Sometimes, life can just be hard for awhile... and it doesn’t seem like it will ease up. It’s like the phrase, “When it rains, it pours,” and when that rain starts to fall, it feels like a flash flood and you are trying desperately to grasp onto anything to stay afloat.
We’ve all been there before, time and time again. I don’t need to bore you with details, but this little face of Caleb’s (pictured above) is exactly how I feel some days lately. It feels we get slammed with a lot of little things, right after another, many times overlapping. You know the feeling, right?
On this particular day when I took this picture of Caleb, he had just woken up an hour prior from being sedated for a MRI scan to check for cancer in his little body. After his procedure was finished, we had to wait around for over 3 hours while Emma was getting her MRI scans completed. Caleb sure was not happy with me, in fact, he was straight up mad at me. Who could blame a little 14 month old for feeling this way after having to fast, wake up early, be held down by his mother and nurses while getting an IV in his hand, and then given drugs to make him drowsy? All of this was followed by a tired baby who just wanted to be home and eat everything in sight, without his annoying mother following his every wobbly footstep.
Caleb kept insisting he wanted to get in the car and navigate it himself, and every time I slyly placed my hand on the back of the car to help push or direct it, he screeched at me. In his mind, I was making his life harder and I was trying to keep him from where he wanted to go, when in fact, I was giving him the necessary force in order to actually move and giving him a little steadiness to keep him from bumping into everything and everyone around him. Without my help, Caleb would have been stuck going nowhere. This continued on for an hour or so, and then FINALLY (!) he stopped getting angry and he let me work with him on getting the car around the hospital.
Don’t we all do this in our lives? We feel we know what is best, where we need to go, how fast we need to get there, and above all, that we can do it alone.
Reflecting on the past few weeks, this was my exact behavior during my rainstorms. (And, may I add, I’m not as cute throwing mental tantrums as my little toddler is!). Frustration that I can’t do everything on my own, disappointment that my life has had deep loss, worry for my children’s future, exhaustion that I can’t meet my own expectations of myself, and even some anger that Tony is gone were all deeply seeded in my chest as I felt that I didn’t deserve to go through so much more “hard” considering the past few years of my life. I felt that all these expectations around me for my future and the future of my children were not acheived when and how I wanted, and I quietly began to feel a bit sorry for myself.
About a week ago, my mom noticed my frustrations and asked to come over to visit. I finally laid out all my worries and concerns in my present life to her, not holding any feelings back. We talked for a few hours and I started to feel so much better (my mom is an amazing listener; which is such a rare talent!). Perspective came back to my mind and then over a few days I re-evaluated my expectations and came up with a more realistic game plan for my hard days. But above all this, I had to learn again that I can’t be in control of every situation; I had to let go and trust in Heavenly Father that He will be with me every step I take— and that I can let Him push and direct my little car with me so that I am going in the direction and at the speed that is needed to best help me reach my destination.
Those feelings that I can’t do “hard” anymore— they still come and go in brief moments— but when I remember to trust my Father in heaven and to look toward the future with hope, those feelings aren’t drowning me. When I let go of my pride, the help needed comes freely to my children and me. And that is the only way that I can look at all the drenching rain around me and see that the sun will shine through soon and all the beautiful flowers around me will bloom bigger and brighter than ever before.