Rest and I long to be friends, but truth be told, we can barely hold hands in the speed of the every day. Husband needs quality time, children need attention, school work must be done, boxes are being packed and couples are saying, "I do." All the while, I'm trying to bathe, feed and look like I actually brush my hair within a 24 hour time span.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet a new friend face to face. A few weeks back, I received an email from our church connecting me with a mother who is expecting twins and now had become high risk. The moments of my every day(s) prevented me from visiting her when we originally agreed, and we settled with the option of picking up our phones and actually having a voice conversation.
First, friends, if you're not talking to a friend on the phone at least once a week, change that!! It had been a while since I actually dialed a phone number, other than a family member's or client's, and it felt so good to chat about life, struggles, children and all the things "motherhood." Her children chatted in the background, my children chatted in the background, and we held a full conversation for about an hour.
After weeks of getting to know each other via phone and text messages, our meeting face to face seemed long overdue and well, funny. I knew exactly what she looked like, and I could even pick out her children in a crowd if I was asked. Thanks Social Media! As we chatted, she opened up about her experience being on bed rest, the in's and out's of her struggles and all about her family, and she ended by saying, "How are you?"
In that moment I realized I was gifted a moment of rest. This wasn't a "job" but rather a longing in my heart and I was gifted a moment with another mom to just talk about life and visit with one another. And as the words left her lips, tears swelled in my eyes. I'm not sure if she noticed as I tried to choke them back and pretend I was okay but all I could murmur back was, "I'm exhausted." All I could envision was Grady and Ryder and the grief took over my heart. In that moment, she gifted me the space to remember that while I've been running races full of so many great things, I was actually still grieving and had a broken heart. If she's reading this, I'd like to thank her for that.
You see, all the good's in our life are well-known because we know heartache. I can stand in a room full of 54 people packing Boxes of Hope (we just fulfilled 200 Boxes of Hope last Wednesday) and ride a high that words will never be able to explain, and then once I'm gifted a moment to actually explore how I'm doing, I can see there's still a heartache that needs tending to because truth be told, I'm broken and missing our sweet boys who began this journey in the first place. I can feel pure joy because I know true heartache.
And why am I thanking my sweet friend for a moment of rest to explore how I'm doing and what it is my heart is feeling, because that moment made me realize I need rest and quiet time with Jesus. I need Him near me, tending to the broken pieces and spend quality time with Him in a space that's not so fast-paced or upbeat. I need slow, quiet and safe. She reminded me to pause and find Him. I can envision a busy street in New York City, and when my eyes reach the cross, it's as though I'm standing in the middle of the road, directly in front of Him, and the sounds of the cars fade into the distance and they split before reaching my body. Some go to my right and some go to my left. He can see my broken heart within all the chaos and mend it right there in the middle of that street - I just have allow myself to go there and search for Him.
Photo by Kevin Lee.
I used to describe grief as a thick mud walk like the field trip we took in the fifth grade. I'd walk out to the middle of it and get stuck. I felt safer turning back and going to where I began or even contemplated staying right where I was, in the thick of it, but I knew in my heart I needed to get to the other side. Today, grief isn't as heavy but it can still be conniving and vindictive if I allow it - if I ignore it. And while my life is full of upbeat, fast-paced greatness, there's still a broken heart beneath the surface that longs for Jesus; That longs for rest.
So today friend, I ask, "How are you?" and aim to gift you a moment of rest to truly explore that question.