Departure for a Moment

I’m taking a departure from my daily Bible Reading Challenge blog for a quick moment.

The dreary scene outside my window matches the plodding of my heart.  I feel the cold creeping through the windowsills, winding its way around my toes as it shoots tendrils of chilly dampness up into my heart.

Yes, it’s the Texas Yo-Yo weather.  If I knew how to capture a screen shot on my phone, I would have done so yesterday evening.  The weather channel update for my area showed the current temperature of 69 degrees.  Directly underneath, in bold letters against a red background, were the ominous words: Winter Weather Advisory.

That was not a typo!  After a fierce rain this morning, the temperature is below freezing again.  I tried wrapping my tender green plants that emerged just this past week, but I am not sure if they will make it through this night or if they will also feel the effects of the cold breath outside.

Oh, I’ve spent the day rather pleasantly, curled up with a good book, a blanket, and a sweet doggy on my lap.  But something inside me goes out when the weather gets cold like this and snow flutters to the ground.

It’s been a day of questions with no answers in sight.

Recently I began attending a different church because I was drawn to its robust worship…worship that felt real, worship that moved me to tears, that led me to a position of awe in standing before the Lord Jesus.  Yet, starting over with new friends isn’t easy.  Am I doing my daughter a disservice by picking up the few roots we had and starting over?  Am I doing myself a disservice?  Is this really what the Lord wants of me?  Of us?

It’s been a pressing time in our homeschooling journey, a time when I wonder if I’m doing enough. I feel as if I’m falling fall short of where I’d like to be as a teacher…and as a mom.  And I don’t quite know how to fix it.  I know I must soon begin requiring her to do chores and that I need to start teaching her some life skills — but still I hesitate.  I like seeing her play in her innocence.  It brings joy to my heart to overhear her singing as she draws.

It hurts to watch her grow up.  It’s hard to believe she is the same girl who, just three short years ago, did not want to play upstairs in the game room because it wasn’t downstairs with me.  Now, I am being slowly replaced by friends, and that is as it should be…but it still hurts, and I treasure the sweet moments we do still have together when I see glimpses of the young woman she is becoming.

In just two weeks, she will fly off to Rome with her dad, grandma, and cousin.  I choose to remain behind because…I am an idot?  I am a trembling, gelatinous mass without a spine?  In truth that is how I feel at the very thought of traversing the ocean in an airplane.  Yet I will miss them so much…so much that my stomach is already in knots, and they haven’t left yet.  This trip to Rome would have been the perfect opportunity to extend our homeschooling.  We have been studying ancient Rome in great detail this year…but I won’t be there to share her experiences.  What pains me most is the poignant longing SHE has for me to be with her!

THAT is what is slowly killing me inside: her desire for Mamma to be with her.  I have been there for her in every other part of her life…but not this part.  I didn’t go to London with her, and I’m not going to Italy.  What a pathetic excuse for a mother am I.

I recently learned that a distant relative was committed to a mental hospital when she was about my age for anxiety-related disorders.  Sometimes I wonder if that is to be my eventual exit.  There are times that I really question why the Lord allowed me to have such an incredible family when I am so undeserving.

When my girl was just a newborn, I suffered severe postpartum depression.  I cried all the time and thought of my inadequacies.  I remember pushing her in the stroller, thinking that if I just stepped in front of the car that passed by, she and my husband would be free to find a new and improved Mommy for her.  Now that I am eleven years removed from those thoughts, I see that no one can possibly love a child in the same way as a mother.  And yet…I grieve that she and my husband are stuck with me.  I grieve that I am stuck with me.  I wish I could be someone else, someone who isn’t terrified of plane rides and oceans and nausea and strange food and germs.  I wish I could be someone whose chest didn’t seize up in a panic attack in social situations, someone who didn’t get deathly seasick and could enjoy a cruise.  I wish I could be truly freed of this anxiety — and one day I will be — but I’m coming to think, at least on this dreary day, that that day of complete freedom will only be when Jesus returns.

Until then…I guess I need to learn to be satisfied in my own skin. I’m not there yet.

2 thoughts on “Departure for a Moment

  1. Almost word for word, this could be MY post. I know.

    Especially this: “I grieve that she and my husband are stuck with me. I grieve that I am stuck with me. I wish I could be someone else…”

    That is exactly how I feel 99% of the time. I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve said these words to God, or even to my husband. Honestly, I even occasionally entertain the thought of leaving them, thinking they’d most certainly be better off without me. At least then, only ONE of us suffers the agony of being around me: ME. The one who deserves it.

    BUT. God knew all this back when we were born, didn’t He? He knew exactly who we were when He put our little families together. He picked US to raise these precious little girls, knowing the choices we would make for them, all of the mistakes we’d make along the way, and knowing the war that goes on inside of our heads every minute of every day. HE KNEW, and picked us for them anyway.

    So…these daughters are ours for some divine reason. Do they have perfect lives? Nope. Are they loved? Oh, yes. Is there a reason they have US for mothers? Apparently so. We can NOT get caught up in the desire for perfection. Heck, we can not even reach NORMALCY some days! What we can do is OUR best and pray that God’s will for them is met through that.

    You are a good mother. That, I know, even without ever having met you. You are doing your best, even though I KNOW it doesn’t FEEL like it. It’s easy to compare ourselves to ‘normal’ mothers and feel like such a failure. Here’s the thing though: we don’t know THEIR struggles. One may be swimming in a bottle of pills or alcohol. One may be cheating on their husband. One may be hitting her children. One may never hug or love their child. One may be sitting around watching soap operas all day long with her children sitting in filth.

    Know what I mean?

    I’d say that MOST children (if not all) have SOMETHING in their lives that is much less than ideal. We just don’t see what those things are most of the time. All we can do is create the best life for our child that we can…knowing it isn’t ever going to be perfect. That is why we need GOD! If their lives were perfect, would our daughters ever feel the despair it takes to REALLY learn of their need for Him?

    Hang in there. Try to remember that you were handpicked for that wonderful little girl who loves you with all of her heart. Her life may be closer to wonderful than you think.

    1. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. I get comment notifications by email, and when I received yours, I got tears in my eyes because I knew you were the one person on earth who really understands!

      I have never entertained a thought of leaving..but I have asked God to take me. When I was pregnant and suffering severe sickness, I lay in my bed in a dark room and begged him to go ahead and take me away. I didn’t want to live anymore with the fear, with the panic, with the constant nausea. I didn’t want to have to be alive anymore; I didn’t want to have to drink or eat. I just wanted to die. I probably nearly did. I was 78 pounds when they admitted me to the hospital with severe dehydration and a bladder/kidney infection.

      Thank you for the reminder that God put our little families together! I don’t think anyone else would put up with me than my sweet husband and daughter.

      Again, your words moved me to tears. I’ll look over them again the next time I am at the bottom.

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