"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."
Being a mom can be overwhelming. Not in a negative way, just a very real one. If you are a mom this is certainly no news flash. I'm finding that it's taking me as far physically, emotionally, and spiritually as I've ever had to go yet. It's having to surrender that you just can't get it all done and keep up with everything like you sometimes feel an invisible pressure to. It's loving this little person so much and wondering often if you're always doing and being what is best for her. Teaching her enough, making the best decisions, just enjoying her. It's struggling to want to do all of this well and be a good wife or friend at the same time. I'm in the midst of a brand new opportunity to learn to have grace with myself and need grace from others. Of course I wouldn't change any of it for a minute...but a highly emotional time paired with physical exhaustion can create some interesting scenarios. For one, tears seem a whole lot more natural. Like on Sunday, when I was comforting my sweet girl and we were listening to some of my favorite songs, swaying to them in the living room, I couldn't help but have tears running down my face as I was overcome with emotion. It didn't help that I was listening to the same list of songs I listened to while I was in the hospital with her. :) Worship is even more powerful now that this little girl who has my heart is living and breathing outside my body, as it reminds me of God's creativity, beauty, and love for us. And sometimes there are tears because I think, "Can I do it all over again today?" Then I just do and I thank God for the strength.
The tears also come from loving your child so much...and being faced with the reality that God loves us even so much more than that...which seems unimaginable. I've been faced with how so very unable I am to grasp God's power and holiness. I think about this often. It truly is humbling me and forcing me to face the depth of God's love for my highly imperfect and often struggling self. I'm just so amazed at the intricate details he created in each one of us. The care he took as he crafted every unique and beautiful body and soul. I would do anything for Selah; it's my natural instinct to protect her, provide for her, comfort her, and love her. It pains me when she is sad, and it delights me when she has joy. So in a way, seeing God as having these same feelings and attributes as our Father has been what has brought me to his feet the most. Because now, more than ever, I realize how deeply He wants me to be there...and how much more often I need to go. It makes more sense than ever to me why God says He'll provide our needs - because He wants to. How it must hurt him when we take matters into our own hands and try to provide for ourselves. It takes away from another opportunity for intimacy in our relationship with Him. I don't always make wise decisions, I'm not always thinking about only what I should, and I often don't love and speak like Jesus. Then I condem myself for this...until I realize God is not condemning me; he is longing that I come to him for help.
Those first 6 weeks, when I was spending so much time sitting and feeding Selah for even more hours in a day than I do now, I realized how valuable that time was when I had her full attention and heart. So I started researching some things I could use to bring meaning to those moments and not waste them. I found an awesome storybook bible on amazon called, "The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers his name." Love, love this book!! (We loved it so much we gifted it to our nephew, planning to get another. Then the most amazing thing happened...Kevin's coworkers at church had gotten it for Selah and written sweet notes in it. Amazing! I JUST found out there's a curriculum coming out to go with it in January...hello baby homeschool :) So I started reading it to her during some of these times...and it had me crying during the story of creation! (Good thing Selah's still too young to fully grasp her mother's crazy emotional state:) The author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, depicts the Bible in the most beautiful way for young ones. But the simplicity of God's truth is something that I've found to be beautifully valuable for myself. Listen to her account of God creating man:
"But God saved the best for last. From the beginning, God had a shining dream in his heart. He would make people to share his Forever Happiness. They would be his children, and the world would be their perfect home. So God breathes life into Adam and Eve. When they opened their eyes, the first thing they ever saw was God's face. And when God saw them he was like a new dad. "You look like me," he said. "You're the most beautiful thing I've ever made!" God loved them with all of his heart. And they were lovely because he loved them."
I absolutely love that. Such a beautiful reminder that God loved us first; he chose to create us and he gave us the best of himself. THEN, the story of Adam and Eve. Tears and conviction for me again...
"God had a horrible enemy. His name was Satan. Satan had once been the most beautiful angel, but he didn't want to be just an angel - he wanted to be God. He grew proud and evil and full of hate, and God had to send him out of heaven. Satan was seething with anger and looking for a way to hurt God. He wanted to stop God's plan, stop this love story, right there. So he disguised himself as a snake and waited in the garden. Now God had given Adam and Eve only one rule: 'Don't eat the fruit on that tree,' God told them. 'Because if you do, you'll think you know everything. You'll stop trusting me. And then death and sadness and tears will come.' (You see, God knew if they ate the fruit, they would think they didn't need him. And they would try to make themselves happy without him. But God knew there was no such thing as happiness without him, and life without him wouldn't be life at all.)
"As soon as the snake saw his chance he slithered up to Eve. 'Does God really love you?' the serpent whispered. 'If he does, why won't he let you eat the nice, juicy, delicious fruit? Poor you, perhaps God doesn't want you to be happy.' The snake's words hissed into her ears and sunk down deep into her heart, like poison. Does God love me? Eve wondered. Suddenly she didn't know anymore. 'Just trust me,' the serpent whispered. 'You don't need God.'....
Even picked the fruit and ate some. And Adam ate some, too. And a terrible lie came into the world. It would never leave. It would live on in every human heart, whispering to every one of God's children: 'God doesn't love me.' And it wasn't a dream; it was a nightmare."
Whew. So tragic...such a deep wound. I'm certainly thankful the story does not end there, and since then God has continued to remind and pursue his children with His love. And one glorious day we will experience that perfect home that was meant to be. Yet unfortunately doesn't that lie often still creep up and remain in our hearts?? Have we allowed that great nightmare to continue by believing Satan's angry lies? This struck me so deeply as I read to my sweet daughter and prayed she would never believe it. I know that will have so much to do with me not believing it first. Again, a time for tears...and a desperate reminder to run quickly to Jesus. Because as I sing to Selah, the words of one of my favorite songs rings true: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace."
If you're anything like me and experiencing some weary days and wondering even a second about His "Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love," as Sally Lloyd-Jones puts it, I encourage you to run quickly to Jesus and ask him to remind you.
And just because we're on the topic of tears, I can never seem to get through this song anymore without crying. Thankfully, I'm okay with that. :)