Not often, but occasionally, I have days that hit me with the enormity of the fear that maybe, just maybe, all my struggles and triumphs and day-to-day banalities are all for naught. That it doesn’t really matter if I live this day well, or try a little harder to get that task done, or remember to curb my tongue of the petty criticisms that may make my daughter cry. Why would it matter, if life is indeed pointless, whether I were a good mother to my children, faithful and loving to my spouse, or tried to be a good neighbor to my fellow man? What would be the point, even, of getting out of bed?
I have a tendency to be over-sensitive to other people’s moods and attitudes, and today was a poster day for that. My mother, meaning well, sent me a light-hearted text about how she just saw the State Department had issued a travel warning for Europe, citing terrorist fears. She knows that I have been beginning to plan for a trip to Europe with friends in 2017, and she knows I am excited and have been furtively sneaking away from my kids to Google search hotels and tourist sites in anticipation of this journey. So while I appreciate her concern (and, really, do I think the threat of terrorism anywhere will decrease in the next decade or so?) I didn’t see how this benign text added anything of a positive nature to my day. In fact, it sort-of depressed me. Yes, it is true. Yes, it is scary. But…why share it with me? Was her goal to scare me? Or to let me know she was worried for my safety in some way? Whatever her intent, the text irritated and depressed me. It seemed almost a subtle way of saying, “I know you have this fun plan for your life, but guess what? It is raining on your parade. Right now. You can’t win, so don’t even try.”
I got through the rest of my crazy day with the kids and karate, and came home, proud of myself for having prepared a crock-pot minestrone so we could eat right away after getting home at 6:30. I grabbed the mail and saw that some travel guides I requested had arrived; we want to go to the West coast this summer for vacation. Excited about that, I mentioned it to Hubby, who I instantly realized had arrived home under a cloud of crabbiness. He said, “I don’t even want to talk about vacations. The new company [who is taking over operations at Hubby’s work tomorrow] sounds like it wants to get rid of our division/make everyone move to somewhere horrible if they want to keep their jobs/fire me/make me take a huge pay cut and work 1,000 hours of unpaid overtime.” Instantly, my mood switches to OMIGOD WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE AND THE KIDS CAN’T GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN AND I DON’T WANT TO MOVE AND MAYBE WE WILL BE BROKE AND HAVE TO FORECLOSE ON OUR HOUSE AND DECLARE BANKRUPTCY AND I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO WORK ANYWHERE BECAUSE ALTHOUGH I HAVE A DEGREE I HAVE NEVER HELD A REAL JOB AND EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE THIS LAST NINE YEARS WILL HAVE BEEN FOR NOTHING BECAUSE STAY-AT-HOME MOMS ARE NOT VALUABLE IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS AND THIS CROCKPOT MINESTRONE I MADE FOR DINNER IS ABSOLUTELY AWFUL I AM A HORRIBLE HOUSEWIFE.
It really should be said that Hubby and I got very little sleep last night because Spike, who is recovering from a horrendous sunburn, couldn’t sleep and came down into our bed last night. And then, that adorable 3-year-old proceeded to have a horrible day of “three-nager”ness (which Hubby defined as, “Spike’s feet woke up on the wrong side of my back this morning.”) which was such fun.
Ok. No sleep. No sleep makes you feel like life. Is not worth. Living. Seriously.
Anxiety can be caused by little to no sleep. Anxiety makes you fear things that are…mayyyybe real possibilities…but very slim chances. Like terrorists targeting you on vacation. And anxieties relating to job loss and perpetual poverty. And freaking out over the fact that you might not be a perfect wife and mother.
Hubby is nervous about the new company taking over. That is completely understandable. New management, new way of doing things, new corporate culture. But perhaps we should focus on what we can control. We can’t control if our boss decides to downsize us. We can’t control if the company wants to headquarter elsewhere. We have no control over what the future ultimately holds. We really don’t. It’s honestly terrifying.
I seek solace in the knowledge that about four years ago, we were in the same place. Spike was on the way, Hubby was laid off, we had no permanent dwelling, and Hubby and I were both scared to death. I prayed. I prayed without ceasing. I was so afraid of so many things, and God said “Trust.”
Trust that I have your future in my hands. Trust that I know exactly what you need, and will not give you more than you can handle. Trust that I love you and I will not let you falter.
Be not afraid. Be not afraid. I am with you and will never leave you.
I can believe. I can believe God is in control. I can believe that he will be beside me in whatever I may encounter. I can believe there is a purpose and a reason to everything. When I doubt, when I want to run the other way, God is there to remind me that His will pervades all. His love conquers all. And his purpose for our lives permeates and engulfs us all. So it is not for nothing that we struggle with [yes, the banalities of laundry and stinky diapers] our tasks and it is not for nothing that we strive for Heaven in our lives. It is what makes life worth living…it is what makes life so precious…and it is what we will not abandon when we are forced to abandon our dreams for anything else. It is through trust in His plan that we can forge ahead with all we may encounter….even on a bad day:-)