Feeling overwhelmed with love for my girls tonight…My oldest is 9 and just started 4th grade. She is smart, strong willed, and so brave. My youngest is 4 and just started full time PreK. She is sensitive, thoughtful, and so thankful. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They are happy girls. Watching them walk into school in their uniforms and backpacks gets me every time. Kissing them goodnight gets me every time. Seeing their sleepy bedheads in the morning gets me every time.
- Bring me deep joy
- Make me want to be a better person
- Hold my heart
- Have pushed me to Jesus
- Drive me crazy
- Love me like crazy
- Need me
- Pulled strength out of me like I’ve never had
- Induced love like I’ve never known
- Will always be my babies
The more I read and hear other people share their hard stories and testimonies, the more I am convinced that sharing honestly is cathartic. It helps others and it helps the person that shares. So, here goes…
Most women think that their husband having an affair would be their worst nightmare. This happened to me. Most women would feel worse if their husband refused to admit it and instead left….for her. This happened to me. In these circumstances, most women see the relationship fall apart. This didn’t happen for me. Instead, they married. And he seems much happier with her than he ever did with me. He is also much more involved in our daughters lives now than he ever was with me. Most women would hope their daughters would have an issue with the other woman because of these events. Mine don’t. They love her immensely. As thankful as I am for them to have a stepmother who loves them and that they love, it pangs me deeply. Because of how it all went down.
I share to let others know that they are not alone.
It’s a daily struggle. I don’t like any of it, but I do value the lessons it has taught me. To depend on The Lord. That justice is His. That He sees and knows every detail. That forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for me. That emotional pain wants to lead us down the path of destruction…sex, drugs, excessive alcohol, excessive anything. To not date (or marry) based primarily on physical chemistry or physical pleasure. That God calls us to His arms, but our flesh really wants to go the other way. That you can’t make someone love you or be faithful to you, nor should you have to. That anger is better released in tears than in rage. That Jesus sympathizes with our deepest pains and meets us there. To not idolize your spouse. To know your own personal worth as a child of God. That I’m so ready for heaven, where all pain is gone. Somehow, incomprehensively, it will all be relieved.
I share for you, for me, for God. I share because He asks me to and supplies the courage to. I share because honesty helps me. I share because God was there before, during, and after. I share because He is faithful and deserves all the credit that I haven’t gone off the deep end……yet.
I spent last weekend with a group of friends who also happen to be mommies…..just like me. We have 13 kids between the six of us, and somehow we all managed to get a weekend away! It was bliss. We got to share freely without needing to kid censor our conversations. We also had the privilege of completing our sentences. Needless to say, there was lots of head nodding going on. It’s so refreshing to have friends you can be real with.
We thoroughly enjoyed two fancy dinners, sipped hot coffee in the morning, relaxed, and even closed our eyes by the pool. We talked about dating, marriage, pregnancy, labor, and sex. The stuff we all deal with and don’t normally have the chance or courage to bounce off others in a transparent way. The stuff that reminds us how much we are alike deep down in our souls. The way God created us. To love, endure, persist, relate, and connect.
Our time together also reminded me how much we all crave a closeness to our Creator. The One who made us this way. The One who knows us best. Even better than we know each other or ourselves, He knows us. I imagined Him looking down and smiling at all of us as we laughed and enjoyed our time away. All the while, He protected our children. The same children He so graciously gave to each of us. The same children that teach us more than we have ever known about love. The same children who our hearts ache for on our way home. The same children that we are sending to school next week with bittersweet feelings. The same children who have humbled us and helped us appreciate things (like a weekend away and girlfriends) more than ever before.
I have no doubt this weekend recharged us as mommies, friends, women. The more time you spend with someone who is different than you, the more you realize how very little different they are. We all want to be the best wives, moms, friends, and daughters we can be. We aren’t perfect, so to have friends that can say “I see your issue, and I raise you mine” is priceless. Let’s continue to be real and love each other through them….just like Jesus does.