Today is a mundane, safe, war-free, starvation-free day.
If I’ve settled in promptly after preparing this post, I’ll have had under six hours of sleep. (I’m a nine-hour person.) I’ll then be cleaning the house from wakeup till midafternoon. We’ll briefly entertain the presence of a person from the bank, who will assess this mess so that our equity’s up to date. I will close by spending the evening, till about 10:30 pm, being the chauffeur for a young dancer and enjoying an overdue visit with a friend.
But the tiredness. It’s bad, and it’s got a root. I’ve gotten poor at “casting all my cares on Him [God], because He cares for you.”
Not that I’ve forgotten He cares. It’s all around me, and I can’t write of this without qualifying it with the peace and blessing in which I live. But lately, our home life is riddled with an overload of minor cares that have built up. When I returned from The Honeymoon, I had nightmares… about family scheduling. About having to be in two places at once, and failing my community because my logistics skipped a cog.
It’s something that’s bigger than a list. I need to find the peaceful place again. But I’m afraid that it’s gone and vanished, and it’s never coming back. I’m afraid that if I look for it, the gyre will widen and I’ll only see more suckage. I’m afraid that I’m not up to the task… a feeling that has chased me all my parenting years, often to crippling extents.
So, here’s another one: “Perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment; and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
Not that the Apostle John expected anyone to be perfect at love, but the sense is one of having a big piece missing from the picture. I know full well that missing piece is Romans 8: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
But at what point does this become rote self-talk, no different than a generic positivity mantra? Stopped clocks read true twice a day, and any spark of a truism can improve the feelings temporarily if it seems to fit the circumstances.
I don’t know how to raise teenagers, and yet I have three of them, as of next month. This is pretty intense.
It’s hard to give my babies over into the Eternal Hands. But it’s even harder to try to hold this life on my own two shoulders, and I can’t. It makes me angry, and alone, and resentful, and fearful.
Because I do feel very alone, in a very human way. And that’s the thing that Christians don’t really talk about. We’re supposed to rely on relationship with God, and relationship with community. We’re the “never alone” people, according to legend. But there comes a point when none of that really contains a human touch. It’s all theory.
At this point in life, I’m supposed to be the human touch for a lot of other people, but I don’t feel humanized by it. I feel drained. And it’s not that I need more reciprocity; I don’t. I don’t want people doing things for me, giving advice, or offering to help (unless it’s dishes. I always say yes to help with dishes).
I just need to know that, in a life of so much blessing, it’s okay if the problem today is me.
I need to know it’s okay to be imperfect at love.