I think there is a breakdown somewhere among most moms. A breakdown in communication, in "me too's", in vulnerability, maybe even in trust. I'm not saying every mom can be counted as a head in this group, I just see a lot of women around me whose red flags risk and hurt fly high when the word "vulnerable" is spoken out, instead of banners of health and healing.
Sometimes I catch myself in conversation apologizing for missing this play date, or having to cancel those coffee plans (I promise I was REALLY looking forward to that flat white with soy too!), because my babies are sick, or I myself am running on empty and one more social activity will completely deplete the energy my kids need from me in between now and bedtime. It's like I am watching a film play on repeat, one whose main character has me shaking my head, and spewing off all my convictions of "that doesn't warrant a sorry!," "why are you apologizing for a sick child!?," "you don't need to feel guilty for knowing your season!" And then I look a bit closer at the starlet and realize it's me, bags under eyes and all.
Maybe it's the hope for a greater capacity, maybe it's a naivety that I am superwoman, regardless it is a position and thought process that when carried out into conversation leaves me speaking as reality untruths about the beauty and hard work of my current season. Worse than that, it is one that leaves me dishonoring the diamonds scattered as significant bits of motherhood that the Lord has TRUSTED me with in this sphere of time.
The gift of 38 weeks carrying Margaret Shepherd brought with them a literal, throwing up every single day, type sickness. A space of motherhood that was foreign and uncomfortable and depleting to me in so many ways physically and emotionally. Fast forward to having her in our arms for 4.5 weeks, and I am back at square one (only this time my two year old is joining me), throwing up for 72 hours straight because of food poisoning. A physical reaction that feels familiar, but still uncomfortable, and alarming when a new human so new and volatile is only feet away from me. Something scary and above explanation for my two year old, something that I can't do much but through the heaves and exhaustion, love him through. The adult mental steps that know his immune system is being strengthened, that these moments cuddled up in cozy flannels, with all our favorite trains and toys in momma and daddy's bed are actually somehow mined gold in and of themselves, and that in between popsicles and messy clean ups, I am able to teach the foundations for compassion, tenderness, kindness, and a "I'm with you no matter what you're going through" type loyalty for family and friendship.
And in between it all, there is revelation. How much more does God do the same in all our momma blues, the simple daily ones, and the once a year, really complex ones? How much more do difficult days bring about with them moments in time and conversation for us to call to light all the empty things we have tight fisted, only so they may be dropped, and He may take their place?
And so I'm back where I began. Mommas! Let's stop the apologizing, and start the vulnerability. But here's the catch. Let's not mistake vulnerability for whining and a spirit of defeat. Instead, let's champion transparency among our sisterhood circles so that God may get the glory of once again showing Himself faithful, once again establishing our steps into victory (whether through a tiny cold, or something as stormy as the current happenings in Las Vegas), and once again shining the Heavenly light that illuminates higher ways, and the deep soul care He has for us that allows us to weather storms, so that He may get the glory, and that we may share it with others. Salvation's grounds.
I recently listened to a message by Louie Giglio that brought to my attention a perspective shift. A thought that perhaps it isn't Satan's plan to hurt us, but instead his plan to hurt God in the hurting of His children - the ones that He loves the most, the ones He gave the ultimate sacrifice for.
The spurring of a shift from victim mentality to righteous anger. A shift that calls upon the glory of an Almighty God in the midst of attacks of darkness, in the midst of the momma blues: the patience wearing thin in the Target line, the reprimand that was a little too harsh and gives you the all too familiar mom guilt, the seasons where sickness, maybe even disease wears you down, the months of trying to mother well in the midst of loved ones dying, job losses, and the uncertainty of being able to make it into the next month financially.
A shift that takes momma blues, and uses them as open conversation with friends to declare the voice and act of overcoming into things that have yet to be seen.
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. -Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG)
What does this look like practically? Well, for me, it means not letting something as trivial and common as a stomach bug steal my joy. It means laughing at the defeat of something that will only last 48 hours, because I know that it is this attitude and posture that gives God the glory that satan is trying desperately to steal. It means simmering soups, and flower bouquets for friends in the future whose homes are invaded with sickness, because comfort in physical provision and words of, "I know this stinks, hang in there just a day or two longer!" are swings of our Spirit swords. Swings that are steady in faith handling, and accurate in their aim and taking out of darkness.
Whatever defines your momma blues this month, I pray Hebrews 11:1-2 directly into the enemy's voice of lie and defeat within them. I pray that you too may rise up in faith, distinguished, and set above the average of the world. Let's be a sisterhood that champions vulnerability, but doesn't let it lead to defeat. Let's teach our kids what victory, even in the unseen, truly means, and above all, let's call the voice of God into each and every minute of it all. We surely need Him beyond measure.