I was driving down the highway today on the way to run an errand and the thought struck me, “how did I GET here?” This strange city, this strange highway. These kids I’m rushing to run errands for. This has become a familiar feeling. You’d think I would figure it out by now. I live in Arkansas, far away from my family and close friends, far away from everything I grew up with. I am running on 3.5 hours of sleep, because even though my baby slept fine last night, I didn’t. That is becoming more and more frequent. I have three kids under 4, a big messy house, dishes piled in the sink, a mountain of laundry waiting for me, Christmas cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, and grocery shopping that needs to be done. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a carefree 20 year old, driving around way too fast in my shiny, red Camaro? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was going to concerts every weekend and sleeping in until 11:00? How did I GET here?!
That life was good. I loved being 20. I actually remember thinking to myself, “I LOVE my life right now. I love it.” I got to do what I wanted, buy what I wanted, sleep when I wanted. I had responsibilities, of course (a job, a Sunday school class to teach) but I lived a simpler life for sure. Life was working during the week to make some money for the weekend. (Have I mentioned that money is NOT my strong point? And that’s why I’m thankful for Micah!)
It’s not that I don’t love my life right now at 30. In Arkansas. With 3 kids. My life is still really good and I still love my life. It’s just…different, harder, and a little messier. I’m more tired. And four people depend on me on a daily basis to be who I am: wife and mom. Nobody depended on me at 20. No one.
I struggle with all the feelings that come with this stage in life. Feelings like failure, unworthiness, and loneliness. My lack of sleep only makes those feelings worse. It takes a lot of prayer, perspective, and grace to step back and think “those are only feelings. They are not the truth.” I am not failing. I fail sometimes in the small battles, yes. But when I am relying on The Lord’s strength, not mine, I am not failing. When I am going about the business He gave me with joy and obedience, I am not failing. And Who’s really in control here? It’s not me, although I like to think it is, sometimes.
I am not unworthy of this calling of mother and wife. I am worthy because He makes me worthy. He gave me this life. I am worthy simply because of Him.
The feeling of loneliness comes with the territory of being a wife and mom far from everything familiar. But I knew this would happen. It’s not a surprise to me. And really, I am not that lonely, it’s only a feeling. I have my family. I have a few new friends. I have Facebook (ha! I don’t actually think that counts).
The Lord is so faithful beyond my circumstances. Because of Him I have joy and hope. Because of Him I can do this. This is a season. Only a season. I can live it with doubt and insecurities, or I can choose to live it with joy and hope because of the One who gave me this abundant life. I want to choose to live right in the moment with intentionality and with purpose instead of wishing this season would hurry up and move on. This is where I am. In the messy house with the three kids and the husband. Sleep deprived and barely ever getting dressed outside of yoga pants. In Arkansas. Here I am. And He is faithful always.