I learned that I’m proud.
Sometimes I wonder what good I am—how I can possibly be of an encouragement to the world of Christianity around me when I have had everything so good. I know nothing of the hardship of being an abused child. I know nothing of grieving the loss of a close relative. I know nothing of being sexually abused. I don’t have any “dark” sins in my past. You name it, it hasn’t happened to me.
Well, maybe not quite, but you get the idea. This makes me feel rather insignificant sometimes—like I have nothing to share. I’ve sat in ladies’ meetings and felt totally lost as to know how to relate to what was being discussed. Or how to relate to the person sharing. Sometimes I’m like, “Wow, that’s big—I have no clue what to do with that.” Other times I’m like, “So…what’s the big deal?”
Though I’m frustrated at times by not being able to connect, there is a certain
I want people to think I have it together. I despise feeling weak. I hate crying. Period. I don’t like to cry in private, much less in public. I desperately want to help my friends in need, but I do everything in my power to not be needy. Being needy leaves me feeling shame and guilt. I refuse to be in need, even when I am.
I’m pretty good at cramming. Cramming in the Bible study and prayer so that I can get the dishes done. Cramming in the kids so that I can get the laundry through. Wasting time, only to make the important people in my life pay for it. I will appear good. But this usually means donning an impossible façade. An impossible reality for me, and perhaps for any mother at my stage of life.
Then everything crashes. In one week I’m hit with a bad cold. Then the “elusive time of the month” arrives as well. Elusive because I’m nursing a nine month old, which saps my strength, leaving me exhausted. Everything crashed last week and I was left with nothing but my pride.
On Tuesday, I talked to my old best friend on the phone—for over two hours. I wanted to talk to her because I was worried about her. But guess who talked and talked? Guess who spilled? I realized that I really wasn’t put together very well. She was asking, “Have you prayed about it?” “Have you taken your vitamins?” She asked me about my boredom. About feeling trapped in my home. She said lots of good things. Thank you, Melinda.
Later that day, I realized that I was in no condition to have a Bible study because I hadn’t been in the Word and in prayer like I should have been. I sat at the dining room table, staring at my Bible, trying to prepare. I was in no condition physically, emotionally, or spiritually, to teach. I cancelled. I was desperately needy, and I hated it. Suddenly all the stuff I’m usually happy with about myself was stripped away. What was left just looked like a whole lot of pride.
I’m still trying to figure out what this all means. I think it means – at least – that superwoman needs to die. I need to stop trying to be everything and just focus on the important things. I need to sleep more. Do you know how stupid that makes me feel to have to say that? I hate naps! Waste of time. I like to be able to get up early, but I just cannot right now. Weaning this huge baby doesn’t seem to be an option right now. So I need to take my vitamins religiously. It means that dishes sit while I spend time with the kids. It means that if all that gets done in a day is a few dishes and food and clean clothes…it’s okay. It means that I listen to audio Bible while I color with the kids.
This superwoman I want to be has no needs. I need to learn that it’s okay to have needs. I need to figure out how to live with where I am at in life right now—and how to take care of those needs. Those trapped feelings I get? It’s a pity party. Pride. But I realize that I have a need here and I have to figure out how to combat that in whatever way works best for me and my family. If I’m tuned in, I won’t let things get to the trapped stages.
In all of this, I have to learn to be content. I need to choose joy. I need to learn how to THRIVE. Otherwise, I’m going to look back at this stage of life and kick myself for wasting time wishing I was more than I could be. I’ll wish I hadn’t missed what was right before me at the time.
I don’t understand everything my friends have had to deal with in their pasts—or are dealing with now. However, I do understand that I have my own set of weird problems. My own set of needs. My own set of guilt and pride and sin that I have to take to Jesus—daily. Because I do want to do this walking with Jesus thing right. I want to be victorious.
The truth is, I need this stage of life. This tired, hormonal, busy, boring stage of life. Because, right now, it’s important for me to be face to face with the fact that what I can do is not important in the light of eternity. This isn’t about me. It’s about Jesus. What He can do in a day, in a year, in a life, in a child, in me, in whatever we allow Him to work in. So I have to rest. Be okay with feeling and even acting tired. And choose joy, which, ultimately, is choosing Jesus.