To Rachel

I need to be honest.

I have five posts “almost” ready to go up. But I am struggling RIGHT NOW, even after a sermon on one of my most favourite passages in the Bible (Ephesians chapter 3).

I am at home while Dear Husband is getting McDonald’s for the family. I’m pouting because I failed again. I am in pain. I didn’t preempt the pain by taking pain killers before going out and about (aka church service).

I’m grouchy.

And I started DMing my morning prayer buddy that I have missed EVERYDAY this week (Yea, I’m signed up to do the Hello Mornings Challenge – but I’ve not made it once this week).

This is what I wrote. And I decided that in light of all the “perfect” mothers out there in blog world, maybe I should let you know that I am NOT perfect and I struggle with guilt that I cannot wrap my head around.

Here is what I started writing To Rachel…

  • Thank you. I definitely need this song RIGHT NOW. I’m at my wits end. To be honest, I’m having dark thoughts. Sometimes I go from hi to lo
  • so fast that I wonder what kind of hold Satan has on my mind. In the past few weeks I’ve considered getting tattoos across my wrists –
  • because I have had such a desire to leave this world and escape the physical and mental anguish. I haven’t said that aloud, and scared to
  • I couldn’t do it to my husband or children, but my “strength” is gone. My desire to live is gone right now. I need to be waking – but
  • my phone dies (it’s “old” and not charging at night) or I leave it downstairs. I really need to start using a clock again. And get up w/Cora
  • I know that I need to be filled with HIM, and rely on HIS strength and grace, but, even now, I just want to curl in a ball and cry, sleep –
  • let the world go by me while I dwell in pain. Sometimes I think if I could get it all straight in my head THEN I could start working on
  • getting it RIGHT. But I can’t even stick to an all cash budget. Or a diet without dairy EVEN for Cora Beth’s sake.

So I’m listening to the song again, I’m thinking through the sermon again (I’ll link it up when it’s available later this week). And to clarify, I have had suicidal thought in the past and not acted upon them, but having words of grace and mercy on my wrists seems like a good reminder of His deep love for me and my place in THIS world. And my waking does have to do with the HMC that I am checking in at nighttime instead of the morning. I know that waking and focusing on him in the AM makes a huge difference in my attitude during the day – but, alas, I am failing. Again.

And letting the Word of God come to mind…

Ephesians 3:14-21 The Message

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!


Which reminds me of these verses:

Colossians 1:9-14 The Message

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spriits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul – not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength that God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.

And of course this:

II Corinthians 12:9-10 The Message

… and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once i heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size – abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

So, I have a baby sucking on her fingers, a hot double cheeseburger (sans bun) waiting in the car for me (and fries I hope) and I am going to rely on HIS STRENGTH and let it spill over into joy. I am not going to focus on the snarky comments from the peanut gallery, or the diaper blowout or the fighting over which movie to watch in the car. I am going to recite these verses and song. And hopefully the strength will come into it’s own as I lay my weaknesses out on the table. The weaknesses of my failure, my guilt, my not meeting the expectations of parenthood…

And I am going to find joy. Thankfulness. Hope.

3 responses

  1. Jen- just wanted to send you a trans-Altantic hug. You are brave and beautiful and Godly- and you have a heck of a lot on your plate. I am so inspired by your battle with the ‘pea-nut gallery’ and I also know how wearying it is to have to battle, so my thoughts and prayers will be with you often xxxxx

    • Thank you Jo. Of all people, your willingness to share openly with your struggles helps me to not feel condemned – but really, truly a created child of God who is growing. Right now Gungor’s “Beautiful Things” is playing and I think of how the dust in my life is being watered with the tears and prayers of others – and God is helping me open my mind to who I am as well as whose I am. I know not these things right now…although 4 years might not seem “sudden” to most people, I went from being infertile to having a large family in those years – and I’m still struggling with myself in this mode. Let alone my health keeping up with it all… God is renewing me inside and out.

  2. hey Jen – thanks for sharing your pain and struggle, and your goal to carry on, singing. i appreciate your honestly, and i hope it helps to share out so we can carry your struggles with you. i think you’re amazing, and i know God is working through you in so many ways and on so many levels. renewal isn’t all that comfortable, i think! sending you love and hugs and gallons of peace and unconditional acceptance…

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