“You’re so strong”
“I couldn’t do it”
“I’m in awe of you”
I can’t tell you how many times someone said or wrote these words to me over the past three years. Usually at the moments I felt the weakest, the least awesome, knowing that any moment I couldn’t do it anymore.
Those words spurred two very different responses.
They were the encouragement that felt like God’s hand on my back, pushing me forward when I wanted to throw myself on the ground and throw a good, old-fashioned, down-in-the-dirt, drag-me-off-by-my-arm tantrum.
They often pissed me off. They felt like pressure to be something I wasn’t. I didn’t FEEL strong. I didn’t WANT to be awesome. Each day was a toss up whether I could do it or not.
I struggled with those words because I never tried to present myself as a superhero mom…cause I’m not. OH, AM I NOT!! I hung on by faith and love and by sheer stubbornness, unwilling to give in or give up…because, in all honesty, I knew a day could come that our ability to fight would be over, we would have no more chances….and I never wanted to look back and know that we hadn’t given it our all.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have those days when tears seemed the only answer…when God’s fingers on my back felt faint and I had no more spirit to go on…days when I just wanted it to be done, good or bad, I wanted it over.
“You are so strong”
On a day when I vented how much I resented my daughter getting sick because of how it sucked every tiny bit of life out of us until we felt we had no more to give.
“I couldn’t do it”
Do you see any other option? Do you think I WANT to do it? Show me what’s behind door #2 and I’ll gladly take it to make this all go away.
“I’m in awe of you.”
Don’t be. Because I fail on a daily basis. Sometimes my failure is an hourly thing. There was nothing awesome about it. There was pretty much “today sucked” or “today didn’t suck QUITE as much”.
Those words would grate on me because I felt like they were weighing on me to be something I just wasn’t. I wasn’t strong. I didn’t have a choice, I didn’t want to do it. There was no awe to be found in me.
My kid? Yeah. She deserved all those words. But not me.
Over the past years, I’ve been blessed to know or to read the words of people who’ve survived greater challenges….who are enduring them daily. Things that offer no hope of healing…things that will never go away…things they will never look back and think “wow, that was rough! but it’s over.”
Pain that will last a lifetime.
The silence of a home that used to burst with a child’s laughter.
The aftermath of a crash that transforms everything.
Mistakes that led to tragedy.
And they shared it. They used words to take us there with them. For a brief moment we live in their world.
Then we get to leave.
We go about our normal daily existence.
But hopefully their words don’t disappear. They remind you to be thankful…to be faithful…to be more loving…to be stronger….to be forgiving…to be patient…to never take for granted anything you have…to stop always wanting more…to find your awe…to know that regardless of how much you may want to give up you can, in fact, get through it.
Whatever it may be.