When my babies were . . . well, babies, I found myself widowed at the age of 28.

To say I was suffering from sleep deprivation was a tragic understatement. I guess I was suffering from many more deprivations than just sleep. Either way, my body, mind, and soul were tired.

Tired from holding it together.

Tired of being strong.

Tired from night after night of nursing my newborn and soothing my twin toddlers back to sleep after yet another episode of night terrors.

Tired of wading through the fog of grief, coupled with postpartum depression, coupled with trauma, alone.

Alone . . . and tired of being alone in all of it.

So I looked forward to church on Sundays, not because I wanted the fire for God’s Word ignited—no, I wanted the fires to be put out instead.

On Sundays after wrangling baby feet into socks that never stayed on and buckling car seats like a stealthy ninja and finally making it to the Sunday School nursery where I’d hear the welcome “click” of the baby gate, I could finally slide into one of the chairs in the back of the sanctuary and breathe. Just sit and breathe. No one clutching at my shirt, no one needing my everything, even if just for an hour.

It was just me and God. The one place I didn’t feel alone anymore—the back seat of that sanctuary.

I know God got it when I didn’t open my eyes after the “Amen” in the Sunday prayer.

I know God got it when I didn’t hear a word from the pastor.

I know God got it because He asked only one thing of me: to rest in Him. Rest. And rest I did.

Mama, I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but I know we’re tired and I know God asks us to rest in Him . . . even when that means sometimes taking a nap in church.

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Nicole Hastings

Nicole is a is a widowed mom to three children. With a background in journalism and a sudden need to “figure out what to do,” she turned to writing about her experience with a husband with cancer, caregiving and widowed parenting and overcoming the aloneness of all of the above. She believes the art of storytelling brings people out of the dark into the light together to share in joy, humor, suffering and pain in life. She hopes that by sharing her story with transparency and heart will bring others hope and empower them to share their own stories.
Facebook: @JustAMomNicoleHastings