I’m generally pretty good when it comes to dealing with things that don’t go my way. I’m not the most flexible person when it comes to schedule interruptions, but when hard things come our way, I’m pretty good at the getting over it and getting on with life. I’ve very much a realist. I always try to see the good in everything. I pretty much believe there is a solution to every problem, but you’ll rarely find me living in the land of denial.
Sometimes, however, I just have a moment . . . or a few hours . . . or maybe even a couple days . . . and honestly, that’s what happened this week. All of it kind of hit me. It wasn’t/isn’t just that I’m tired of all of this. It went beyond that. I just felt such immense disappointment and overwhelmed by all the things.
I love my children more than life itself. But, with the exception of a few short hours here and there and of course, while they’re sleeping, I’ve been with them almost continually since March 13th. A little background . . .
My youngest was adopted, from an orphanage, at almost three and has some special needs due to what she endured in that orphanage . . . some developmental but more emotional and sensory. I don’t talk about them a ton, mostly because she deserves both privacy and protection. She’s an absolute rock star. She’s made massive progress since coming home, and God’s faithfulness has been beyond evident. While, this time has been good for her in many ways, in other ways, it has made her more clingy and anxious as she tries to navigate so much uncertainty. I know other kids are feeling major anxiety right now and may have seemingly similar issues, but adopted and special needs kiddos are just different . . . put adoption and special needs together, and it can be rough. There is a deep seated fear of abandonment coupled with the effects on the brain from past starvation and neglect . . . it’s like comparing apples to broccoli. She is right by my side for a large portion of her waking hours and has had, over the course of the past five months, a handful of pretty big meltdowns. She needs a lot of stimulation and a lot of attention, and we continue to work on all of her academic, social, and emotional skills as well. I adore her. So very much. I adore her kisses and hugs and cuddles, but as someone who needs space and quiet to recharge, the nonstop-ness of it all can leave me drained. And y’all let me add, it’s the middle of the summer, and I’ve read The Night Before Christmas 875 times since March 13th. Jesus take the wheel. The blessing with this kiddo is she’s a pretty awesome and mostly peaceful sleeper . . . many of the other parents have joked that we adopted the only Bulgarian kiddo that likes to sleep.
Then there’s my oldest. He’s sweet, and independent, and helpful, and intelligent . . . but he’s almost 13 and very hormonal. Do I need to say anymore??? Why did God create puberty <insert face palm right here>??? (That’s rhetorical . . . no need to answer . . .) This (man) child has never been a sleeper. And now, he thinks that means he should get to stay up late, with my husband and me, which often leads to lots of heavy sighs, and I’m sure covert eye rolls when we finally make him go to bed (yes, we compromise with him . . . he’s not going to bed at 8:00 p.m.).
My husband often works six or seven days a week and many evenings, and our time together, without any interruptions, is usually relegated to ten o’clock (or later) at night. We’ve never been the type to go on weekly or even monthly dates, not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not worked out that way for us. But the fact that we haven’t really done anything alone together since early March coupled with absolutely no dates and cancelling two different trips sans kids (and dog), the pandemic, that in person school for Anna will not start until at least mid-September (and I completely agree with that decision but . . . wahhhh!!!), Patrick’s insane and long working hours . . . which let me say: (1) I’m so thankful for a husband that works so hard to provide for his family so do not hear me wrong and (2) I’m even more thankful for God’s provision at this time . . . and the Groundhog-esque Day situation in which we now find ourselves . . .
I. Had. A. Moment.
If you’ve read this far, you just read a whole heck of a lot of whining, but sometimes you just have to get it all out. And sometimes others need to know you’re right there with them. Even if our situations aren’t exactly, or even close to, the same, a lot of us are at the point where tired has now become the understatement of the year. We’re weary and fatigued, and we feel like there’s no right answer or solution. So I’m here to say, I get it. I get how you’re feeling.
Of course, in the middle of this pity party, I realized that it’s fine to have a moment, my feelings and frustrations are valid as are yours, but I can’t live in this place of disappointment and frustration. I also really did not want to stop feeling sorry for myself. And I absolutely did not want to pray or ask God to help me to work through and process all of this. I half heartedly asked for help, hopeful that I’d be left alone to my own feelings, and God immediately brought this scripture back to my mind <insert smirk here> . . .
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Here’s the thing, this has been a scripture which God has brought back to my attention, on repeat, for over two years. I’m not great at it. I tend to ruminate on things and let anxiety and emotions build to the point of almost exploding. But I do see small steps toward progress. I’ve gotten better at stepping back and verbalizing what I’m feeling in a way that is more healthy than just lashing out at those around me (better does not equal perfect), and I’ve become much more aware of where my thoughts land. But it’s not an overnight thing. It’s about learning to lean in to God, and the key is not in anything I do or say, but in those last seven words, “O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer”. None of this can be done in my own power. On my own, the most I can accomplish will be behavior modification, but with His strength and redemption I have no doubt I can see a major heart transformation. We all can. And with Him, those things that affect us today can become nothing more than a passing annoyance, if even that, in the future.
So if you’re feeling all the feelings today, I totally empathize. I’m with you, and I’m praying for you.
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