I scratch out these words with fingers trembling –
With this deep ache to get real and raw and vulnerable but just not knowing how.
I. Am. Afraid.
Weeks into the new year and I’m already shaking, slipping, shattered.
Maybe it’s the aching realization that I’m just not cut out for this anymore.
Some boy just about burst my eardrum this morning when asked to clean his room.
Two girls fussed loud over who would get to set the table.
Some girl hit her sister upside the head for pouring juice (for the love).
And, yeah, this mama may or may not have squirted toothpaste all over the bickering coming from the bathroom. (And I wonder where these daughters of mine get all their senseless drama.)
For the truth is we all just keep falling around here – getting all busted and banged up.
And it terrifies me.
I lie in bed wondering if I’ll ever be enough, or if I’ll ever get it right, or if anyone will ever really understand me.
How could these broken pieces of me ever be enough to be the mom of this blue-eyed beauty with rosy cheeks and crusty-ness all down her face? To be enough to be the mama of all these awesome, loud, beautiful, crazy kids (and the dreamer of adopting even more)? To be enough to be this wife, to write these words, to hold these friendships, to disciple these women?
I’ll never be enough.
And how in the blazes could I ever get it right, when not only do I keep floundering, but a lot of the time I can’t figure out what right even is!?
There are articles praising this parenting technique and another criticizing it painstakingly. There are those insistent on the evils of vaccinations and others who are insistent on the evils of not vaccinating. There are concerns about plastic containers and too much sugar and what kinds of diapers to use and breast vs. bottle and helicopter parenting and schooling choices and if moms should work or stay at home and I could go on and on and on. There are voices adamant about saying this, doing this, being this – and voices advocating against those very same things.
So I try to do the best I can and finally make my choice – only to get home and read the top twelve reasons why that was not the right decision.
It’s mind boggling and confusing and enough to make my heart spin.
I’ll never get it all right.
And how can I possibly encourage you (sweet mamas and readers and friends and women) when I’m so ridiculously worried about what y’all think of me with my arms all flailing? Or in whatever I happen to be wearing? Or if maybe, just maybe, I happen to be gliding peacefully?
Because us women too often have a way of twisting words and judging hastily and cowering in offended corners and measuring ourselves against the world surrounding. If they do something better than us, we either raise them up high from which they can only fall, or we get our axes to swinging and chopping.
But I can assure you that my life is filled to the top with crazy beautiful and lots of horribly messy. And letting you peek inside is sometimes just really hard and scary.
So I measure, and I doubt, and I get too self-conscious.
It’s this fear that I didn’t even recognize that’s crept in and left me frozen and thinking I. JUST. CAN’T. DO. THIS. ANYMORE.
But it’s when I’ve fallen frozen and flat on my face – that all I can do is shift my gaze up.
And the whole world spins like this movie where the camera does one of those wide sweeps around, and finally you get to see glorious understanding.
Because the truth is when I stop fixing my eyes on myself and instead fall on my face before Him, that’s when I can truly see – there in all the melting tears and snot dripping down.
It’s not about if I’m enough! For the truth is that I will never be enough, but the one true God is always enough.
And the power of God working in me will forever be enough – more than enough – to take that shaky step forward, to make that phone call, to wake with that babe, to ask forgiveness, to speak truth, to write those words, to have joy in the drama, to share my heart, to cover my sins, to smile when he comes home from days in a row working…
For this role, for this job, for this season – at 2am with the preschooler who can’t sleep, at 7:30am when there’s already bickering loud, at 5pm when the house is just crazy.
And it’s okay if we come with weakness and trembling, if we don’t know what we’re doing, and though we try, we just keep failing.
Jesus didn’t come to save those who have it all together.
Praise God! For there’s not one of us that’s perfect – we’re just all in the process of being perfected.
And, sure, there may be thousands doing it better, more gracefully.
But all of us with thawing hearts know it’s not about us anyways. It’s only ever all about Him –
Him and His promises.
Him and His faithfulness, goodness, and truth.
Him and His sweet grace in and around and through everything.
God’s chipping away at these frozen parts of me. It’s painful and raw and yet so beautiful – even if I may still be shaking.