When I am in that state, it’s hard to be around my kids. Before they were on the scene, if I was feeling “blah,” I could withdraw and nobody would care. My identity and mood were mine and I could sit and stew to my heart’s content. I could sulk. Call a friend. Exercise. Escape in a book or some fluff magazine. Take a nap. Be alone. But when you’re a mom, especially with younger kids, you can’t withdraw. (Well, maybe for a bit, but you still have to come out from your room and make dinner!) You’re cemented to the responsibility of being a lifeline to your children who skip alongside you on an invisible leash…that’s when the guilt rushes in. They didn’t ask for Mom to be in a bad mood or to have to bear the brunt of my humanness, hormones or various rocks I have stumbled over. So when I can’t depend on my identity or strong-enough self to pull us all out from my mini “me” crisis, I rest in knowing there is someone who can.
He’s Big. He’s Strong. He’s Capable. He’s Trustworthy. He’s Intentional. Almighty. A Refuge. A Comforter. Redeemer. He is our Savior.
I thank God for being bigger than myself to help me through the mood swings I experience, and sadly, cannot always control. When I depend on God and ask for His strength, He sustains me through those weak moments when I have to be “on” as a parent. He empowers me to be humble and say, “I am sorry,” and provides the strength to persevere through the minutes….one moment at a time. He also gives my children what they need. Sometimes their need (not desire) might be to observe someone else’s sadness and stress so they can learn to be comforters. Sometimes they need to receive compassion, or practice having a self-controlled, patient response when their needs are not getting met. Or maybe I need to curl up on the couch and read to them so I can learn that what I may need is to get past my focused self and press on in my responsibilities. There are many opportunities that God can use the “blahs” (otherwise known as grief, pain or challenges) in all our lives to help develop, shape and transform us into His likeness that can have far reaching effects into our characters…that’s an identity worth having.
I know in those dark moments, God’s light shines in…perhaps it doesn’t blind me from the obstacle as I would hope, but strengthens and uplifts me. And sometimes, when we are standing on shaky ground, a second’s worth of firm foundation beneath our feet, is really all we need with the understanding that power like that comes from Him alone.
When God equips me in those moments, I am grateful that He is loving enough to breathe His identity into me.
Until I can like myself again.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans, 8:28)
“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” (Isaiah, 30:18)
“I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you–the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121)