Who knew that a season of your life could be filled with such ups & downs. You'd think a season will only be one or the other. Just like the seasons through the year. Winter you expect cold- Summer you expect hot. Why can't the seasons in our lives be either just good or bad? Why must they be a mix of both, with a little gray shade in the middle? I think it's part of God's plan in shaping us into US.
A friend of mine invited me to her Friday Moms group a couple weeks back. I've been there before with her, but I had a lot going on in my life during that time, and I was not able to commit to the group. After telling her that I NEEDED a group of ladies that I could just open up to and just let it all out, she extended the opportunity to join her group. It was definitely needed, and I'm so appreciative.
We are reading "Becoming Myself," by Stasi Eldredge.
Today has been quiet. The kids are out of the house and Nicholas is work. I've already cleaned the house, picked out my clothes for today, jammed to the radio, sipped my hot coffee, beat myself up for where I'm at in life, gave myself grace, prayed, and read a chapter of this book.
You see, I'm not in a good place right now. I'm definitely not depressed, but I'm stuck. I'm stuck between shame & discipline, and how amazing is it that her first chapter is based on just that. As I read each sentence I'm yelling, "Duh Jenna!"
"But you and I both know by now that most of our healing and changing doesn't happen at the moment of our conversation. We walk it out. God invites us into a process. Our journey to get there takes place in the day in and day out of the dusty and gritty here and now. And it is to the dusty, gritty here and now that Jesus comes.
So shame isn't gonna do it, and discipline isn't gonna do it. God invites us to join him in the process whereby he heals our inner world so that he can transform our outer world."
I've been beating myself up about being a failure. I seem to think I'm failing at being a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, etc. I can barely hold up conversations as I once have. I can barely hold up promises to my husband. I can barely make free time to just PLAY with my children. I can barely make time for play dates, or better yet, respond to a text. Where did the fun me go? Where did the organized me go?
Something always seems to fall.
BUT. Read that again. Shame isn't going to change me. Discipline- oh discipline. All the lists and goal making I do- IS NOT GOING TO DO IT. God is deep within my heart. Healing, mending, changing.
I think a piece, a huge piece of me died in that hospital. Not even at the end of our hospital stay, but at the very beginning. A piece of me died, and I've been working so hard to get her back. I think through this, god will be able to transform me, and bring her back.
Her next chapter goes on to explain that we need to REMEMBER times in our lives to help shape ourselves. This has been a huge issue I've been dealing with during my time of healing. I'm scared of forgetting. I do not want to forget my time with them. I do not want to forget their kicks, their faces, the feeling of holding them, and every tear I had while talking with them. I need to remember, forever. Please.
(A five and forty-nine)
"I am keenly aware of the sound of the water and of the wind in the trees above me, and then I am aware of another sound. Laughter. The laughter of children and the laughter of a woman- the laughter of my mother. It's not in my imagination, nor in my present moment, but it's as real as my breath. Laughter reaches out to me from a place closer than the breeze that brushes my face. The light doesn't change, the fragrance is the same, but a window into eternity has opened- and the sound is heavenly; free, joyous, true laughter.
I linger in the moment, realizing that at forty-nine-year old I am fifteen years older than my mother was when she grasped my floating body as I passed her, catching me with joyous ease. It has been ten years since I have heard my mother's laugh. She is dead. I know this to be true. I was there. I witnessed her passing, her spirit releasing and her body quickly following. But now, in this moment, I hear her laughter, the laughter of a young woman whose life in this moment is good.
My mother is dead. My mother is alive.
My mother is gone. My mother remains.
I am forty-nine years old. And I am three and I am seven and I am twenty-two.
At times there is within me an echo of the truth that I am eternal. I am connected to my present, my future, my past. So are you. We carry within us every age and every moment of our lives."
"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been."
THAT. I cried as I read every sentence out loud. I knew exactly where she was going with this, and it hurt, it freed, it screamed, it calmed, etc. all at once. You know, that gray shaded area between yes and no.
I'm not going to lose this memory. It's closer to me than anything.
God, I know we don't speak very much anymore. It's not because I'm mad at you; not even close as to why, because I'm not mad at you. I'm actually grateful for you because you are taking care of my babies while I cannot. You are providing them a happiness that I even as their mother cannot.
Maybe I'm jealous. Maybe I'm jealous because you get to hear their laughs, see their smiles, hold them, praise them, and be their Father. I mean they are yours after all, and I need to come to terms with that.
But I do want you to know that I'll forever be grateful to you for our time together. Even if it was short lived, and even though I keep beating myself up for things that I cannot change, thank you.
Thank you for the tiny kicks. Thank you for allowing me to be the only arms for Grady to know and to have felt while he was alive. Thank you for allowing me to be the only voice, other than yours, for the boys' to know and to be heard. Thank you for allowing my breath, my body, my blood, - me, to be the one to hold and grow these precious boys' until it was time for you to call them home.
Lord, if I can ask for anything through this experience, can I please just ask for the memory. Can you please promise to embed this memory deep within my soul, and never let it slip away. The memory of what it felt like to hold them. The memory of Grady's kick on my chest as he squirmed- still breathing, heart still beating. Oh God, please let me remember. Let me remember the last ultrasound of seeing Ryder's heartbeat. That last one. PLEASE. Out of all the things I've been asking for, quietly, deep within my heart, this is the one thing I want most. The memories.