Excuses for the many times we have to call out of work to stay home with sick kids or handle other family emergencies.
Apologies to our children, why mommy can’t make it to their school activities because she has to work. And, the sadness on their faces make my heart ache with guilt.
Explanations we give our husbands, why our marriage have become the least in our priorities. Because we were too exhausted from many other obligations, to invest time in our relationship.
As we wrestle with all the changes that come along with motherhood, there are many excuses, apologies, pleas, explanations and reasons we give in an attempt to hide our real struggle to keep it all together.
I bet you like me, are tired of all the EXCUSES!
The excuses we give to our children, husband, family, friends and coworkers, to justify why we’re falling short of being perfect at everything. Why we’re not enough even though we keep striving so hard to be.
I felt lost and alone.
In the hustle and bustle of life, trying to juggle work, family and motherhood, I had lost myself.
Buried underneath all the tasks, pressures and expectations that I was trying to keep up with, were lost dreams and passions that were unfulfilled. Can you relate?
As moms, we set aside our dreams and aspirations to care for the needs of our family. We become the least on our priorities until we lose ourselves in the process.
Suddenly, we don’t know who we are anymore. We feel LOST!
We become like the “walking dead”. Going through the motions of life every day but not fully alive to the purpose of God for our lives. Have you been there?
As I wrestled with my conscience and pride, I tried hard to ignore the mom guilt that weighed heavy on my heart.
Obviously, I had ignored the quiet and gentle nudge of God for so long, attempting to direct my steps until His voice had become very distant.
In the rush and demands of every day, I could barely hear His gentle voice. Because through my choices, I had allowed other voices to become much louder. The voices of fear, worry, anxiety, shame, condemnation and more.
Meaningful over Urgent.
Everything else on my to do lists, seemed too important and too urgent to spend time with God. So everyday, I rushed out very early in the morning to work and worked hard until very late at night.
When I got back home, I had nothing left to give except short-tempered responses, yelling outbursts, and lashing out on anyone who dared cross my path, which were my husband and children mostly.
Frustrated and exasperated because it seemed as if I had come home to a second full-time job. Everything was left undone, waiting for my return home.
Without rest, I’d prepare dinner. Help the kids with their homework. Give bedtime showers. Read bedtime stories. Put the kids to bed. Pick out their clothes for the next day Pack lunches. Wash the dishes. Wash and fold laundry. You get the point, the list is endless.
And then stay up late to catch up on work projects that weren’t completed. Go to sleep very late, barely get three to five hours of sleep on most days and wake very early the next morning to repeat the cycle all over again.
My life reflected the words in Psalm 127:2, “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”
Out of Control.
Burning the candle on both ends, striving on my own strength until the exhaustion of living life out of balance, out of control and without rest had finally caught up with me.
Overwhelmed. Overworked. Overtasked. Overburdened. It was all over!
Sleep deprivation, lack of rest, work overload and neglect of everything else especially my family and myself, drove me to the lowest place in my life.
The pressure to keep up had surmounted beyond what my feeble strength could handle and threatened to pull me under. The more I tried to hold it all together, the more I felt as if I was suffocating and drowning underneath the pressure.
Then the walls caved in and everything fell apart. All the walls that I had built to guard and contain my pain, fears and insecurities had come crashing down.
So I laid there. Face down on the floor, prostrate before God. In a pool of tears, sobbing uncontrollably. The tears poured down my face like a river from a dam whose wall had been brought down by a fierce storm that waged behind it.
There were no words to describe all the emotions that were at war within me in that moment except the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8; “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
To be continued in Brave Surrender: When Weakness is Strength – Part 3
If you missed part 1, click here to read it.