Perhaps we are all given a certain measure of strength or adrenaline or ability to travel down the paths that we find ourselves on. Whatever challenges face us, somehow we live them and get through them even if we find ourselves sobbing in the shower or not making it out of our pajamas until 4:00 in the afternoon. Aren't we all on a road that in some ways feels hard for us? Whatever unique circumstances beset us, we have to endure some kind of challenge.
Lately, I have found myself to be the recipient of comments like, "Wow, you are superwoman!" Or, "I don't know how you're doing it!" Or, "You are so brave and courageous for what you're doing right now."
And I don't know what to do with those comments, because I find myself bristling at them and rising up with contempt, or just wanting to break down and cry. They don't feel true.
Being Superwoman is laughable - because Superwoman wouldn't have fed her three year old yogurt and graham crackers for dinner last night because she didn't have any energy to fight the familiar "eat what is on your plate" fight. I feel anything but brave and courageous - more like wrecked and weary. And how am I doing this? I'm not really. If I show up anywhere dressed and look put together with two children in tow, it's because the stars have magically aligned themselves to make that happen. And God bless my friends, because if I'm out and about I have NO problem handing off the baby to be held or fed or sending Tommy with someone else to go potty.
I cannot do it all. I'm not supposed to do it all. We are not created to be able to do it all.
What is true is that I cry. I cry EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I cry and I weep and I pray and ask God to somehow get me through another day because I'm exhausted and I deeply miss my husband and doing life all by myself is hard, hard, hard. I still think God is nuts for thinking that I would be up to this - caring for a newborn AND Tommy, AND selling a house, AND healing from a c-section, AND doing everything without Todd here. What is true is that I've been able to do what I needed to do to my house to get ready to sell is because I've had to. I've had no choice but to carry on and somehow my body has cooperated to get it all done - even with recovery and lack of sleep.
What's true is that I feel weak and needy and a mess.
Somehow, I'm getting through this. Maybe because this was the path that God has set out for me long ago. Maybe because He shapes all of us and prepares and equips us for the challenges and hurdles that life will contain. I've learned much of my neediness, of my weakness and my desperate glorious need to depend on Him for all things. It's how I've seen this journey - an invitation to know Him more deeply and intimately in my places of weakness. I don't feel like I'm getting through this picture-perfectly and I don't think I'm supposed to. Perhaps that's why it feels hard for others to observe me that way. I think the point is to get through this completely and solely dependent on the God who has called me and readied me for this. And to know that it's going to look messy, and that it will probably look like more yogurt dinners and baby hand-off's to friends.
I've met Jesus sobbing in the shower and cleaning out my closets and sitting up at 3am feeding my baby. I've met Jesus after losing it with Tommy - I've been short or just plain mean and I've had to go back and apologize and ask his forgiveness.
Every day contains a measure of hardship and weariness and where I am is this:
I want to feel what is there to feel - the excitement, the sorrow, the grief, the anticipation.
I want to remember to be kind to myself every day.
I want to get done what needs to get done and not worry about what didn't happen - like nutrious dinners or baths or anything Jesus-focused for Easter, or egg-dying whatsoever.
I want to remember to thank God in the moments where I'm soft enough to see blessings right in front of me.
And lastly, I want to and I will cry when all of this feels like it's more than I can handle.
Because it most definitely feels that way.