It's easy to peek into someone else's life and imagine theirs to be much easier than yours.
Like that mom at the preschool who always has makeup on and her hair fixed. Or that girl on Instagram whose life looks perfect in those tiny squares. Or the girl at work who always is on time. Or the couple in your community group who has the perfect marriage. Or the friend who always remembers your birthday AND buys you a present. Or the girl at church with the cutest clothes. Or the friend who gets pregnant when her husband looks at her. Or the family at the restaurant with the most obedient children. Or the couple who never worries about money. Or the friend with the best family.
I'm through believing the lie that they all have it together.
I was talking to a dear friend the other day, telling her about a conversation I had with my daughter's preschool director. Apparently I had been selected to be the "room mom." I know what this entailed, I taught school for seven years. And room moms were life savers. But I'm just not "room mom" material right now. I had to call the director back and decline the generous offer. "I just started a new ministry. I am writing and speaking more than ever, which I love! All of my children have special needs. Mothering children that come from hard places isn't easy or for the faint of heart. We are still adjusting to having a new member in our family. My husband works a lot and I feel like he always gets the last of me." I am certain she was just as surprised as I was that I shared all of that with her. "Oh wow. Don't you worry about being the room mom. Maybe next year things will calm down," she said.
My friend said, "Jessica, from the outside it looks like you have it all together." And I said, "But you know me. I've never not had it more together than I do now."
My toilets all have rings around them. My mother in law would die if she saw my microwave. There is laundry stacked in clothes baskets upstairs. We just dig through it to find what we want to wear. My to-do list never gets done at the end of the day. I have emails sitting in my inbox that I haven't responded to. I fed my kids macaroni and cheese (out of a box) for supper last night. I eat M&Ms during nap time. And some nights making it to bedtime feels impossible.
My heart is really tired right now. My soul, deep down, is weary. Exhaustion from this hard season, is setting in. I've cried more than I've been singing lately. I've found myself fighting for hope. Wanting to be filled more than I'm pouring out. Craving sleep over progress. And wondering if all the waiting we're doing over here will ever end.
Why do we shy away from weakness? Why do we feel we should have it all together?
He's showing me how beautiful my weakness is to Him. Me being weak, it allows Him to be strong. Being vulnerable, admitting that I don't have it all together, it allows His glory to be displayed. When I feel my hope is running low, I don't have to muster it up. Because He is hope and He's the one who renews my hope. When my faith feels weary, He sustains me, calling out to me in the night, reminding me He's still there.
I've spent so long pressing into Him. Diving deeper into His heart. And I'll spend my lifetime, every waking second of my days, doing just that, wanting more of Him. But I've felt Him over the last few weeks remind me that pressing in sometimes looks like leaning back.
"Quit pressing in, sweet girl," He says to me, "lean back on me."
The Kingdom, it's both. I press in and lean back. I rest and recline as I feast at His table, but also fight against lies, choosing to see His bigness instead of the hurricane of my circumstances. He doesn't love me any more or any less if I feel like I'm rocking it or completely blowing it. My standing with Him doesn't change when my hope and faith are tired, or if I can speak to a mountain and make it move. He's my Papa and I'm His daughter on my best and worst days. I actually think He sees my desperation for Him as a pleasing aroma.
And lately, it's all I have to offer Him.
Let's be okay with our being weak. Let's still press in, but lean back instead. Let's give ourselves a little more grace and find the offering of our weakness to be a beautiful one.
If you are clinging to hope in this season like I am, I stamped this bracelet as a tangible reminder. You can get one for yourself here.
And this song has been on repeat...