I’m so glad to have several young moms in my life. Just hearing about their average day brings a smile to my face…..and an ache to my back! I remember well those hectic days of juggling school, meals, work, church, sports, music, holidays, all the while trying to instill values into the lives of our children that would serve them well beyond childhood. I think of that time wistfully now….and given the opportunity to relive a few years, I would be very tempted! But if I were to really remember……really remember, I would have to admit that raising a family – though some of the richest, most gratifying and precious years of my life – was also hard, hard work. And I don’t just mean laundry and grocery shopping – every decision, great or small passes through the filter of how best to navigate it for the good of the whole family. It’s an awesome time of joy and blessing, with days of adventure, laughter and fun, and it’s also a time of wondering if we’re doing all we can to provide all the “important” things we want them to have, like Godliness, kindness, respect, security, creativity and lots and lots of love. To my young mom friends…..you’re doing fine! But you’re only human (which your kids need to see, btw!) and it’s not a sign of lack to get worn out once in a while. Know you aren’t alone!
I’m not sure if I can adequately find words to make the transition from young moms to where my heart is this evening, but I’m going to try, because for me, it seems like yesterday….
This afternoon my husband texted me a picture of our daughter, Kelsey, that made me laugh. She was using a new piece of exercise equipment with a goofy look on her face (clearly not wanting to pose for a picture) and purely on instinct….without even a moment’s hesitation, I grinned and hit the share button to send it to Kelsey’s brother….to my son. It wasn’t until I began typing his name in the “To:” field that I realized what I was doing. There have been more “firsts” than I care to recall in the seven months since Brett’s death, and this was just one more. I was grateful to be close to the restroom for a quick hide-n-cry before wiping my face with stiff paper towels, taking a deep breath and heading back to the new world where I can’t text my boy any longer.
I know this must be hard to read….and I do apologize if it seems too personal, but this is a journal of my journey with God through this season of Lent, and this year it also happens to be a season of deep, deep grief. I love being a mom, and I miss Brett so much sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe. But though my heart and my spirit are worn thin, and this loss is beyond anything I ever believed I would be able to endure, there is still…..somehow….a peace that wraps itself around me like a blanket and holds me until I can take the next breath and move on. I felt it today even as I used those rough paper towels to dry my tears, and I am confident that peace will carry me through not only these days, but all the days to come.
Jesus is well acquainted with suffering. He took not only his own, but mine….and yours….when his earthly journey led him ultimately to the cross to pay for the sins of us all. Would I rather just not have to feel this sorrow, or any pain at all for that matter? You bet! But that’s not what we’re promised will happen in this life. What we ARE promised, however, is a safe harbor when the storms rage so violently we’re not sure we can go on.
I want to leave us with a song by Jeremy Camp called “He Knows”. Whether you’re tired of picking up the toys that never stay put away, or cooking for picky eaters who don’t seem to understand your effort, or praying for the safety and choices of your older children as they find their way…..or just tired of trying to make everything work for everyone all of the time….take heart. There is nothing that comes our way that is a surprise to God. He knows. <3
All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low
how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show
all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows
the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free
every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
Publishing: © 2014 Capitol CMG Genesis / Stolen Pride Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / CentricSongs / 2 Hour Songs (SESAC) (Admin. at Music Services)
Writer(s): Jeremy Camp and Seth Mosley