by Chrissy Hampson
April 21, 2021
“Why didn’t anyone warn me? Why didn’t someone sit me down and explain to me how hard this was going to be??”
I remember standing in my living room, taking in the scene of pandemonium with shock in my heart. I mean, I knew parenthood was more than cute little smiles and giggles, but I didn’t expect THIS. I wish someone would have given me the heads up. Something along these lines would have been perfect:
“It’s over. Your life as you know it has ended. These kids, blessings as they are, will upend everything. They’ll rearrange your heart first, and then they’ll move on to all of your lower, reachable cupboards. You can’t predict their moods. They’ll scream at the strangest, most embarrassing moments and there’s nothing you can do. You’ll sacrifice your time and energy in unexpected ways. They’ll get hurt and end up in the hospital where the nurses call you ‘Mom’ and you’ll have to make crazy medical decisions. They are their own people. It doesn’t matter how stubborn you think you are, they’ll push you to the very limit of your patience and capacity. You’ll clean up the grossest things over and over again in the most unexpected places, usually when you’re already weary from some other thing. Your kids will love you, but honestly, they won’t care a wit about your life ambitions because, in their minds, it’s all about them. Last of all, they’re not going away. They’re not leaving. This is for forever, a forever shift. Did you think of all that? Do you have any questions?”
How nice to have heard those words, but then again, would I have believed them?
Only a few years back, my living room was . . . well . . . my own. My days were my own. My nights were my own. My time in the bathroom was my own. I ate in a leisurely manner with two hands. And, you know what? I WASN’T EVEN a bit thankful for that life because I didn’t realize how quiet and peaceful it was . . . until it was gone!
I stood in my chaotic living room that day remembering who I was before my kids were born and, for the first time, I realized entirely that there was no going back. The control I thought I had on my life just wasn’t there, and it never, ever would be. I stood in overwhelmed anxiety, wishing for a mentor to hold my hand.
Of course He was there, right with me all the time–but sadly, instead of turning my eyes up towards God, I turned them downward onto my messy world.
Life has continued to shift in major ways since that moment (don’t we all know it!) and I’m learning, still, to fix my eyes upward; to lay my woes before Him before I crumble completely into a shambly ruin.
It is only through utter reliance on the Lord that this is in any way possible, and so, I leave you with a prayer:
I miss the old days a lot sometimes, but I’m here now.
I ask that You strengthen me by the power of the Holy Spirit for these new days.
I’m not enough.
Only You can provide the endurance and encouragement from Your Word so that I might have hope.
Oh, I need Your hope more than ever in this place.
I trust You.
I love You.
You are with me, God, and I am with You.
Thank You, Father.
Romans 15:4,13 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope . . . . May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Chrissy is still alive in spite of the pandemic. She numbers the days since quarantine and has been writing a small word of reality and encouragement each day. Feel free to find her on Facebook: @walkingdaybyday365.