Struggle

When You Aren’t Who You Thought You Would Be.

I lay on the couch with my hubby late at night, we had just put the kids to bed, both tired, both just saying hi for a minute before we got distracted with our random night time stuff before we go to bed. I was laying on his lap. Out of nowhere, he says “you’re kinda pretty.” My eyes were closed at the time, so I didn’t realize he was staring at me, it caught me by surprise and made me smile. When I smiled he said “I love your dimples, I miss them, I don’t see them as much as I used to.” {Cue the tears of the overly emotional wife.} Me: “What does that mean?” Husband: “That you aren’t as happy with me as you used to be” {cue even more tears} ….. I lay there for a minute trying to chill out enough to speak, without turning into a blubbering mess…

It could have seemed that maybe he was right, maybe I’m not as happy with him as I used to be. But that wasn’t it at all.

You see, we met when we were just “kids” 16 & 18 years old. There’s nothing wrong with that. I loved that age and season of our relationship. It’s how naive I was that makes things hard. See, when I was a kid, I imagined a life much different than who I am now.

I always believed I was going to be the most caring, loving, selfless, and carefree wife. Today I can admit ashamedly, that I’m hardly ever the picture of the wife I imagined I would be. I think of myself before him most days. I waste his time. I don’t show him that I appreciate him like I could if I actually put forth an effort to.

I dreamed I would be an incredibly loving, funny, crazy, and silly mom. I imagined all these scenarios of flying kites at the park, building snowmen, baking together, so much laughter, tons of adventure, and that my kids would never question if they were loved and cared for. Fast forward to real life motherhood in Britny’s shoes…. I’m exhausted. I’m frustrated, and grumpy more often than not.  Once in a while we somehow manage to make it out the door happy, and go have a good time. Sometimes though, trying to get “out” ends up being just a completely irritating joke.

“There, there… “, you say. *pat on the back* “You’re doing ok…”

No, actually. I’m not. I am completely and horrifically failing at this thing. I cried when my man told me he misses my dimples, because so much of this has been on my mind for so long that it breaks my heart, and it’s obviously not just me that this horrible attitude effects. It’s him too, it’s my boys too.

I want so badly to be this picture of the joy, hope, and grace of Jesus to them. Instead, the majority of what they see from me is anger, exhaustion, a lack of patience, and a whole truck load of selfishness. I sit back and think on the events of the day and dread it at times. It hurts to think of the many times that I could have extended grace, or handled a situation more patiently, and I chose to take the less compassionate route. Daily I wonder why God allowed me to be a Mother. There are clearly Women out there who know how to do this mom thing.

It seems as if it should be easy enough to realize that there’s a problem and to turn it around. It’s harder than it seems. There’s probably 793 times a day that I wish I wasn’t who I am, that I would change. I feel that every attempt I make to change, things get worse, I lack commitment, and I give up (again). Resulting in me hating myself more for having no drive or motivation to try to fix what I know is broken.

I know that there is nothing in my own power that I can do to change. I don’t believe in myself. & if I did “Believe in myself”, that’s not going to get me very far for very long.  I do however, believe in a God who spoke, and out of his mouth came the Universe. Is He so small to me in these seasons of discouragement, that I don’t believe He can do heart-changing work in me?

I wanted to write this post in hopes that maybe I could encourage someone else who deals with similar struggles. Maybe you too, deal with major feelings of inadequacy, regret, and anger. Maybe you feel like you’re screwing it all up. What can we do about it?

Recognize that you aren’t alone. 

I started writing this post months ago, a big reason I kept saving it to my “drafts” folder is because my thoughts would creep in saying something like this: “What if you are the only one feeling this way? What then? You’ll be the crazy lady. The out of control one. The one who needs help. The one who can’t figure it out, the one they’ll all laugh at.”

But, as I have talked to women I know over the last few months, I’ve found these feelings to be more common than I thought. SO MANY Moms are out there feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and out of place. Alone. Women who don’t know who to talk to, or how, because they feel like it must be only them.

Although it’s sad to me to think other women are feeling the crippling inadequacy that I feel at times, it gives some sort of strange relief to know that you aren’t alone in these feelings.

Pep Talks aren’t enough.

We live in a society that tells us that we can simply remember some sort of mantra, and as long as we say that over, and over, and over…. we can empower ourselves to change. The problem is, true change takes more than that.

We have to start with truly being becoming a new person. We are all fallen sinners who deserve death. We have all wronged a perfect and holy Creator, He is the true heart-changer. God in His kindness, came down to earth, taking form as the man Jesus Christ, and died a terrible death on the cross, where he paid the price of each and every person’s sin. He was placed in a grave, dead. 3 days later he proved His authority over life and death, by raising Himself back to life. Therefore proving He is God. Through our faith in Him and what He did for us, we will be born again. A new life.

That’s where true change starts. It stems from becoming a new creation by our faith in Jesus Christ, the Lord. It comes from believing that there is nothing in ourselves that can fix our broken. But with God, broken is repairable.

As a believer, the change in me needs to come from the Lord. The power to put aside my anger, and find my joy, should come from a daily reliance on Him. But what does that mean, exactly?

Maybe putting aside some of the habits you have and replacing them with something with more worth.  A little less sleep could mean a little more time in God’s Word- before the kids wake up, or before you go to work. A lot less Facebook (or gaming, or reading pointless things, or watching TV or insert other time-consuming activity here), could mean more time with your family, more time getting things done, more time being there, instead of just present. Get what I’m saying? These are just a few scenarios, but many, many others can apply here just as well.  Priorities. Try to be mindful. What is holding you back from changing? What can you put aside daily to aid you in your progress?

Take hold of the Grace that has been given to you.

If you are a true believer, Grace upon Grace has been given to you by the Lord. Now, we know that as Christian’s we aren’t to use God’s Grace as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to continue in our sin, and justify it because we’ve “been forgiven already.” To believe in Christ and all He has done for us, and then to continue on sinning is shameful. We are to put aside the old self- who I used to be, and put on the new self, which is our new self in Jesus Christ. We have been freed from the chains of sin! Should we stay as slaves to it any longer? It is my choice. It is your choice. Choose the One that honors the One who freed you.

That being said, you’re going to screw up. That wasn’t said to be negative. It was said because it’s legit. You should do your best to keep away from sin, and temptation. But, even the “best” christians have had downfalls. We all struggle. Believing in Jesus does not give us the ability to live in absolute perfection while here on earth. Guard Yourself, memorize God’s Word, whatever you need to do to help keep you from the sin that comes so easy to you. Then, if, and when you screw up here and there, don’t beat yourself up. Again, I’m mostly talking to myself here. I mess up, a lot, and when I do, I’m very quick to become angry at myself, dwelling on it with thoughts like “Did you really do that again? How stupid can you be? Will you ever learn? You don’t deserve these kids, this husband, etc. ” These thoughts quickly send me into a feeling of worthlessness. Worthlessness is a feeling of depression, an “I may as well stop trying, because I can’t do it right anyways” type of feeling. This leads to more anger, more frustration, and more sin.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Did you hear me?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

What if, when we screw up, we took it to prayer immediately? We took it to the Lord, who already knows us, our thoughts, our actions, our intents, through and through… and said sorry? We’ve got to mean it. I mean, we’ve all experienced an “apology” from someone that was not genuine. God knows if you’re genuine. If you’re truly sorry, will you keep on sinning, or try to change? Keep trying. Keep asking forgiveness when the trying still fails. And then try again. Stop hating yourself. Feeling of self pity get us nowhere. I am definitely not being a light to Christ if I am constantly dwelling on myself-  that quickly turns to selfishness in the form of self-pity.

I am loved by a God who saw me as someone worth dying for. Someone of eternal value. I may not see many good qualities in myself, but thankfully my thoughts are not the ones that matter most. There is hope when all I feel is darkness. And that hope comes from the One who made me and knows me. I just have to actually look up once in a while.

 

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “When You Aren’t Who You Thought You Would Be.

  1. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse is from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an ADVOCATE with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. 1st John 1:8-2:2

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, why is this the first time, maybe second, reading something of yours??? It’s beautifully written Britny! And i am really it at a time in my my where this All rings true in my life. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s