This week has been tough, with tears pressing behind my eyes and an almost constant headache because of the battle with the voices in my head. And sharing about it is scary. But I believe in the power of vulnerability, in the power of the “me too” moment when one person connects with another. So despite the panic when sharing and what Brene Brown so brilliantly calls “The vulnerability hangover” afterward, I, with a deep breath and a prayer that the Lord will redeem this moment for good, want to open up.
In Texas, where we live, this is the last week of school. Starting on Friday, all of our littles will be home for sun, fun, and relaxation. And all over Facebook I see moms rejoicing in that fact, excitedly planning sun-kissed adventures. But for us, in our home, we have a child who requires structure, who pushes boundaries, and who has been, in utmost vulnerability, challenging to parent for manymonths. So I look to the end of this week with dread. I battle fear. “What if she acts out and the nanny quits? What if she gets worse over the summer? What if we can never get this under control? What if? What if? What if?”
And all of you moms can predict how this goes. The immediate next feeling, after the dread and fear, is an overwhelming sense of guilt. “How can a mother think this way?” A feeling of failure at this one job you want to do well, more than any other. First I feel like I failed her that she is even having these struggles, then I feel failure for the fear about the ways we handle it. “What if we are making this worse? What if there is something wrong and she really can’t help all of these behaviors? What if something we did is causing this?”
My thoughts are a mess. It feels like I am a mess. It feels like our home is a mess.
But I know that isn’t the whole story. I know that we are not a mess. I know that the Lord has a plan for our family, for our little girl, for me as a mom. I know that the circumstances we face now are not the defining circumstances of our life. And I know that my little girl has a huge heart that loves and seeks Jesus, and because of Him she has hope.
So I write this for a few reasons. First, there may be moms like me, with children who require special parenting, who are fearful this week and drowning in isolation and guilt. For you I say. “me too,” and I believe that the Lord has good plans for us and our special kiddos. I believe that he can take this summer, with the lack of structure, and do something beautiful. Second, I write this because I can’t get past it until I do write it, as an act of confession, and trust the Lord to do in me what He needs to do through this circumstance so far out of my control. Third, I have developed, through the years, this amazing support system of people who pray for us. We are seeking help for our child and for our family to try and make life better and restore peace in our home, and we have a very important appointment this week leading us hopefully in the direction of some solutions. Would you pray with us that we find that peace and have the wisdom we need?
This will not be the summer of fear, or of dread. This will be the summer of light, and of knowing the grace of God in a new and powerful way. I do believe it and I pray it for your home and mine.