I just tucked all four kids in bed, of course, 30 minutes later than I should have. That’s what moms do when life isn’t routine, right? And in the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes is nothing, and that frozen margarita was totally worth the delay.
Today was really hard on my heart. I’m pretty stoic in the “emotions” department, but today just threw me for a surprise loop. Have you had one of those days lately, where your scheduled predictability was nowhere to be found and life blindsided you? That’s my Wednesday today.
I started my day with Jesus, thank the Lord (pun intended) at dark-thirty. I have finally grasped that if God isn’t in my Top 5 for the day, well, the day is screwed. He is my numero uno and so I pray and study His Word (I focused on the book of Acts, not that you asked).
I wrapped up my Bible study and within 60 minutes my charming Christianity evaporated. I blame my offspring, though in reality they simply expose my unrealistic expectations of robotic perfect children. So by 7:15am, after breaking up 3 sibling fights, I whimpered to the master bathroom, escaping the volume and mayhem. I looked at my uninformed husband, turned on the shower water, and muttered over my shoulder, “Those kids suck” and then I hopped into my pretend escape to rinse off the attitude.
The day carried on with the typical whines and such and I even managed to keep my Mom Of The Year crown on for most of the day. And then. Then, then, then. One of my favorite friends came over with her 2 kids who I love as well as like. Friend, we’ll call her Martha, and I sat on bar stools at my kitchen island with adult beverages and lamented about the woes of motherhood that made us simultaneously laugh, roll our eyes, and take a sip.
Do you have that girl in your life too? The one who never judges but instead clinks your glass and reminds you that you’re human? That’s Martha. We literally call each other “Sister Wife.”
After about an hour, Martha sets her drink down and looks at my eyes, saying, “Okay, so I have to tell you something.” In those 2 seconds of very few words, I froze. It was definitely not the guess-what-I-am-pregnant moment. We were too old for that game. Something was bad.
How do you brace yourself for whiplash? You don’t. And so I managed to respond, “You’ve been here an hour talking about nothing and you now throw this on me?! WHAT?!? Oh my gosh, what?!”
Martha informs me she is moving. Several states away. Her man was promoted and words, words, words followed. I get it, people move all the time, and you and I could gather around the campfire to tell stories of the time a close buddy relocated. But this stung because it was her. It was us. My head understood but my heart revolted.
And very quickly I pictured her daughter, the one that was upstairs playing with my maniac brood. I pictured this angelic little blonde girl who literally squeals with delight and gives hugs constantly. This little girl that I knew from back in her womb days. I’d watched her grow, and now that would end in a matter of days. In my mind, as I saw her as a teenager I freaking lost it. The tears flowed. I was going to miss it all. It was as if she was almost my daughter. I wouldn’t get to hear stories of dating, or see her in her first prom dress.
Everything was about to change. I hate change. I want comfortable, safe, predictable.
I’m wondering if you and I sat down together right now (over coffee or booze, you pick), what devastation would you share? Is your heart unraveling? Are you facing a mountain that no one knows? Has your soul been pierced? Does your life feel like quicksand? Maybe everyone knows, maybe you haven’t even shared it with your best friend.
I have no pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps remedy. “Hang in there” would make you want to punch me in the face. “I’m sure it’ll get better” falls flat. “It is what it is” brings no resolution.
What I can offer is to pray for you. Whether you’re just at a place of “these kids suck,” “let’s meet with a divorce attorney,” or something in between. Because that Guy I read about in Acts, the One I start my mornings with, is my anchor. He never leaves, never changes, and never mutters under his breath about me and my woes.
When friends move.
When miscarriages occur.
When finances suffer.
And now, if I may, let me pray for you. Though I don’t know you, I know you are beautiful, valued, strong, worthy, able, and adored. The Bible told me so.
Dear Jesus, thank you for disrupting our lives. Thank you for wrecking our plans. Thank you for allowing hardship. Otherwise, we would be our own savior…and we would suck at it. You are always faithful and have good plans for us. We praise you for being mysterious and uncontainable. Please be a refuge in this moment. Show up and show off in our lives. You are more than enough. We are weak and wounded, and so desperately crave comfort. Be closer than a whisper. Your power is perfected in weakness, so just have it all because we are empty. Fill us and fuel us so that we can put one foot in front of another, then give you a big high-five once the storm passes. It’s in Your mighty Name we pray, Amen.