On the way into church Sunday morning, we passed one of my favorite pastors. He visited me several times at the hospital as I counted down the bed rest days. He even came the day I was scheduled for an emergency c-section, not knowing the news yet. I remember him standing in a circle holding hands around my bed, right after the doctor delivered the news, with my husband and my father and stepmom who had just drove all night to pray for the children unborn.
When he saw the kids this morning they ran up to him and gave him a hug and he said, “I heard your heartbeats while you were still in your mommy.”
It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears.
You see, that statement brought back all those memories of hope and nervous anticipation and worry and excitement. I remember him being in the room while the fetal monitors belted out the babies out-of-sync beats like a beautiful song. But this morning, yesterday’s Sunday morning, it was all I could do to crawl out of the hole to get us to church.
I have struggled the past few months. As the weeks pass, ever more so acutely. I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of mothering three toddlers/preschoolers. The crush of doing things wrong lays like a Scarlett A across my breast. The pressure of doing things right makes me want to flee.
For good or for bad, I married in my thirties and had the triplets after I turned 36. I had a number of years of single, and even married, freedom. I made a comfortable living and spent frivolously on fancy brunches and tailored new suits. I had a calendar full of fun events and friends to call on a moment’s notice. I zipped up my size 8 dresses and when I struggled with my weight it was never with a post-pregnancy belly bulge. When I ran a few days late to the hairdresser, it was never to cover a nearly full head of grey hair.
I had years of strong faith and consistent service to my Lord, but there were years of distance in my relationship with Christ and obligated religion.
Sometimes, I find the devil uses memories of days gone by to create discontentment and depression.
And now, as God has expanded my ministry and writing/speaking opportunities this year, I struggle more than ever. Vehement questions of What Am I DOING? swirl through my head as I not only wonder how I could possibly take on one more thing but also wonder who am I to add my voice to those of stronger Christian women speaking and writing today.
And this weekend, besieged and befuddled, I just wanted to move away, under a new name, a live for a time in a gorgeous remodeled apartment full of breakables where I would not be covered in pee, and poop, and peanut butter, and vomit, and paint. A land where my personal trainer came in the morning and my chef prepared delicious 200 calorie meals at night. A land where I slept through the night and never found myself kicked out bed because it rationally only holds four, not five, people.
It was that daydream popped by those Sunday morning words that spoke of unborn heartbeats and hopeful anticipation and prayers covering our days to come. I walked into church and heard this refrain sung over and over again, “Your love never fails, it never gives up, It never runs out on me.”
As I processed the magnitude of that love of the Father, over His children far more disobedient than my own, the pastor offered this, “The cross of Christ will not let you down, but neither will it let you off.”
Christianity does not give you a hall pass to be self-indulgent and irresponsible. It will never condone weakness when you have access to a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week supply of the most unfathomable power supply ever to exist. Instead, our ever patient Father says He will hold us up and strengthen us so that we can keep going. But more than propping us up, He walks with us through the battlefields – bruised but not beaten, victorious not victims.
I do not get a pass to whine and hold a pity party and wallow in selfishness and sin. I do get a pass to call in back up. I get to say I have nothing left, nothing to hold it together and pull this really hard motherhood thing off, HELP please. And help comes.
Psalm 121 – I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heavenA)”> and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.
Isaiah 40 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlastingCH)”> God, the CreatorCI)”> of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strengthCM)”> to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Galatians 5 – You were running a good race.L)”> Who cut in on youM)”> to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
Matthew 11 – “Come to me,AG)”> all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.AH)”> Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,AI)”> for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.AJ)”> For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”AK)”>N)”>