Today I was scheduled to see patients in our office at 8, which means I have to be on the road no later than 7. I woke up at 7:05. Today marks the eighth straight day that someone in our home has been ill. Vomiting, diarrhea, snot, fever – the whole nine. I made a last minute, executive decision to shower in hopes of rinsing off some of the bodily fluids I had accumulated over the evening and the weight of my anguish to leave home two sick kids. I left the house with no makeup on and wet hair. This morning, in my delirium of sickness and heavy heartedness, I believe that I also left behind some of my desperation of being an overwhelmed mother.
If you’re a mom, I know you’re probably shaking your head out of empathy. You’ve been here before, right? You know what it’s like to have sick children for days on end, to accidentally hit the alarm instead of snooze after a long night of comforting your family, to go into work looking like a zombie. I’ve been absorbing the comments of how tired I look all morning and wonder if any of my patients appreciate the struggle it was for me to find the time to brush my teeth, let alone take a shower. If you’re a mom, being exhausted is like wearing a badge of honor, although most of us don’t chose to do so voluntarily.
My morning commute to work is one hour. 60 minutes of time that is typically spent making calls, checking in with my front office or mentally scheduling out my day, week or month in advance. Today I spent over a quarter of it in tears. But maybe not in the way you would expect. No, I wasn’t crying over the fact that my entire holiday vacation was ruined by a virus or that I feel like I’ve been locked in a bomb shelter for the past week. Nearly half of today’s morning commute was soaked in a renewed hope of being reminded that I am serving a greater purpose and an even greater God. Now, if you are a Christian you might already know where this is headed but if you don’t know Jesus yet, I genuinely hope that you stick with me for just a bit longer because what I want to share with you can change your life.
Being a mom is HARD by design. I believe that’s the way it was meant to be because most days we need a little divine intervention. We play a role that is uniquely intended for just one person, us, and when the going gets tough you better saddle up and lean on a greater entity. After all, doesn’t it always seem that it gets just a little bit worse before it gets any better? When one kid gets sick, the rest of the ship goes down and you’ve been named Captain. Your child goes ballistic in the grocery store and you lose your marbles in front of half the community. A “routine” trip to Target turns into a manhunt for your two year old that ends up half way out the door into oncoming traffic. Remember that badge of exhaustion you’re wearing? Well now you’re also up for Worst Mom of the Year and a candidate for involuntary committal to the looney bin. Things can go from bad to worse in a quick hurry but here comes the good news.
This morning on my way to work I heard the song, Greater, by MercyMe on Christian radio and it reminded me of two things: I serve a God that is GREATER than my greatest problem and regardless of my shortcomings as a mother; I am covered by His grace. If this isn’t the best news you’ve heard through your snot-filled, dirty-diapered, sleep deprived week, than I don’t know what is!
Being a mother is difficult and I hope you are told and shown that you are appreciated every single day for your deeds. But the reality is there are voids, troubles and sorrows that are deep and wide and there are going to be days that not even your grade school girlfriend can talk you off the ledge. However, the trials that we face pale in comparison to the feat that the God who created you has already conquered. You think a diaper blowout in the middle of story time is daunting? Try overcoming the grave. Try whispering the entirety of the cosmos into existence. Try giving up your only Son as a sacrifice for all of mankind. Ladies, He has got this covered, I assure you. And if you’re new to this whole Jesus idea let me give you a heads up. Being a believer in Christ does not mean you’re perfect. It means you are broken. Flawed. Sinful. But I know that in His eyes, He sees you as Extraordinary, and he will bring you through even the toughest of times because His mercy is GREATER than any one of us will ever know. He yearns for us tired and wasted moms to lean on Him in times of need. When we are at the end of our rope, the knot that you tie and hang on to is God.
My encouragement to you today is three-fold. First, you’re doing great even if you think you’re not. Second, God has already laid a path for you that is one to prosper and to bring you great joy. And last but not least, His mercy and grace is GREATER than your greatest dilemma. I promise. Now, let’s buckle up together, mama, it’s time for round six of the pukes.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jerimiah 29:11