I would like to give you a small glimpse into our lives right now, and it's going to get ugly, so brace yourselves, but the message is important.
Yesterday, my husband stood to hug me, in our bedroom. This is significant, because he has been unable to stand up for that long, or hold me in his arms for that long, since before Christmas. We recently discovered that this is the cause of a bizarre and random back injury, but in the weeks prior, his pain was a scary unknown. He is now on the mend, slowly, prayerfully. In the meantime, one thing after another has gone wrong, creating messes, making me feel a little (a lot) like a failure.
He hugged me because he knew that on top of everything else, the last thing I needed to deal with this weekend, was puking children. He hugged me, because he knows me well enough to know my extreme fear of the stomach bug. He hugged me because he knew that the messes I dealt with this weekend, which I will not detail for your sake and mine, nearly broke my spirit.
These things seem trivial to someone dealing with real hardships. I know they do, and I know that they, in fact, are. But it doesn't always work to tell myself that, and this last pile-on sent me to a dark place where I could feel an inner struggle rising within.
So, when my husband hugged me, and behind him I could see a picture frame with a collection of photos of us from our dating years in college, I thought with sadness about all the dreams I had back then. Yet here I stood, 15 years later, a mother without a shower for 2 days, who had been on her hands and knees, scrubbing up a horror scene in the bathroom, and with a great heaviness I thought, "This is my life."
Just as quickly, I thought what a horrible person I am for feeling that way! God has blessed me with so much!
I am in this constant tug of war between victory and defeat.
As I write this, with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, I see in a messy pile to my left, an unfinished crochet project. I've been using it as therapy this weekend. I don't actually know what it is going to be, but I find the simplicity of this stitch completely beautiful and mesmerizing.
And the metaphor here, was placed heavily upon my heart; that this is life. Some of the most beautiful aspects of life are found in the simplest and even smallest of things, amidst a messy pile of unfinished work. Many of the most beautiful treasures which lie before us, are still completely unknown.
The young girl in those pictures, with the love of her life, knew that life wouldn't be perfect, but she didn't dream of the worse in "for better or for worse." We never do, right?
And for me, when things spiral toward worse, I all too often find myself mentally tallying a running list of every struggle we've been up against throughout our marriage; the job losses, the lost home, the sparse bank accounts and cupboards, the food stamps...
This is where the enemy loses. This is where he's got it wrong, because, while it takes me longer to get there than I'd like to admit, this list doesn't end in defeat. It brings me to all of the reasons I have to be thankful, all of the testimonies God has given us, in those hardships. It brings me to victory.
See, it is in the worse, where we find our strength. It is in the worse, where we cling to Jesus, even when; especially when, we feel the darkness pulling. It is in the worse we find ourselves grasping at even the smallest of things to be thankful for, as they shine like beacons of light in those dark moments. It is in the worse where treasure is found, because the better of this world, cannot compare to the treasures of Heaven.
Yes, this is my life. It is simple. It is messy. The future is unknown.
And it is beautiful.
Thank you, Jesus.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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