Mother’s Day felt like it was going to be a wash this year. Perhaps even a sucker punch. Ben had a cold on Friday, woke up with a fever on Saturday, and didn’t even attempt to wake up on Sunday. All I wanted for Mother’s day was to nurse the baby at 5.30, go back to bed, and sleep till I naturally woke up. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The house was trashed and there was food everywhere, but the kids were playing nicely, and I wondered briefly if we shouldn’t just stay home in our little hovel and skip church.
Honestly, I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to see my friends. I didn’t want to feel like a sub par mother. I didn’t want to let M go to the nursery. I didn’t want to deal with this recent blossoming of jealousy in my heart, the one that rears its head with my people in proximity. I just didn’t want to see people. I wanted to sit with my kids, in all our junky glory, and fester.
God is so good to me. I get myself into these funks, but he has given me a legend so that I know what I’m looking at. So when I really don’t want to go to church because I don’t want to see my people. I know that’s when I need to go the most. When I don’t want to enter into community, because I’m so tired of my own drama, I know I need the community to look after me, and lift me up, to let them serve me. And then it takes all of me, to let all of him win that argument and step out the door.
Amazingly, I managed to wash my face in peace. Sure the baby was holding a pencil when I emerged from the bathroom, but no one got stabby. Even more amazingly, the kids all managed to put pants on. We were out the door, we were in the car, we were even ten minutes early. And as soon as I stepped into that building I knew. I knew that he had immeasurably more for me. I told a few people that Ben was sick, a couple of people who knew me acknowledged the crazy that they knew was hiding behind the pretty headband and smiling baby. And in that acknowledgement, that mutual recognition was release.
I missed half the sermon – the bit in the middle – because M decided to scream in the nursery. But for the rest of the time, as I let the music wash over me, as I listened to hearty words from our God loving Pastor, I knew that God knew me so much better than I knew myself. Beyond that, he knew how to deal with me.
I have been lamenting the ebbing and flowing of friendships. But as my pastor preached about embracing your place, about discipling those who God brings into your life, and allowing yourself to be discipled, I realized once more that this life we live is full of seasons. But instead of focusing on the seasons in my own spiritual walk, I echoed the words of my favorite musical, that people come into our lives for a reason, and that the people we walk with change with each season too. My church peeps will always be there, but at different times in my life, different people will come alongside me.
A hug from Darlene, a fist bump from Sue, an invitation from Mindy. Josh talking to Tilly, Chris reaching out to me during the offering. That morning that I just wanted to hide away, God wanted my people to seek me out, to bless me. And it wasn’t like one person coming into my life and turning a bad day upside down. It was dozens of people spending a few seconds to a few minutes, just being in my life, bringing his grace to my heart, pouring balm on my wounded heart. This was right where I needed to be today, Embracing my place.
Suggestions from Today’s Post:
Christine Caine – Embrace your place
Pastor Travis Bush – Embrace
Sarah Bessey – A memory of our true home
Sarah Bessey – In which I radically stay put