(This is almost part 2 from yesterday’s post “Because I Must.”)
I write this late in my evening from a place of utter exhaustion. It was another long day. It was a better day than yesterday. No boxes got cleared out of my house. I did buy a tiny sign that will go nicely on the picture wall when I finally get it up. That counts as working toward making a house a home, right?
Yesterday I was completely overwhelmed by the weight of mothering alone my four amazing kids. Their stress added to mine. The seemingly endless list of things I need to accomplish and places I needed to be brought me literally to tears and stopped me in my tracks. This widowhood thing is hard. I wrote from an honest place of feeling completely inadequate to the task.
But God answered.
I grabbed a book to read in the car while waiting for my kids to get out of school. It was Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes. I wasn’t feeling like ever saying yes to anything again but it was the book I was halfway through and it is really good. And at the bottom of the second page I read, words of encouragement whispered to my heart.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chron. 16:9)
I know that Jesus promises to lift our burdens and God promises rest to the weary. But sometimes finding a fresh reminder from His word shouts it louder to my soul. Because God strengthens.
And then a text came in from a sweet friend. She doesn’t text me often. She wanted to say she cared about me and that God had placed me on her heart all day. She hoped it had been a great one.
I told her honestly it hadn’t. I thanked her for her prayers as the burden lifted a little more. God had moved on her heart to pray for me in a dark time. Because God knows.
As fellow writers in my 31 Day Challenge started to read my post, words of encouragement from fellow sisters in Christ flowed in. These women didn’t know me personally, but they knew I was hurting. They wanted to encourage. Some commented with prayers. One writer named Liz, posted this:
Jennifer, I can’t begin to fathom what you are experiencing, what level of worn you are facing. But I am praying for you. Praying that you find refuge in God and help through his cloud of witnesses. Praying that you catch yourself doing things right and noting all the love and stability and resilience you are giving your kids. Praying that you know you are enough, and then some.
She grasped that the reason I must keep going was so that my kids had stability and love. They have lost so much. I want so desperately for their childhood to continue to be a childhood. I want for everything else in their universe to go on because they have already felt deep tragedy and I don’t want it to define them! Because God understands, He spoke understanding through this woman.
So tonight I’m still worn. As I type this, my son is finishing the last half of his last football game in the marching band. He’s not sure he’ll do it next year. I had to leave after the half-time show to run home and make sure the others were tucked in bed. They weren’t. Now I type as I wait for the call to come back and pick him up.
Today was better than yesterday. Today I worked out and bought a piece of home décor and enough groceries to feed my growing minions. Today I enjoyed lunch with girlfriends and watched my son perform in the marching band. And today was better because God helped me tackle another one. And tomorrow I will trust Him to help me do it all again. Because His eyes are seeking out those fully committed to Him to send them strength. That includes me.