Maybe you’re like me and you hate, really loathe a pity party. Perhaps you’re a bootstraps kinda girl and after all, having all these babies was your decision. Nobody forced you. You know life is hard. But today, you just want a break. You need the waves to stop crashing at your doorstep.
You’ve been through a long, hard season. And saying you’re “through” it, well, it’s just not true. You are still very much in it. You need help. More than help, you need community to step alongside, to love your babies, to listen to your rambles, to do a load of laundry. You need to know somewhere someone is on their knees on your behalf and someone is pulling a casserole out of the oven just for you. Someone is thinking about you, wanting to be a part of the light yoke you wear. Because today, it feels heavy.
Maybe you have an ill child. Or an unemployed husband. Or a baby with special needs. Maybe it seems as if your well of need is too deep and you just can’t ask one more person for one more hour of help. In your mind you’ve constructed a spreadsheet with all the hours people have given to you and you’ve determined you’ve reached the max and you are so far in the red, you have no hope of ever repaying the kindnesses that have come your way.
And yet, you need more.
Might I suggest you push “pause” on the whirring mind that never stops? For just a moment, STOP worrying, push away the grief, the overwhelming anxiety that I know is your constant companion. I know you can’t sit in this spot for long, but do, for just a minute so you can hear this.
I understand. When it feels as though your list of burdens is too long, it is. I know you’d rather buckle down and take care of it all yourself, bear the entire burden with grace and wisdom and maturity, but honey, you need to sleep. You need to eat. And you desperately need to know you aren’t going to walk this road forever, all alone.
I have watched friends I love dearly walk through hard, soul-crushing, grief. Sometimes the road is long. Usually, the process of healing, or simply just getting through the day, is tedious. There is nothing romantic about it. It is imperfect and ugly. But this I know; it is sacred. When I fumble along the road of another person’s pain, I feel very small and very honored. It feels messy, but it feels right.
I know that when I was a 20-year-old bride with my whole future ahead of me, I didn’t see any of this coming. I had no idea how hard life could be, how sad I would be when my children were given burdens that seem unfair and unjust. How tired I would be. And how lonely I would feel.
Might I suggest that it will not get easier from the bottom of the pit? And while, throwing a pity party once in a great while is completely normal, and perhaps even necessary, you already know it won’t change a thing. Breathe, mama. Whisper your prayers. Cry them. And then get up, and ask for help, again. Put down your pride, deny your guilt the pleasure of a comfy chair in your heart, and allow yourself to be a part of the community you say you believe in.
Some of us need a little extra help. It really is okay. I know we live in a society of “all by our own selves”, but mama, it’s not supposed to be that way. We’re supposed to do this thing together. We are supposed to be burden bearers. True love carries, and that kind of messy-handed, unyielding, imperfect, faithful love is exactly how God shows a hurting world just how kind and gentle He is.
You see, this life is hopeless if we don’t love each other well. Allow the body to be the body. Allow it to work. Allow His hands to serve you. Allow His arms to carry you. Allow His feet to walk step by step beside you. This is your God. These are His people. And in Him, all debts are canceled. You’re in the black, forever.
***This post is written in the spirit of sharing the mess and the glory that Amber Haines over at The RunaMuck started with her beautiful compilation of “Dear Mother” letters. Head over there to read more and to know you are not alone.***