Updated: Mar 22, 2021
I was reflecting today on my absence from writing. Now that the storm of new motherhood has passed, and I’ve moved into, well, just motherhood, it all seems a bit more bleak. Nothing too noteworthy, nothing spectacular.
The truth is ever since I moved home from Haiti, almost five years ago, I haven’t caught my footing. I’m still reaching, grasping, holding my breath, on what my life is going to be. Only recently did I begin to process that this is my life. This, right here, is my life.
There must have been some grand idea that while I was in Haiti, I was serving Christ best. Honestly, since leaving Haiti the way I did, ahem, pregnant, I’ve lost many friendships, and my status as “missionary” will forever just be “girl who got pregnant while being a missionary.” People, most people, began to only view me by my biggest, ugliest, most transparent sin. It became my identity. Any good I had done, any work my hands sowed, it all amounted to nothing.
Now, in my day to day, I often find myself wondering, “is this it, Lord?” Is there more You want from me, more You have in mind for me, than this? I’m a personal assistant and I also care for my father. And in all the spaces and breaths and commas, I’m a mom. No, I’m a mom first, but how easy is it to lose sight of that?
If my life only equates to Levi, I have peace. He is a gift. He is everything I ever could have dreamed. No, I couldn’t have dreamed him. He’s too good. But no he doesn’t share, like, ever, and yes he yells and screams quite often. He punches me sometimes, too, which is super fun, if you’re wondering.
There are days where he will ask, with such sorrow, why daddy can’t live with us, and be in the house all the time, like Sarah’s kids have their daddy who makes them laugh in the house. His nose will scrunch up as we pass Sarah’s street, and I can look in the rear view mirror and see his sorrow spilling out from his eyes, how my son already has a cross to carry, a cross that I helped create. And we sit together and feel sad, because it’s ok to feel sad, he’s learning, and maybe I’m learning too.
Then there are the days with my dad that are becoming increasingly worse. The simple tasks that stump him, frustrate him so much he breaks out in a sweat, his eyes become bloodshot, his hands begin to shake. But he can’t tell me what it is, he can’t vocalize what he’s feeling. The ten minutes it takes for him to take a shoe off. Or sit in a chair. Or open the car door. Or walk up a flight of stairs. Or tell you good morning. It is not the time, but the despair in the process. “Take off your shoe.” He picks up the dog leash. “No the shoe on your foot, could you take it off?” He begins to put on his other shoe, which was already removed.
“Dad, swallow the pill for me.” His eyes say it all. I know what you’re asking but I just can’t figure out how to do it.
This is grand. This is what it all comes down to. Now that Levi is almost 4, I can’t just speak of Christ, I have to be Christ. He sees when I become angry with my mom (every 30-45 seconds about), when I repeat too harshly for my dad to just SIT DOWN. When I don’t answer the same question he’s asked me 78 times in the last 3 minutes.
When am I going to learn, it’s not about big, it’s about small. The smaller we become, the more grand it is.
My second tattoo. [the more she cast away the more she had.]
I’d go with taken away? Neglected? Sabotaged? Failed? Or just mercifully stripped bare of.
It’s the Eve of Good Friday (which I have miserably failed at properly explaining to my 4 year old, probably having a nightmare as I type this), and I am ready to let my soul rest. Rest in knowing it’s ok that I don’t have my life “together.” It’s ok that my day to day is quite small. Focus on the good. I can let die in me what needs to die. And let Him resurrect what He needs to resurrect. There doesn’t have to be any fear.
Let the sun in. Let that sun in.