Every morning I wake up hoping that today will be the day I can walk again. I slowly try to lift myself only to feel paralyzed by pain. The once simple task of rolling over to get out of bed has become one that I dread every single sunrise. Once I finally make it out of bed and steady myself with a walker borrowed from a friend, I make the long, excruciating trip to the bathroom. My days are spent missing out on life from the couch or bed and not knowing when it will get better.
If you didn’t know, when our sweet William was born I suffered a birth injury. They tell me it could be weeks or months before my pain is gone. These days are real and raw and wearisome. I’ve heard the bootstrap theology—those who plead self-sufficiency and stoicism over their suffering.
Years ago, on a whim, I grabbed a bag of zinnia seeds and scattered its contents into the empty earth of my flower bed. A few weeks later, after I’d just lost our first baby at 9 weeks, they began to bloom.
The tall sea of flowers became a sort of oasis for me. Bright corals, deep reds, and unique pinks sprung up before my eyes singing songs of life at a time when death felt so close—so, within me. I cherished these blooms, clipped and gathered them to my heart like I would’ve the little one we lost. I stared at them for long moments, savoring the gifts God was giving me through them. Gifts like perseverance, remembrance, and abiding joy.
That was six years ago and each year since I’ve anticipated the last Ohio frost so I can push tiny seeds into the earth and watch God work.…
I felt them coming. The tears. The ones that had been threatening to flow from my eyes all morning as we prepared to go to the church we were visiting.
It was there, in the corner of the nursery and surrounded by strangers and small children, that the dam broke. The more I fought it, the more the tears streamed down my face.
Honestly, in the moment I couldn’t tell you why I was crying. But now, weeks later, I’ve realized those tears were a declaration.
“It’s not meant to be this way.”
I transitioned into motherhood just months after experiencing one of the most painful conflicts I’ve ever walked through. Then a few months after our son was born, we entered a never-ending pandemic. I don’t think about it much, but it really has stolen a lot. It was a thief of my son entering the nursery at a less anxious age, learning how to sit still at restaurants, and attending more play dates.…
I haven’t watered my plants in weeks. As I type, yellow leaves dangle in the wind moving back and forth, hanging by a thread until finally giving up. Next to the leaves, bright red peppers rot right on the vine. Somehow, despite the lack of water, fresh green leaves with tiny buds adorn the top. My half-dead plants remind me of my writing life lately. I’ve got ideas and words and phrases hanging out in my head but no energy to bring them earthbound. Most of the lessons are still being learned and I simply find myself being unable to share much.
What does a writer write about when she can’t say much?
I could write about grief, hurt, confusion, and discouragement. I could write about how it feels like my body is failing in my 30s. I could write about mom guilt and worry over missed milestones and social struggles.…
Recently, I shared on Instagram that my husband and I left the church we never thought we’d leave and are searching for a new one. A gal who follows me requested I share about our church search in my newsletter. As I thought about it, I realized I don’t have much to say as of yet. The only words I can seem to find are, it’s hard. Like seriously, it’s really stinkin’ hard.
It’s hard to feel peace over leaving but not know where you’re going yet. It’s hard knowing people don’t understand and not being at liberty to provide explanations (We did not leave because of Covid disagreements, I’ll at least lay that potential rumor to rest here.). It’s hard and yet inevitable that assumptions will be made and even gossip could be spread as you make your exit. The hardest part? Leaving a family of believers you love and never ever thought you’d leave.…
I did what they told me to do. I left my phone lying around forgotten, I read more, I tried to be present, I took naps. But at the end of vacation, my eyes were wet with tears as I poured out my heart to my sweet husband. I was both longing for the normalcy of home and dreading it. I didn’t feel inspired or ready to get back to work. I’m still burnt out.
This summer, I’ve read more posts than ever about the rest people find in doing these things. They make it seem like the key to rest is getting off social media, trading in your phone for a book, and savoring what’s in front of you. These are great disciplines. But it left me wondering why it didn’t work for me? Why do I feel like my soul can’t quiet itself? Why, after a beach vacation and nearly zero screen time do I still feel restless?…