After twenty minutes of wrangling my screaming daughter at a restaurant, I declared defeat and asked for the check and two to go boxes. I was just trying to catch up with an old friend over chips and salsa, but it became evident, in a span of five minutes, that the catching up would have to wait for another day.
Strapping her into the car seat, I could no longer hold it in. Tears streaming. Heart pounding. Soul aching. I began to question so many things that us mothers question when stress is high and confidence low.
Why can I not control my own daughter?
Is my friend silently judging my abilities, or lack thereof, as a mom?
When will this settle down? When will the relief come?
I am not sure how many more meltdowns I can take. . .
One question after another. I sat and wallowed and let the bitterness sneak inside my heart. The pity party knocked and I eagerly opened the door. And before I knew it, all the things of late came rushing to the forefront of my mind.
I am missing Chance so much. . . why me?
I am exhausted from Camille's sleep troubles. . . why me?
I am defeated from yet one more toddler tantrum. . . why me?
I am overwhelmed with Clara's needs and the reality of her situation. . . why me?
And I let myself stay in this place of self pity for the remainder of the week. I am not proud of this, but it was the reality of my choice. Satan showed up and reminded me of all the ways life feels hard and all the ways life appears easier for my friends, for everyone else. Satan showed up and offered me respite in the form of "You have every right to be bitter! You deserve to sit in this place a while!"
I took him up on it. I pulled up a chair and made myself comfortable.
For five days I was angry and annoyed and bitter and overwhelmed with the realities of the life God had blessed me with. And it effected every area of my life - physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally. I was snappy with my my family and easily frustrated. Even little things felt like huge things.
I was not me. This was not me. Something had to change.
Then on Friday night as I laid in bed, still sulking, I clearly heard God telling me. . .
By accepting Satan's lies as a better, you are choosing to miss out on my best.
In that moment I knew I had a choice to make. Remaining in a place of self pity, while it might feel justified at times, will only harden my heart to the One who wants to renew my heart. So I declared the pity party over, and told Satan to pack his bags. And I signed a deep breath of relief that comes when we choose God's truth over Satan's schemes.
I have never welcomed a Saturday more than this one.
I still miss my son. . .
The tantrums still bring me to my knees. . .
Clara still has a mile long list of goals. . .
But God. . .
. . .
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
Hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. Psalm 130:7