I’ve been weathered these past couple of years. I see it when I look in the mirror- the gray hair shining more and more, the worry lines deepening across my forehead, the circles around my eyes growing darker by the day. There’s constant lack of sleep, lack of time for things like working out, and lack of funds for trips to the beauty salon.
But the weathering isn’t just skin deep… There’s been an aging of my mind, my emotions, and my soul. The things that once consumed my mind seem so irrelevant now as I learn about brain cysts and hydrocephalus and seizure disorders. My days are spent monitoring medications and side effects, and scheduling appointments and arranging payments… All the while fretting over spending enough quality time with each child.
My emotions run rampant and the girl who used to be so strong and void of emotion now weeps at the drop at of a hat… Because life is just so precious and short and we take so very much for granted… Because so much time is squandered and so much pain inflicted and so many opportunities wasted and some days it just makes my heart ache.
Yet I’ve been forced to grow thicker skin, to toughen up and let go of insecurities. I see the staring when my daughter has reached her limit and simply cannot control herself any longer, when things as simple as getting in or out of a car seat or riding in a cart or wearing a jacket become sources of angst. I see the whispering when I allow her to dance beside our table at dinner because I want to finish my meal without having to drag her out screaming and hitting. I get the judging- I’ve been on the other side, not understanding another’s parenting skills, thinking my child will never… But now I know that nobody knows the battles we face. All of us moms are just trying to make it, trying to do the best job we can.
No, I’m not nearly the same person I was ten years ago, or even 10 months ago. Priorities have shifted, lessons are being learned, and my dreams look quite different than I ever imagined. Life has brought challenges- but despite it all, I say, “Challenge accepted.” Because these challenges, these trials, this hard season that isn’t getting any easier as seasons change… It’s all for a purpose. God is using it to define my belief, refine my faith, and confirm my reliance on Him. Being uncertain and incapable humbles a person- and magnifies a great God who is both omniscient and omnipotent. Losing control and becoming powerless gives glory to the One who holds all time in His hands.
So bring on the weathering, bring on the challenges… I can’t handle anymore, but my God is more than able.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -II Corinthians 12:9
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. -I Peter 1:6-7