Maybe you are one of those chipper, optimistic moms. You may have a sunny outlook on your future and that of your family while you glitter glue toilet paper rolls with your toddler while wearing a baby on your back and designer heels on your feet. Maybe your all-organic five-course vegetarian meals are met with a standing ovation by each and every member of your family, your husband greets you with a lusty kiss every evening that you feel like it, and your teens white-glove the house from top to bottom every day that ends in “y.”
If so, you and I have nothing in common and you should stop reading this blog. And don’t write a blog, either, because we don’t want to hear about it.
I want to quit every day.
Don’t you? We joke about it, we threaten our husbands with it, we make memes and girlfriend jokes about it. It’s funny because it’s true: we all want to quit. The difference among us is how badly we want to quit and what we do about it.
I went through a seven-year stretch in which I fantasized daily about driving my minivan over the side of a bridge into a river. It wasn’t just a passing joke, either. I spent serious time wondering what it would feel like — the rush of adrenaline mixed with awe as the vehicle free-fell for a couple brief yet magical minutes, the sudden crash into the murky surface of the water, the slow yet gentle ooze of the liquid death rising around my feet. I became increasingly accustomed to the thought; my watery grave beckoned daily, a welcome relief from the stress, the pressure, the pain.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands…
The pull of the murky waves grew stronger each day, week, month that passed by. Season upon season it called me forth. I found myself gripping the steering wheel for dear life every time I drove across the bridge to the grocery store. Don’t look down, don’t think about it, don’t look at it…the pull grew so strong I avoided driving to that part of town altogether.
Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded. — 2 Chron. 15:7
I’m not the only mom. I had a friend who also white-knuckled bridges. Some lock up the pain medications, others put the knives in a high cabinet “to keep them away from the children,” or buy her husband an electric razor so she could throw away all the blades.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you are there.
You are a hero.
Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. — Gal. 6:9
Dry your eyes, look in the mirror, and give yourself a pat on the back.
You did it today. You drove across the bridge — or avoided it altogether.
You protected yourself, your family, your children from harm.
You made the very ordinary choice to live another day.
And that ordinary choice has extraordinary impact.
Because you didn’t give up, because you didn’t quit …
- your child has a mother.
- your friend has a confidante.
- your husband has a spouse.
- your sibling has a sister.
- your parents have a daughter.
- your community has a neighbor.
- your church has a sister in Christ.
- your life has extraordinary influence.
There are dark days, hard months, painful years. I emerged from mine stronger, gentler, happier, wiser. You will, too.
Don’t give up. It’s not over.