some reason I really wanted to listen to Miley’s Wrecking Ball song.

Side note: I know several of you just judged me so hard. But it’s one of the most honest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. For some reason, when celebrities or musicians “act out” or “go crazy”, Christians seem to feel entitled to judge them just as harshly as everyone else does, and it runs rampant on Social Media . Keep in mind that our right to our grace-less opinions died when we decided to pick up our crosses and follow Christ. That’s just as much for me as it is for anyone else, and I apologize for being a judgmental a-hole in the past just to get a laugh.

So, like I said, I was listening to Wrecking Ball, and I just started weeping. The first time I watched the music video, it was also the first time I had heard the song. It made me tear up then, but last night…

I process pain with two things: by listening to music and crying. I’ve been that way my whole life. The song pushes down on the nerve, causing incredible pain and forcing me to feel. Crying is a release of all the emotions and thoughts that have been stuck. When it’s over, I feel light and clear.

It’s a beautiful process, really. But I will subconsciously refuse to listen to music a lot of the time (even though it’s my favorite thing in the world) because I know what it’s going to do to me, and I don’t feel like being “weak.”

It’s not necessarily the content of the song that got me. It’s the fact that a human being is being verbal about how another human being destroyed her.

We destroy each other.

I’ve seen a lot of that lately, more specifically with my family. Evils I didn’t really believe in or understand until now are a part of my life.

Demons whisper lies into our ears, and we believe them. Then we tear each others hearts out, and leave the souls of our victims choking for life.

We wonder why people uses harsh substances to get through the day.

And while I have hope that the lights will be turned back on and souls will be restored, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot of darkness hanging out right now.

We are all weak, every last one of us. Crying is an act of submission. It means that we’d rather do the uncomfortable thing that might help us gain a little bit of freedom. You can be an emotional person (like myself) and cry a lot, and still refuse to submit when it really counts. Even though I cried a lot last night, I didn’t do it in front of Daniel and I didn’t even tell him about it. I hid it, and I want to confess that. He’s the person I should be the most comfortable being weak in front of, but when you grow up not being able to trust anyone that’s supposed to love you, that’s kinda difficult.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:25-28

I always think about these verses when I am so filled with sorrow and I’m crying so hard that there are no words to be said.

So, I don’t know, that’s what I’ve got today. I have no idea how to end this one as much as I had no idea how to start it.

Why don’t you cry?

 

Holy Sanctification Process Batman, What the Crap is Happening?

What an insane 24 hours it has been. We all know one of the reasons why, and for the sake of all of our sanity, I won’t talk politics.

Last night my son woke up at around 3:45 in the morning. Typically when this happens, something spiritually fishy is going on, but I was drugged up on NyQuil, so Daniel handled it.

I woke up this morning to my phone being blown up with texts about friends in the hospital. Seizures, brain bleeds, emergency open heart surgery, respiratory infections…. THE WORKS!

How quickly God can put into perspective what is most important.

How quickly God can remind us of WHO is actually in charge.

Today has been physically and emotionally exhausting, but spiritually I feel SO ALIVE. I feel like my church family is suffering together, and suffering well. I haven’t really realized, until today, how much we love each other. It’s incredible and perhaps a snapshot of what heaven will be like (without the pain, tears, and weird hospital socks).

As wounded soldiers who are having to get their broken bones set and bandaged up, we are all leaning on each other for help, and it may be one of the most humbling and amazing times of my life.

If you are of the kind that prays, pray for Church On The Way. Pray for endurance, rest, strength, courage, hope and faith.

God is walking with us through the valleys.