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.