- First of all Jen, it is not Thanksgiving in Canada; we celebrated 6 weeks ago, so I am free to write.
- I write short stories for ReadWave. After four of my stories were posted on a parenting theme page, the editor asked me if I could write about moments when mothering pushed me to my limits,
“ or you are the rare individual who somehow can always find peace in the moment. If you had such a story and felt open to sharing it, I would be grateful to be able to include it in the parenting theme. (I am working on a story of my own that relates to this issue.) The reason I ask is that I know that so many parents feel ashamed of those times when they cannot hold it all together. And one of my hopes for the theme is to create a space that helps parents move past that shame into a ‘good enough parent’ sense of self. My underlying message would be that being human is not about being perfect. It’s about continuing to grow”.
- I was astonished because that very morning I was just thinking that I had not shared much of my pain, struggle and suffering. I friend also pointed out to me the other day that I never really talked about the long, dark periods in my life. I guess it is because joy always triumphs in the end in my life I tend to forget about the pain. Somehow cognitive therapy, the love of little people, strong tea, laughter and the Presence of God in the midst of chaos seems to crack anxiety and stress but yes, I have been shattered by the demands of mothering .
- Yet God always manages to use those moments when I am shattered to crack my heart and soul open to more of His presence and healing. For me it is like childbirth, the pain is forgotten when I hold my newborn but on the other hand if there is no pain, there is no baby.
God speaks to me through books, quotes and they have often changed my life, flipped an inner switched by bringing insight, clarity and a feeling of interconnectedness with tears, then sweet relief. I realize that each difficult stage in mothering is normal, not a big deal because all mothers go through similar experiences. So I am not going through a big crisis. This stage, this too will pass, it is a phase but I am changing, growing, going deeper and accessing strength, the strength of generations of women who have gone before me. The strength of the Holy Spirit within me.
- It takes humility to realize that our miserable, self-inflicted suffering does not save anyone, least of all ourselves. Accepting Jesus as our Saviour really goes against our grain as human beings because we want to earn our salvation, purify ourselves by suffering out of a misplaced sense of guilt. Ironically it usually takes suffering to break down our ego and pride. Once exhausted by trying to save ourselves, we often must hit bottom before we are desperate enough to change, to let go of our pride and control and surrender in humility to Christ our Saviour. Only the drowning man even realizes that he needs saved, only a sick man grasps the truth that he needs to be healed.