The rain is pattering against the windows, and the thunder is half-heartedly rumbling as if this gloomy weather makes it feel as sleepy and lethargic as it does me. Evie is finally asleep, finally napping after an hour and a half of fighting and screaming and passionately yelling "No! No! No!" from her crib and numerous attempts to calm her down and teach her to listen. And so here I sit, feeling like I need to write about something but after struggling for almost three weeks, I still struggle to find my voice. And to find grace along with it.
When I was about ten, I learned from Harriet the Spy that you should write about what you know. Your best comes out when you write about what you know best, I guess. I can't guarantee this post will be anything profound, especially when I feel like I can't even think straight. But it'll be honest, and it's what I know right now, right here, in the thick of this life.
I've had a stomach virus since Friday that has totally tapped me out. I think being pregnant at the same time only makes things worse. I'm struggling with feeling thankful for the fact that I get to carry a second child. I know it's an enormous blessing, and truly, I do know that. But along with the warm, tender feelings comes very real things to figure out and learn and deal with. Like having to train an extremely ornery one-and-a-half year old, which sometimes requires lots of lifting and transporting and running, while attempting to breathe in enough oxygen around the other baby currently pressing against my lungs. Or getting up almost every hour of the night because bodily fluids are escaping from one or the other end of me thanks to something I ate or just some virus I happened to contract. Or the panic that comes when I believe I just won’t be able to do this with two children. Or just feeling so defeated after all this because there is just not enough left of me to even keep up with something I love doing. And then doubts and fears creep in that I should be more...but I'm just not right now.
Give it all to Jesus. That would be the Christian response. To trust Him with my life and my identity and to find rest and comfort in the promises He gives. At this moment, I'm not really sure how to do that. It just all seems very general and vague. It also seems that I should put on a good face, suck it up and get a thankful heart already. And yes, that is eventually what I should do, but in the meantime, I can’t create in me desires that just aren’t there.
I think coming to Jesus with things might instead, during certain seasons, look a little ugly and raw. I’m struggling with doing life right now. I feel like a hot mess, and at the same time, I feel like I have no reason to be feeling this way because I know this life you have given me is good. But I’m having trouble seeing the good. I don’t know what to do. Would you help me?
When Jesus said for us to come to Him when we are weary and burdened, I think part of having faith in Him is believing He meant it. When it says that while we were still sinners, He died for us, I think we can safely trust that he can handle our honest and laid-bare parts and our failure to have a heart like His, even when we feel like there isn’t a good reason why we shouldn’t.
Isn't this grace?
But then I’m tempted to think that that’s all He needs of me. To spill my heart. I expect Him to take it from there. And He will and He does, but He wants us to have a hand in this mending and as I’m learning, it never looks like what we think it will. He wants us to learn, to build our wings, so that the next time we struggle, we aren’t nearly so broken as we were this time.
So here are some words that call me back to what is true. Here are words that call me back to grace and to perseverance and to hope. I hope you can find some encouragement in them, too, because one thing I know is that we all struggle to find grace sometimes.
And we can all use a little encouragement in finding it again.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth” Psalm 121:1
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3: 11