Updated: Jul 28, 2020
There are times in each of our lives when we feel completely-and-utterly steam-rolled. Flattened. Robbed of our spirits. Energy. And control. When feeling vulnerable takes center-stage. And certainty and order are left in the wake, as our day-to-day tasks are forced into unattendance.
When illness, injury, accident or emergency situations swoop in, and our foundation is suddenly lifted. Our strength, rocked. And when no other word will do, sweet friend, we are unexpectedly uprooted.
Last week was just such an experience for me. Very early mornings. Meetings. Appointments. A tiny tot, just not quite feeling herself. Late nights. Interrupted sleep. A little one crying out. Requests for “Mommy and Daddy’s bed”. No breaks at work. Snacks-for-lunches. Rolling through the motions. Barreling full-steam ahead. Not one bit prepared for the unexpected speed-bump laying steady and strong across my path early Friday morning. Which arrived in the form of a massive headache. Followed by two days of one very upset stomach. That abruptly stopped this mama of three little babes with a growing laundry-list of responsibilities in my own type-A, “smooth-sailing” path. And snatched the reigns of order and control from my grasp, faster than I could blink an eye.
To say that not being able to take care of my family for those three days was “hard” is an understatement. And the guilt that accompanied it was almost unbearable. So, Monday night, still definitely not feeling back up to par, in a few stolen moments for myself, away from my girls and before my husband arrived home, I couldn’t hold it any anymore. There had been moments when I literally could not pull myself off the couch; I felt so empty, dehydrated and weak. Moments I was unable to answer my sweet little girls’ requests for help. Or food. When I couldn’t assist my husband with something. Or truly celebrate my beautiful mother’s special day with her.
I felt h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e.
To be brutally honest beautiful souls, I felt as vulnerable and helpless as a lonely seedling. Roots barely sinking their grip into a patch of dry, loose soil. Mid-drought. On the flattest land of the central plains. In the peak of tornado season. With no neighbor in sight.
And as I felt the tears flow, I came to a stern realization. I did not have the strength. Not alone, amazing souls. I felt weak. Unenergized. Unable to fulfill my responsibilities. I needed help. Not just the physical. Built also emotional. Deep within. To shatter the mounting guilt. And get back on track. So, I let the words flow,
“Dear Lord, I need you. I have lost my ground. My footing. I know I can’t do this alone. Please help me reset my roots and find sturdier ground once again. Please, Jesus. In your name, I pray. Amen.”
It wasn’t like flipping a switch. The rest of the night was a battle of trying to fix dinner, stay awake and find my way to my bed. But, in the morning? Oh, sweet souls. Refreshed was an understatement. I felt renewed. I felt hungry. I felt ready to take on what the next hours had in store. For the first time in days. And I felt a shift in perspective. A realization.
He had n.o.t. once left me alone. And although I knew that deep within, I had still felt completely uprooted. Totally vulnerable. Helpless. But, He was there to remind me of the graces that had come pouring in over those same moments…
~a husband so quick to leave work to come home and spend the next 2-3 days caring for the girls and me
~a sweet, “Happy Birthday” conversation with my amazing mother, who, three months ago, went through a huge scare with her health
~a warm, unexpected meal from an amazing coworker, which was more than enough to feed our family for several days
~countless little-girl cuddles while laying on the couch, stuck indoors on the warmest weekend in months
And, just as if to add a little icing to the cake…almost like a messenger straight from up above...as I was finally feeling back to full-energy at school Tuesday afternoon…the words from a sweet little kindergartener (to whom I had never spoken before), walking down the school hallway next to me, on the way back to her classroom:
~”You’re a great teacher.”
~(Playing into her precious conversation-starter): “Ohhhh, well thank you! How do you know that?”
~”I just know that you’re a great teacher.” As she walked into her room with a huge smile on her face.
Heart officially melted. Roots replanted.
I know instances will roll around again at some point when I will feel just as, if not moreso, deflated. But, as long as I keep the following words in mind, knowing that I am n.e.v.e.r. alone in my moments of need, nor am I am meant to be; I know that I will once again be upright and rooted in sturdier ground…
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (~Isaiah 41:10)