When Life is Heavy

This week was hard. Yes, hard in the sense that I’m an American, middle class, white girl who gets to stay home with her babies kinda hard; certainly there are plenty of people who have it harder. I know that, but still. No matter who or where you are in life, we all have days and weeks that are “sanctifying”—this was one of those weeks for me.

Before I go any further, let me say that I’m not sharing this to complain, get pity, or create drama. There’s redemption in the end and that’s the part I’d like to get to but truuust me when I tell you there were a lot of high fevers, crying babies, sleepless nights, poo (I am now referring to Monday as “poo-pocalypse”), long road trips that fell at the worst time, concerns I didn’t anticipate raised by the doctor, and the most humbling trip I’ve ever made to Target that ended with a shopping cart full of groceries abandoned while I did a walk of shame from one end of the store to the other with a baby on my hip and toddler in tow.

It was not a stellar week.

And none of this accounts for the hard conversations about life with friends and family that go far beyond just one hard week.IMG_20180413_194821_948.jpg

If I could sum life up in one word right now it would be heavy.ย My heart is heavy. My mind is heavy. My body is heavy beneath the weight of it. And I’m weary. I’d like to say that’s all and drop the mic before I give up and walk away. But again, this story doesn’t end that way…and for that I’m so thankful.

I’m learning something right now, especially about how I pray and ask God’s help and blessing over my life. I used to pray, “please let this day go okay” or “please help me get through.” I was seeking immediate relief from immediate circumstances that felt hard and overwhelming. The only “right” answer then would be a day that went smoothly, enough sleep to manage, or not feeling overwhelmed.

But the thing I’m learning is this: Truly growing and putting down deeper roots in my faith means not just praying for a good day but rather praying for the right heart attitude, grace sufficient, and God’s work to progress no matterย the circumstances.

20180512_104421.pngImage from @desiringgod

Yes, I would like the days to go smoothly too. But the key is how I respond when everything goes awry. How do I react when, even after I’ve prayed and asked for help, the days are still exhausting and hard? What do I do when I’m frustrated by circumstances out of my control or humbling moments of motherhood that make me question if I’m doing anything right at all?

Whether or not the days go smoothly says almost nothing in comparison to how I react in my heart, mind, and attitude regardless of the circumstances. Growing in my faith means trusting in the heart of God even when life feels like a brick wall on every side. Is God a magic genie I conjure up when I want to wish something away or is he someone I love and trust even when I’m asked to walk through deep waters in order to know him better?IMG_20180510_114445_195.jpg

It’s easy to walk through life thinking everything will be okay on the other side of_____you feel in the blank. Life will be easier once my kids are in school. Life will be easier once my baby sleeps through the night. Life would be so much better if we could just move or if I could just land that certain job.

I find myself doing this in a million smaller ways day-to-day, too. I seek comfort and reprieve in an iced coffee, online shopping or getting five uninterrupted minutes to myself. I tell myself, “I deserve this” or “I just need to get through this day and start over tomorrow.”

But the truth is, no change in circumstances, no temporary pleasure or comfort is actually going to fix anything if I’m not already surrendered in my heart and present situation. Troubles will resolve, one season will change into another, what feels impossible today will nearly be forgotten tomorrow. But where one weed is pulled out in this life to make room for flowers, so more weeds will continue to pop up.IMG_20180503_211214_754.jpg

The truth of my heart and nature is this: The more comfortable I am, the easier it is to drift away from God. Knowing I need God every waking moment also draws me closer to his heart. So while I’m thankful for the simple pleasures that dot this life—the iced coffees and spring flowers—I’m learning to be thankful too for all the hard things that draw me nearer to my true hope and help.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, which makes me laugh a little considering how this week has gone. In truth, all I want from the day is Chinese takeout and maybe a nap. But regardless of how the day actually goes, I hope I will remember where my hope rests and carry that truth with me into a new week—regardless of the circumstances.

 

13 thoughts on “When Life is Heavy

  1. Kari, Lady you speak my language. I too had a very rough week mentally, emotionally and physically. It was hard to get through the fog of discouragement and a sense of defeat. I didn’t feel like myself at all. There were many tears of frustration and pain but also and moments of crying and surrendering to the Lord. There is so much of your story that I can relate to. Your words, your story and your heart is beautiful! This post was so encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing your heart!! Hugs and a cup of coffee from me to you ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thank you for the encouragement, Leila…it means all the more coming from you as I know your road is not easy. Thinking of you and lifting you up โค

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  2. your perspective is right and true… and all the same, things do get easier as your children grow older, and if you have more a little later, the older children will chip in and help with the babies.

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    • Thank you for these encouraging words, Shimon. These are intense years but I’m hopeful we will enjoy the fruit of our labor someday…and certainly there is much joy to be had along the way as well.

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  3. Beautifully Said, My heart goes out to you as I have had quite the week myself, however I have yet to find this wisdom until now. Thank you for sharing this and pointing to the glory of God. In all we do we are to bring him glory, but being at home with toddlers, poo-pocalypses, fevers, and frustrations can seem less than Glorifying to God. But the point you make is so wonderful, its not the situations, its the attitude of our hearts, its how we respond…on our knees in surrender? or trying to control it all and failing miserably left feeling like a failure. We need God, we can’t do this motherhood thing without him! The beautiful thing about life’s storms, is that when the storm is over, you really appreciate the peace that comes after. I will lift you up in Prayer and may you have an amazing Mothers Day tomorrow! God Bless!

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    • It’s funny because I write about a lesson “learned” one minute and find myself right back in the frying pan the next—learning to have the right heart attitude is a long (life-long, I think) journey, isn’t it? How thankful I am for God’s grace and mercy every step of the way. Hope your week goes well…and if not, I hope you feel God drawing you near to him each step of the way โค

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  4. Wow, just wow….I think every Christian mother worth their salt would admit they’ve been where you are time and again, but how many are so willing to see that the answer is drawing nearer to God and trusting Him rather than blaming Him? The times that I have been drawn closest to God are the times that have been the “bottom of the barrel” hard times. I struggle much more to stay close to Him when things are going along smoothly. Such a good reminder of where we should ALWAYS find our strength. You are much in prayer as you raise two very active youngsters, live life and grow in His grace.

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    • Thank you for the prayers—they mean more than anything. How thankful I am for the grace of God and that his mercy is new every morning. I’m thankful he loves me enough to grow me and draw me close…even if it’s a panful process sometimes โค

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