It’s hard to tell when exactly a person goes from being an infant to a baby, a baby to a toddler, a toddler to a child, etc. It has been a little over 2 years now that I’ve been married…and today I am wondering, “When did I go from being a girl to a woman? A wife and a mother?” Maybe it started even before the wedding. It reminds me of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poetic lines: “It is difficult to know at what moment love begins; it is less difficult to know it has begun.”
I don’t know when it happened exactly, but I do know that somewhere in the last few years changes have been happening on the inside and outside of me. Most of them for the better, I trust, but really as I examine myself, I wonder – have I lost something as well?
Here I am. Different. Completely changed circumstances, priorities, location.
I think I’m a little more sober. Less bubbly happy, more deep joy and content. Skin a little weathered, soul a little older (wiser, I pray?). My life is not so hard per se – really it is wonderful and blessed and full. But I’ve lived more. I’ve worked harder and taken on a less glamorous lifestyle. By necessity and choice I spend less time with friends, more time at task. I’ve seen more sadness, experienced more stress (that doesn’t let up, and constant prayer and trusting is the only solution), been alone more and had less alone time. Been distressed and disappointed, and sometimes pleasantly surprised.
Its strange how in some ways I have less tolerance and patience for people and their “issues,” but am also moved to prayer and tears for them at certain times. Facebook enhances this – everyone weighing in their opinions, their complaints – and I think, people probably need my opinion less than half as often as I have one to share. More often than not, I need to disconnect rather than getting frustrated, right? My heart is somewhat hardened by what I perceive to be self-pitying or playing the victim or just plain pessimism. I am becoming something of a cynic when it comes to people and their “problems.” But how silly for me to even think that way! – little me who was moved to tears this week by too little sleep and too much laundry. And isn’t my Father a God of compassion and nearness and understanding? And who am I to understand the depths of their emotions, even if it seems silly to me? God, who holds all my tears in a bottle, surely demands more from me.
I don’t like sensing this “hardening” and I pray the Lord softens it and gives me compassion for those who need it. However, I know it is partially an internal over-correction of seeing legitimate, painful, long-term suffering in some lives around me. The boy whose mama deserted his family and lives overseas, sending presents occasionally to “make up” for her absence. He is distracted and hyper – probably all a facade, as his heart wonders “Why is my Mama gone?” Who is loving and nurturing him? And what of the sweet godly women who live with hard, unbelieving husbands? They serve their husbands selflessly every day and are faithful wives in what must sometimes seem an impossible situation – only a pure love for Christ and obedience to Him could move them to endure. I pray that their husbands may be won by experiencing such love. And then there’s the lovely mama, with a houseful of children, who still carries the sadness of losing a baby girl. She felt her move inside the womb for months. She gave her a name, painted her room, and then gave birth to a struggling, deformed child who died in a day. Their sorrows are so real and heavy…and so many lives are full of them.
Anyway – how have I changed? To be sure, I wouldn’t roll back time. There is no other life I would rather live than mine. I think that on the whole, Christ is pleased – I do wholeheartedly (most-of-my-heartedly??) live for him. I trust that the work of my hands is not of wood, hay and stubble, but rather one little obedient act built upon another built upon the foundation (Christ) that will come forth as gold tried by fire one day.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings and sorting-outs of things regarding “growing up”…;-) I want to grow up more into Christ and maturity, but man – sometimes growth is really hard work! 🙂
God bless you this Wednesday! ❤