I have two amazing girls, ages 4 and 1. They are brilliant and spunky, and most days, more than enough for me to handle. I love being a mom; love staying home with my kids; love that I am learning the hard lesson of selflessness through raising them. But the last several months I have been burnt out. My patience and joy flickering as I trudge through my days.
Grasping for any strength or stamina Jesus might hold out to me, I sent my oldest to my moms for a few days. Two days into my “vacay” I sat in a Target bathroom stall, staring disbelieving at the plastic stick I had just peed on. Those two neon blue lines seemed to magnify my weariness rather than lift it. I cried, I praised (because new life is still new life!), and I wandered the aisles in a daze while my youngest stared at me with the quiet concern of a toddler wise beyond her years.
It’s not that I don’t want more children, or that I don’t enjoy my children. It’s just that it wasn’t part of the plan. And this new plan, well, I feel ill-equipped for this one. Adoption had stirred our hearts months ago and I had allowed myself to nestle into this new (and surprising) direction for our future. Pregnancies mean long days of nausea and vomit followed by severe postpartum mental issues. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the newborn stage. Love nursing and snuggling. Yet, there is something about that first year of life that feels isolating and all-consuming. That first birthday is always a sigh of sadness and relief. I just breathed that sigh four months ago. And now, now I’m staring at the hard water lines of my toilet bowl thinking, this was not the plan.
Morning (read all day) sickness kicked in right away, and my family hurtled headlong into survival mode. When mom, who keeps the little ecosystem we call home, alive and balanced, is no longer functioning, things get real fast. So here we are, floundering in “real”.
So why am I writing this? I don’t wish to use my blog as a “Dear Diary” or a place to vent my frustrations. I am telling you this because, sometimes, it’s not about us.
Sometimes God changes our plans. Sometimes we find ourselves in the deep end of the pool and our life raft just deflated. I love control. I love feeling like I have things together. I love when I look back on a big task and see that, I, yes me, made that happen. I am woman, hear me roar!
But, this roaring woman is laying at the base of her uncleaned toilet, crying out to the God Who Sees, because it is not about me.
My dear friend shared her similar story with me, finding she was pregnant with her fourth. Her husband was out-of-town and she was barely keeping her head above water at home. She threw on some grilled cheeses for dinner, ran to the bathroom to throw up, and came back to toasty black cheese bricks. “How am I going to have four kids, I can’t even make a grilled cheese sandwich!!?!?” She wailed over the smoke alarm. (Her children are grown now, and they laugh about this often.)
You see, we all find ourselves in times where God has changed our plans. We don’t get it. We can’t wrap our minds around his timing or his purpose. We cry out, “How am I going to_______ when I can’t even_______?!?!?!”
So if this is you, and we are sitting in lonely corners of similar life boats, take heart! Say this with me (because I’m preaching to myself more than I am to you!):
“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (Ps 116:7)
He has given you all you need. (*Said to myself*). He has equipped us to carry out HIS plan (ours-no, but HIS, absolutely.) Better yet, he promises to stick with us as we walk through the waters! So return, O soul, to Him who is your rest–He is all you need.