Dear Mommy Bloggers and White-Chick-Motivational-Speakers:
I wanted to be like you, more than you could possibly know.
I wanted the Pinterest life, the 2.5 kids, the I-Can-Bake-Sugar-Cookies-And-Not-Get-Flour-Anywhere perfection that’s gorgeously-photographed-with-a-perfect-filter persona.
I wanted to have the right Bible verse at the right time, to show you and everyone that I. Am. A. Good. Christian. Wife.
I wanted the en-pointe brow, the Jenner-worthy highlight, and the Hatmaker-moxie that makes everyone love me and want to be like me…Just. Like. You.
I wanted to be Candace.
I wanted to be Jen.
I wanted to be Glennon.
Am I the only one that sees these “normal” women and weeps because they feel like their life is wasted in a reality that is NOTHING like what they read? Am I the only one that can’t listen to someone tell me, “Girl, Wash Your Face,’ because at this point, there aren’t any bootstraps to pull myself up by? Am I the only one that had a dream that keeps getting derailed by illness or finances or a million other obstacles that just keep coming, one after another, without a break?
Am I the only one that’s about to give it all up?
There are things in my life that I was told would never happen—my son, first and foremost—and they DID happen, so I know it’s possible. I know it CAN happen, but what does it take? Why am I not good enough, if I truly am giving my best?
How much more of myself do I have to pour out, before there is that promised refreshing of the Spirit? Before the “potential” is the realized present?
I’m not whining or indulging in defeat. These are honest questions that we as Christians need to be willing to ask with open hearts. These are questions that are very easy to slap a Bible verse and a Snapchat filter on, along with a “Cheer up, Charlie!” response, but all that does is create impressions of a Martha-Stewart Reality. Jesus doesn’t listen to hurting hearts and say, “Girl, get yourself up and out of that funk, right now!”
Jesus says, “You’re hurting, and I know it. I feel it, and I’m here. You won’t be in this place forever, daughter, but you’re here now, and I’m here, too. Today, we rest. Rest in Me. I know you feel defeated. I know you feel like you’re at the bottom. I know you want to give up.
I know you’re broken.
I’m here to make you whole.
But it’s going to take a while.”
The Song of Solomon says, “Do not awaken Love before its time.” (Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4) It actually says it like, 3 times in the book, so that tells me it’s important. The dangers of focusing on the Mommy Bloggers and the White Women of Hope are that the image and the promises are instantaneous, although I do not think that’s their intention. We see the Glennons and the Jens and we see beautiful faces and gorgeous honesty…we see the aftermath, and we think our redemption and the answer to our problems is RIGHT NOW.
Well, I’m here to tell myself and to remind myself (and you, maybe) that we don’t want to awaken Love before its time. The statement tells us, it reminds us, that everything has a TIME—everything has a designated time and a designated process, and we (I) always hurt the most when my time frame and His time frame don’t match up.
He has a plan for my life.
I can’t see it, right now.
Right now, I’m an internal ball of electrified yarn, and every time I try to untangle it, I get shocked by the situation I’m in, and wounded even further.
I have to wait this out, and as I once told a friend of mine, “there is breaking in the waiting.”
I’m not pretty right now.
I’m not Pinterest-worthy (not that I ever was).
I don’t have pithy sayings and roll-script placards to hang in my foyer (LOL—like I have a foyer).
I want to awaken Love, and see the end of this story, because THIS CHAPTER SUCKS. (Underlined, italics, all-caps—get it?!?!?!?!?!?? I really, REALLY mean it. This chapter sucks. Completely.)
I am going out on a limb and saying that I need prayer right now. My family needs prayer. I hate saying that, because I feel like there’ve been so many times where we’ve had a “dramatic” thing happen and have needed prayer; it’s very hard for me to suck up my pride and just admit it right now. My little family is broken, and our hearts are hurting. We need supernatural provision and for doors to open in unforeseen ways.
I need peace that passes all understanding, and the physical capability to cope with the stress that we’re under. I need a refreshing in my heart that pushes past the things I see—the Jens and the Glennons and the Candaces—and seals in my heart the love and value that God sees in me, because I can’t see it right now.
The disappointment that is choking me is usurping my ability to find the joy in every situation, which is something I’ve always said I wanted to maintain. I can’t laugh, and that’s not like me, so this has to lift. I’m being transparent, here—the depression/anxiety that is always on the brink is threatening much more than just my sanity this time, and I’m struggling to fight through it (and yes, I’m medicated, but that only goes so far). This year is ending on the battlefield, and we’re wounded.
So, I can try to read the words of the Jens and the Glennons and the Candaces (and even the Voskamps), but they’re bouncing off, because all I taste is the bitterness of a sanitized presentation.
Then again, who wants to read the words written from the middle of Ground Zero?
Sometimes, I look back on what I wrote in the thick of it, in other times in my life.
I look back on the things I said from Ground Zero, and I remember the journey out of that valley.
I’ve been here before.
It’s different, but familiar
And I know that God is faithful,
Even when I’m broken.
I’m not going to awaken Love before its time.
I’m not going to read someone else’s words about how they went from nothing-to-something, or from broken-to-whole.
They’re not me, and the more I think about them, the more I sink into a pit of jealousy and frustration.
I’m going to read the words of eternal Life,
And I’m going to cry, and break, and be a snotty, un-Snapchattable, Pinterest-failure of a person, and I’m going to (eventually) accept that it’s okay.
I’m going to put one foot in front of another, and most likely, trip and fall flat on my face…again…and again….and again…
I’ll get back up, as will my household.
For right now, though, we are in yet-another valley, & there aren’t enough pithy sayings from the White Women of Hope that can pull us out.
We will not awaken Love before its time…we will go through this process, and we will embrace the hurting; we will learn the lessons we need to learn, and we will be as transparent as we need to be, even when it breaks our pride & makes us feel raw & exposed. We will accept the failure on our own, & we will not whitewash it in Magnolia paints or Pinterest craft boards. We will live in this moment, and maintain the hope that we have that it’s not forever. It’s a time, and there isn’t a fast-forward button on this one.
And someday, He will make the exchange of Beauty for Ashes, and we will see how His hand worked through it all…because He is Who He says He is, and through it all, we believe.