Saturday, January 12, 2013

When it hurts.

Frustration turns to sadness turns to anger.  I’m too ashamed to share all that I’m feeling.   But in this moment I feel useless, broken, helpless, not qualified, defeated, and just mad.  I’m at a loss.  We are consistent with discipline and schedules, but something is off.  Something is very wrong and I can’t do anything to fix it.  This is our world of Autism.  I feel terrible for having these thoughts and all I want to do is run away.  I’m tired of the responsibilities and the stress.  I don’t feel like this is how it should be.  Having kids and it being difficult is one thing, but this is just not fair.  Most days I am proud of the mom I am, and then these days happen and I don’t feel like I have a clue what I’m doing.  I’m angry.  I’m past the point of asking God what I did to deserve this.  I know He doesn’t work that way.  Should I be praying more, believing more that He can heal Aiden.  Do I believe He can?  Obviously there is a lot to learn through this but I feel like I’ve gone through a whole lot of junk and I deserve a break. As I’m writing this I imagine some of you will be reading this possibly judging me, and your thoughts are something in the range of thinking that I’m an ungrateful person or that I need to suck it up and get over it...So if that is you I’m guessing you either don’t fully understand grace or you haven’t walked through really difficult life yet.  I think I may have been that person once, so for you I have grace.

That was written three nights ago, after multiple hours of Aiden’s screaming fits, disrespect, and out of control behavior. Instead of my previous routine of escaping stress and anger by going to food for comfort, this time I sat and embraced the pain.  Anger, streaming tears, questions, sadness.  All of it.

If you have gone through, or are going through something like this I’m sure you have had some of the same thoughts and wondered if that was okay. I’m still not brave enough to tell you what those thoughts and questions were, but if you are like me I think you probably already know what mine were.  I think there is grace for them.  I think and I hope God welcomes the questions and is there to comfort, not always give us an answer. I’m learning to give myself that same grace I would give others.  As much as I would love to be positive about this situation 100% of the time and embrace Autism as a gift; sometimes I just can’t.  And I know God is still there, even with my doubts and fears, comforting me and letting me ask anything.

I’m past the anger this morning. Once I got past all the whys I asked God, I was still.  I listened and tried to understand what God was feeling, what He was seeing.  No answer in that moment, but some comfort.  So sad knowing this won’t be the last time we have a very difficult night but knowing God is in it and hurting too.  Lovely responses came in after my desperate plea for prayer.  And I started to think about what my approach has been so far.  Have I been praying?  Have I even asked for a miracle?  I know God still does those, but do I believe that He could do it for Aiden?  Declaration was one of the words in a response.

So I’m declaring that I believe God can heal our little boy. With the help of therapies we are doing and God’s miracle working power.  I’m also declaring that I am qualified and strong enough to be his mom.  In the moments I don’t feel like I am, I will find a quiet place and let God be enough.  And a declaration of imperfection.  We all have questions and frustrations.  I think God gladly accepts those questions, knowing it’s a process to get to where we need to be and asking those helps us heal, steady our heart, and realize He is enough.

These lyrics from Kari Jobe’s song “Steady My Heart” say it perfectly.
Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to you
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Believe It

"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt

We all struggle now and then believing great things about ourselves. Our culture and the enemy have put false ideas in our minds that we aren't good enough, and that if we were like the people we tend to obsess about we would be. This is so far from the truth.

The other day a friend and I were talking about my insecurity. For as long as I can remember I have put myself down, not seen myself as God and others do, and not taken compliments well. I know I'm not the only one. I believe it is because we are consistently looking to the wrong things to speak truth to us. Instead of God's word and the people closest to us being our biggest truth tellers we get lost in our culture and the outward appearance of others. We tend to beat ourselves up so much and think we should be like other people.

The greatest compliment I have ever received was from a close friend or a family member telling me that I'm a great mom. These people actually see me mother my children. For them to be around me, know me well, and to give me that compliment is huge. When someone close to you gives you a compliment take it. Believe it. And continue living to prove that it is true. When we don't accept God's daily grace and stop believing the best about ourselves we stop trying. I know. I've done it. When I put my focus on what I see on the outward appearances of these "perfect" families and marriages, that's what I spend my time thinking about and it steals the focus from my own family and marriage. That will then send me into thoughts that I'm not good enough and that something is wrong. This is not healthy. And when something isn't healthy it cannot grow.

Let's stop this. Stop the comparisons and beating ourselves up. Examine your life. Find your strengths and what gives you joy. Think of what you really love about yourself, and most of all who God says you are.

"Change your thoughts and you'll change your world." -Norman Vincent Peale

I'm still learning to be confident in who I am. But I am me so why not be be the best version I can be? If you don't like something about yourself, change it. Not striving to be like someone else or to please other people but to live out who God made you to be. Interrupt those lies you've been telling yourself over the years and believe what God says about you. Practice that and it will become who you are. You become what you believe about yourself. Make it positive. A daily reminder is necessary. I have scriptures written in my closet and at my desk. But I need more than that. I need to hear truth spoken to me daily, through worship and God's word. If I don't fill my mind with that truth, the ugliness of comparison will steal my joy, cause me to feel not good enough, and leave me wanting to be someone else.

So today I choose to take those compliments as truth. I am a great mother. But I can't stop there. I want to fill my mind and spirit up with the truth about who I really am as a child of God, a friend, a wife, a daughter. And on the days I don't feel like I measure up I need to ask God to help me believe I am who He says I am and ask Him what I can do to improve if I'm not giving my best. I want to be even better. Whatever it takes. I want my little boys to grow up and be secure in who they are because I taught them what God says about them and because they saw me living that out.

When we start believing the real truth about ourselves I think that's when we love more, have a deeper joy, and serve better. That's when we see our world change. Not hoping others will change but seeing the best in yourself and in others. If you don't like the story you are writing then change it. It's never too late to start writing a different story. Let grace be enough for you to move past the mistakes. Choose to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, gentle, faithful, and someone with self control.
-Galatians 5:22

In the times where we do start believing the past things that God has forgiven, I have to ask him to remind me who I am and to help me to believe it.