Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rumbling with fear

One week from today (if Grayson doesn't come any sooner on his own) I'll be holding our new baby and if I'm being honest, I have really  been struggling lately with feeling anxious about this transition.  There were moments over the weekend where I was literally screaming and crying at my kids because I felt so overwhelmed.

I've been reading Brené Brown's book "Rising Strong" and it is amazing how it is giving me a framework for working through these moments. I don't know if you ever read a practical book and they are giving you phrases and while you would probably never say this out loud, in your head you're thinking "that's so stupid I would never say that." Until you find yourself using the phrase. For me this phrase is "the story I'm telling myself." I think it's clunky and awkward and I have been using it constantly since I read about it.

Over the weekend I was able to back up and recognize that "the story I'm telling myself" is this:  if I'm feeling this overwhelmed with the five kids I have now I am going to totally loose it when we add a sixth. That if I am barely making it with the kids right now everything is going to fall apart once Grayson is born.

I realized over the weekend that the reason I was feeling overwhelmed and over-reacting wasn't just because my kids weren't listening to me, or because I'm pregnant and extra-hormonal and starting to edge into late-pregnancy sleep deprivation, it's because I'm feeling fearful about the future. It is that fear that is making me over-react.

I was able to see this going on and so I sent out an emergency text to my sister.  She texted me later with an encouragement that helped shift my perspective off of my lack and onto God's provision.

Today has been really tough. I'm feeling super anxious to the point of also feeling depressed. Working through some of the "rising strong" process I noticed today that one of the things I'm most fearful of is disappointment - I don't want to image this wonderful new addition bringing joy into our lives only to face the hard days and be disappointed. 

The truth is that we are going to have bad days, days we barely get through, and we are going to have good days. We are going to love this new little one and after awhile we won't be able to imagine life without him. There will be moments when I miss strolling through Target with Eli and sitting in a cafe sipping coffee with my calm, sweet boy. Then there will be moments in my couch, in my Jammie's, smelling that sweet newborn smell and not wanting to trade anything in the whole wide world for this moment. 

I read this today and it seemed profound: imperfect does not equal inadequate. 

The weeks and months ahead will be imperfect and I will undoubtedly respond imperfectly to the challenges of bringing a new member into our family, but that does not mean I am inadequate. Not in the way that I fear I will be. I may face a season of weakness and neediness but there is also special grace for these seasons.  

In church this Sunday we sang the chorus "your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out in me" and I thought yes that is what I have been afraid of. I have been afraid that God's love and His grace and His wisdom and His mercy will run out. I am afraid that six kids will be just too much. That I will need too much patience, too much grace, too much gentleness. That I will run out - and His grace will run out. 

The truth is His grace never runs out, no matter what season or stage of life we are walking through, what trial or temptation we face or what we are going through big or small. His grace is always sufficient, always enough.

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