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When you’re not OK

I just dropped Bradley off at the airport for a 12 day work trip to Europe.  I agreed to this trip when I was still very pregnant and the thought of him being gone for two weeks was no big deal; I could handle four and I knew the baby would be at least six weeks old when he left.  Plus, he’s in the Navy, so it’s not like we have an option with these sorts of things.

Last night, as we were heading to bed, Bradley said:

Are you going to be okay while I’m gone?”

Before he had even really finished asking me, I replied with a pretty strong, “No.”

No, I’m not going to be okay handling discipline by myself.

No, I’m not going to be okay holding Cooper for three hours every night before he finally goes to sleep.

No, I’m not going to be okay without Bradley’s reminders of how I should respond to the kids when I’m irritated and worn out.

That’s how I feel.

I’m tired physically, emotionally, and mentally.  So the thought of doing this on my own is exhausting.

But, the truth?

The truth is that I might not feel okay but God will enable.

Yes, I will most likely screw something up.

Yes, there will be tears and struggles probably daily.

Yes, I’ll be worn thin by the end of the day.

And so it’s in times like this when I especially need to think on what is true.

God is my strength.

God is my refuge and a present help in times of trouble.

God loves me.

God is good.

God is faithful.

If I focus on my weariness, the disobedience, the irritations,  I won’t be okay.  Because I’ll be trying to figure things out, complaining, or going through my days in my own strength.

When I fix my eyes on Jesus, I might not be okay, but God will uphold me.  Because I’ll be living in His power, dependent upon His strength, rejoicing over and over in the gift of God’s presence.

It’s mostly in times when I don’t feel okay— when I’m struggling, grieving, or life’s circumstances seem most difficult–that the Lord teaches me more about my weaknesses and His strength.  As challenging and sometimes hurtful as they can be, seasons of difficulty can become the most precious times because we come to know God in a deeper way.

And we learn that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” us because we have Jesus.

One of my favorite songs came on while we were driving to the airport this afternoon, and Bradley and I both agreed that it was exactly what we needed to part on:

“In the morning when I rise,
in the morning when I rise.
In the morning when I rise,
give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus.
You can have all the world,
but give me Jesus.”

When I’m not okay, just give me Jesus.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Doris Totman

    Praying for you while Bradley is gone. My Dave is gone for 6 days, teaching in Jamaica (while I am here snowed in in Harrisburg) 🙂
    But not complaining. No kids to care for, just myself. However, was glad to read your blog, to remind me to pray for you and so many others in similar situations. Love you and love your insights. Stay strong in the Lord!

    January 25, 2016 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Kiera Erickson

    I will pray for you this week Laura! God is with you and He is our strength when we are weak. I remember feeling similar feelings (although I don’t have 5 kids!) when we first arrived in Africa and Tim had to travel to Kenya for a week. I was NOT ok with the idea of being alone with 3 kiddos to navigate our new life. In the end God’s presence was more evident than normal and we made it. I’m sure I lost my temper and cried and felt afraid at times but I know that God was with us! I’ll be thinking of you!

    January 26, 2016 at 6:43 am
  • Reply Cindy Duncan

    Oh sweet friend, I will be praying for you in the days ahead. And remember – there’s no shame if you serve your kids fish sticks and pizza, they stay in their pj’s, and you never get a shower while Bradley’s away 😉 And there’s no shame in asking for help <3

    January 26, 2016 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Jenn A

    Yes!

    January 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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