Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God's Got This

Have you noticed lately how most major search engine websites will highlight what is "trending" that day? It often seems so random and off the wall. Ok, right now the topic that's trending is... SeaWorld killer whale. What??!! And tomorrow Winona Ryder will be trending, because that seems about right. 

Whenever I come up for air, in between birthing babies, I attempt to be "on trend" in fashion. Of course, I always have my own spin on what's the latest, but it's fun to at least pretend like you don't have five pairs of mom jeans in your closet. However, I can tell you now that I will never own a pair of over-the-thigh boots. A little too Pretty Woman for my taste. I'll leave those boots up to Beyonce to pull off, as a sexy mama. 

Well, lately it is hard not to notice a certain trend with many of my friends, who have been in my boat. These friends seem to be jumping ship, and swimming ever to gracefully, with their brood, to... a bigger boat. A yacht. Or a pontoon, or anything that will contain more family members. In case you haven't guessed, these peers have gone from a party of five to a party of six, or from six to seven, and so forth. Don't get excited folks, this is not an announcement of any sort, so keep your gasps to a minimum. 

I often Facebook stalk, I mean, appropriately observe, how seamlessly other moms seem to handle the increase in their flock. I click through the sweet pictures of the beautiful mother with not a hair out of place, and a soft dewy glow after popping out a baby sans an epidural. I gaze at the seemingly perfect picture of the mom who is holding her minutes old wee one, and the well behaved children are sitting around with "big brother" and "big sister" ever so creatively placed on their shirts, thanks to Pinterest and a late night crafting session, I'm sure. (In my case, I zoomed over to the Carter's outlet mall for clearance sibling shirts, two days before I gave birth to my third, but who's counting?) Oh, and did I mention, my imaginary friend: her hubby is deployed, but it's no sweat for her, since she is an island unto herself. Or so I think, as I pick up my jaw off the kitchen counter, while finishing up the last of my kids' Halloween candy. Boo. 

Then, I walk away feeling quite defeated, as I barely survive, with far less children and challenges, that this other picture perfect mom has on her plate. 

Like a broken record, I repeatedly know many pearls of wisdom in my head, but I so often have difficulty allowing them to sink into my heart. I know that God has made me wonderful and He equips me with the tools I need to be the mother and wife that He intends for me to be. I know that God can use my weaknesses for His glory. I know that God, has a unique calling and future for my life. And these gifts are not the exact same reflection as any other person on this earth. But, it's so hard to not feel like I must be doing something wrong. This is a lot harder than it should be. I often mutter to myself, "I make having three kids look like I have four or more kids!" 

It's a message I seem to hear, over and over, but it must be my achilles heel of comparing myself to others when they seem to be parenting with such ease, from my bird's eye view. 

I have been mulling around a message of hope for weeks, and it's one I have to remind myself on a regular basis. This word of encouragement is for you, the one that sees from afar, how it looks so easy for others, but not for you. This letter is for you, as if God gave me a message to tell you. 

Dear Sister in Christ and Child of the King,

God's got this. What you are going through is hard. It's beyond hard. Pardon my French, but it sucks. It just does. And it's ok to say this, and God wants to comfort you in your pain as you cry out to him. 

It's ok to be mad at this situation. He understands. God is not surprised by what's going on. He knew it was coming, and He has been walking with you through this mess, and He will not leave you. Even if you feel like He has. He's there. 

Though you have been caught off guard by the difficulty of your life, He's not. Things are happening in your life that don't seem fair. Life is not fair, and it is hard. Life can be so, so hard. 

It's ok to say, "This is hard." It may look easy to that gal, but it's not. You are not alone in what you are facing and feeling. Others have gone before you, and believers can come alongside of you, if you let them. And let others' know your needs. 

Remember that the situation may have changed for you, but God didn't. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) We can lean on the principles we have learned in His word, during the good times. That God is good. He's good. Let it sink in. Despite your circumstances, and pain, and frustration, He's good. (Psalms 136:1 as one of many examples). And His love endures. Even today, He has not changed. Again, circumstances change, but He hasn't. 

Friend, I stand with you, and verbalize to you that this is hard. Having this diagnosis is hard. This tragedy in your family is hard. This deployment is hard. So hard. This loss of your spouse's job is hard. This divorce is hard. Being a single mom is hard. What you are going through, that no one else knows about, is hard. 

For me, when I was going through a dry and challenging time of not being allowed to drive for health reasons, for 6 months, a close family member acknowledged that this circumstance is hard. I don't think anyone else had acknowledged it. They just saw the silver lining, and sometimes you don't want to see the silver lining yet. You don't always want the snazzy Bible verse that matches right up to your life or Romans 8:28, that is blasted back in your face whenever you share your struggle.  You just want to be validated that you are not crazy in thinking this is hard. You know to trust in God, but you need some time to get there.

You are not inhuman or broken. You are not just a weak person who needs to suck it up. It's ok to admit that it's not easy. We often try to put on a brave face, but eventually reality sets in and your world seems to be crumbling around you. 

This life can be hard, but God's got this. He sees your tears, your frustration, and pain that is deep into your soul. You want to scream at God, and He wants to hold you and dry your tears. He knows too, this is hard. But God is good. He can be trusted. 

Love your sister in Christ,
Rachel 

Psalm 34:4-8

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 63[a]

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.
Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
    they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
    and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
    all who swear by God will glory in him,
    while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

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My heart is hurting for so many sisters, and I don't even know who you are, but I cry with you. I am praying for you, truly, and I am praying that God surrounds you with His peace and just holds you in His arms. Much love, friend!