Last Friday evening, my husband Mark had left for a youth retreat, Esther (our youngest) was in bed, and I was sitting on the couch with our two older daughters counting down the minutes till their bedtime so I could finally relax. Then, to my surprise, my in-laws arrived at the door. My mother-in-law apologized for being late, while I looked at her in utter confusion. Why on earth are my in-laws here? They don’t normally just pop-by. Then it dawned on me – I had not told her that our Friday night Bible study was cancelled. I had completely forgotten to call her, and now they were here, expecting to babysit. I felt terrible. These sort of moments have been happening more and more often to me. The other day I was forced to scrounge ingredients from my neighbours as I waited with Sophia for her school bus because I realized last minute that I had volunteered to make soup for NextDoor Space, and had completely forgotten. The soup needed to be made one hour. I used to be a person that was very organized. I was on time to everything; a very dependable person. But now? I feel like I need a blanket apology posted on my Facebook page as surely I have let someone down, somewhere, about something. There are just so many appointments to keep, meals to make, clothes to clean, diapers to change, floors to vacuum, and on and on. I feel very weary, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Most days, I just can’t seem to keep up!
At the beginning of Advent, I finally got back into a wonderful routine of spending time with Jesus every morning. All three children generally get up at the same time each day, so I started setting my alarm for 45 minutes earlier, tiptoeing downstairs, and soaking in Jesus’ presence. It made a huge difference in my mental state for the day. But two weeks ago, Esther decided that she will now be getting up an hour earlier than her usual time. There goes my carved out time! What will Satan think of next?
Now here is the part where I should bring it all back to Jesus: I should tell you how I see Him in all the little things in my day, knowing that His Spirit provides me the tools I lack for that particular moment in time. But today, this evening as I write this, I can’t tell you that honestly. I feel empty. This has been a particularly hard month for us, and if I’m going to be fully honest with you, I feel burnt out. I yell at my kids way more than I ever thought I would. I nearly cry when I am woken before my alarm by our youngest child. We eat frozen meals sometimes! I am not always a kind, joyful and supportive wife – I might even go so far as to say I am rarely those things. This is the truth. This is the reality during this season of my life.
But here also, is the Truth. Existing simultaneously with the darkness that threatens me daily are these Biblical truths:
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Indeed our heart rejoices in Him, for in His holy name we put our trust. Let your loving kindness, O Lord, be upon us, as we have put our trust in You. – Psalm 33:20-22
Then, speaking to all, He said “If anyone wants to be a follower of me, let him renounce himself and take up his cross everyday and follow me. – Luke 9:23
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24
I am with you always. – Matthew 28:20
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. – Psalm 136:1
Our God is a big God. One with great power and love and patience. I will choose to keep pressing on because I know, as deeply as I know my own ‘feelings’ of weariness and exhaustion, that He is good, His love endures forever, and He remains the same yesterday, today and forever. To Him be the Glory!