Be Brave, Mama
I actually wrote this a year ago, but found it today. So much of it still rings true so I decided to share it again…I hope it brings you some encouragement as it did me this morning. This is why I love blogging, or journaling of any nature. Our own words have this funny way of resonating in our souls at a different season life, when we may need to hear them more than ever!
As I sit here and type, the song "it is well" plays in the background...its 5am. My littles are all sound asleep. My house is dark and quiet and I felt pushed awake to come write. Similar to the nudge Ive been feeling for two years, and ignoring.
Fear can be so paralyzing and you don't even realize you're being paralyzed until far into it. I have been researching, and listening to podcasts, and studying bloggers I admire. These, on the outside, all seem like excellent things to do, and are. But Ive been doing that for two years while writing maybe one or two blog posts in between? Thats not "research for my craft" thats a big fat, glorified way to procrastinate; which I happen to be excellent at.
These are the lies that play like a record in my head on a daily basis. Again, Im not always acutely aware of them, but when I allow myself to reflect on how I talked to myself that day....truth is, those three thoughts are the underlying theme. Any small critique turns into a huge "unloved". Every time my son, who has special needs in the area of emotional/behavioral health, goes into a rage I hear "not enough". Every time I begin to write and the words don't come I hear "unworthy".
And you know what else? I KNOW Im not alone...this mindset, especially amongst women, is an epidemic. And I see it ever so clearly since becoming a stay at home mom.
I have always worked and loved working. When I was a little girl, all my friends talked about just wanting to be a mom when they grew up...and I loved the idea of that but while they were playing house I was dreaming about travel, about what work I would do, what impact Id make as a grown up. I became a mom through foster care in a very "suddenly" and "swirly" sort of way...and by that I mean there was no 9 months to prepare and nest. More of that story in another post...Even after receiving our first placement, I continued to work. Then this last December we took in a sibling set of girls and it was evident I could not balance all the things. So, I relinquished my beloved job to stay home and love on these littles...something I consider an honor and also the hardest thing I have ever done.
With my job no longer distracting me, the lies started to get loud.
Motherhood is the only work I know of that within one hours time can completely drain you emotionally, spiritually, physically AND mentally. Can I get an amen, mamas?! Throw in the fact that all three of mine come from traumatic backgrounds, 70% of which I will never know the nature of, and boy are the days long.
The littlest one screams when you close the door to the bathroom because her attachment issues are so intense; the middle one does the opposite of everything you say, and with ease, and sometimes a smile, and you know she's testing you to see if you'll love her through it or pass her on to the next "set of parents"; and the oldest, even after four years of structure, love and consistency, continues to throw fits of rage with no trigger or warning you can find.
You know, hypothetically speaking 😏
And the feelings of "I was not made for this" or "I am a failure" are loud.
But in those moments, though they seem so far...there is grace. There is peace. There is courage.
If Im being honest, Ive tried all the ways to get courage through this journey...most of them manifest more like trying to "numb the pain"...ie. shopping, having an evening cocktail, even just completely ignoring it. None of those things worked, however, because there is only one way to find courage for something as big as motherhood...through our God.
One of my female heroes and mentors (though she doesn't know me) is Ann Voskamp. I recently read a blog post of hers on bravery and she said, "God gives us courage. As much as we try to summon it, bravery doesn't come from our own will".
And I believe this from the depth of my soul...
But I also believe that we have some part in this. We have to be willing to step into bravery...to have courage, by definition is, "strength in the face of pain". We have so little in us on our own, but when we step into the light, allow Jesus to fill our gaps...THAT, my friends, is bravery.
The very thing that looks like weakness, is often the very thing that is our strength.
Be brave, sweet mama.
YOU ARE WORTHY.
YOU ARE LOVED.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Lift that coffee mug, friend.
*cheers to being brave*