It’s hard not to do it; not to listen.
I mean, the voices are always there. Sometimes louder than others.
You’re not enough.
You’re not a good mother. You’re fat. You can’t do this. Your house isn’t clean, your dinner isn’t good, your kid is sick, you’re never going to be debt free, Danny is never going to walk, you’re never going to make it.
You’re not enough.
Others thrive and you feel caged, incapable, overweight, incompetent, disorderly and inept.
Others heal. Others move through life easily. Others do whatever they want. Others are better.
You are selfish, faithless, without purpose. You are less. You are weak.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
And, there are the “if only-s.”
If only Danny could walk, if only we had more money, if only people would help, if only they would commit, if only we had a big house with a yard, if only we knew the “why,” if only I had more time to myself, if only I could sleep through the night, if only we could pay off the credit cards, if only Danny could remember things, if only Danny could drive.
If only I was more.
More healthy and wealthy.
When it feels like the whole world is working against you, when you feel the weight of the present and the future, you allow those voices to grow louder and the trap is set.
Social media is a double-edged sword.
I love peeking in on your family vacation, your picture perfect child’s birthday party or your night out. I celebrate with you on job promotions, new babies and your personal milestones. I enjoy reading about your 8 mile run and even that motorcycle ride you just took to nowhere with your arms wrapped tightly around your husband.
I do. I love it.
But, it stings a bit too. Sometimes, it’s a picture of what we’re lacking. And, the voices grow louder.
You’re not enough. You don’t do enough, earn enough or provide enough. You can’t get that recliner your husband wants or redo the furniture in the house like you dream. You can’t afford a new mattress and you can’t even provide money to keep your husband in therapy.
If you can’t do these things, then your dreams are never going to come true. You might as well quit.
You’re not enough.
You’re tired, beat down and have aged. You have wrinkles and jiggly legs. You’re in desperate need of a pedicure and if you were on Pinterest, you’d know the latest and greatest in fashion, food and raising kids.
The voices are booming. Lots of static. Noise in your head.
And, all it takes is a spark, a pebble in the pool and the ripple starts.
I had a meltdown.
I yelled, screamed and ugly cried until I barely had a voice.
I put all my fears, frustrations and failures out in the open. I told him.
He just sat there like a deer in the headlights.
And, I got mad.
“HELLO? Talk to me!”
He doesn’t know what to say. I’m not sure he can see past his own injury to see mine.
So, he’s stunned, humbled and speechless.
“I feel like a big F-A-I-L-U-R-E. I can’t be everything you need me to be. I can’t do it.”
And, in a rare moment, he leans his backrest back further and bids me “come here.”
I sit on his lap and more tears overwhelm me, shaking my body and my face wet from crying.
There are no more words to say. No more tears to cry. There is no resolution and no band aid to make the hurt or the situation go away. He says nothing, but just wraps his arms around me, stroking my back and trying to calm me.
I wipe my eyes and my nose with the hem of my dress (it was dirty anyway).
Is it over? The storm?
He finally speaks.
“You’re not a failure. You’re my hero.”
Would I trade it all to not be someone’s hero? That’s for another day.
But, today? Well, the voices are quiet.
“The Lordís lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
I’m his hero.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5