I’m not going to paint a pretty picture and pretend the last several mornings have been great. Each morning I hold my breath, wondering what I will wake up to – will I be yelled at or just simply ignored? How long will it take to get my child to brush her teeth or put her shoes on? How much hand holding should I do to get her dressed and take her medicine? It’s been downright draining.
I’m weary and worn. I’m a taxi cab driver and a meal maker. So many days I feel like my life has been reduced to the tasks I’m called to do, my roles vs. who I am.
This week at my Moms and Beyond group at church, Patricia, our speaker, shared from 1 peter 2. I came into the morning so worn down. It was another hard morning filled with yelling, frustration and not a very good hand off. I walked into church and wondered how I could possibly be a leader, a mentor when my heart was so very tired.
God is gracious. When we are weary, He steps in if we are willing to listen. Patricia read this verse and a picture came so clearly into my head.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. (I Peter 2:2 NIV)
Newborn babies think, dream and long for milk all the time. They are constantly wailing for and desiring milk. Their cries are not filled until they are fed.
My mind went to Desta. In those first few months of her life, I wonder how many times she cried for milk and it didn’t come? How long did she cry for? How long did she yearn and suffer, wanting to be fed?
When those longings were not fulfilled, they created wounds in her heart and mind, in her brain. Those scars and wounds are manifested today, with bouts of anger and frustration, with deep heart longings for belonging and love.
See, when the longings are not met, growth is stunted and there is not TRUE life. Rather, there has to be unlearning and healing. If only Desta could have had that milk right away, if only someone came right when she called, if only…there are so many if onlys!
It’s the same for me and my soul tending. If I am unwilling to tend to my soul, read the Bible, hear the words of truth, my growth is stunted. When I’m regularly reading, I find myself more patient. I read words of encouragement and hear “I’m worth it.” I’m able to remember that I’m not the sum of my tasks. I breath longer, sit still and walk slow.
I wish I could undo many of the things done in Desta’s early months of life. I wish I could have been there from the beginning. However, the lessons we are both learning together about healing have made us both stronger and better. I cannot wish away the past but I can learn from it.
As I begin this Lenten season, I’ve taken a moment to pause and be still. I want to keep growing, to be ever seeking goodness and joy rather than busy and task mastering.