Monday, October 31, 2016

To the person hanging on by a thread

I see you, friend.

You're at the fire station helping three of your kids in and out of the new fire engine with your youngest strapped to your chest.  You don't think you can ever pull it together but you don't see what we see.  We see a strong woman doing what's best for her kiddos, even if their dad is out of the picture for the night or forever.

You're at work where things continue to pile up with deadlines approaching and stress at an all time high.  You don't see how you will ever get everything done, let alone on time.  But you don't see that you are making progress, not just at work but at home and in the lives of your children you build into day after day.

You're busy at work and you get the call that your babysitter can't pick up your kids.  You leave in a hurry but miss that important meeting with your boss.  You feel like this couldn't have been a worse time for this to happen but you are taking care of your kids.  You put them first and your boss will (hopefully) see that you care so much for your kids, that's why you work so hard for him.

You're up for the third time in the middle of the night with your child who has nightmares.  You could use more sleep and just want to go to bed but you realize they are only little for a small amount of time.  You cuddle and rock, and breathe them in because you never know when they might not need you anymore.

You're doing your best to juggle all the responsibilities of work, and home to what seems no avail.  You get home and your wife is juggling her share of things too.  You do your best to greet her with a smile but she's doing her best to get dinner on the table and keep the kids from killing each other before dinner.  This isn't what you pictured adulthood, or marriage, or parenthood to look like.  But you don't see that every effort you do to bring in the money to put food on the table, or pay for those soccer teams for your kids, or dozen roses for your wife are making a lasting impression.  It isn't futile, and they see you providing.  They see you doing your best to juggle everything.  They are doing their best to juggle too, and as soon as you realize you are on a team together instead of opposing sides it will make it easier.

You're in your first semester of college and can't seem to get a hang of the pace of the classes.  No matter how much you study, or how hard you try with flashcards you can't seem to make good enough grades on the tests.  You feel like maybe you weren't ready, or maybe the haters were right, but you don't see that almost everyone is going through the same thing right now in your classes.  The pace is much faster than high school and you'll get the hang of it soon.  It may seem like forever until you finish this semester let alone graduate but it will actually be there before you know it.  Keep on keeping on and if you need help, ask for it!  There are plenty of resources out there for you, it isn't a sign a weakness, but strength, to admit you need help.

You're trying to make everyone else happy at the expense of your soul.  You go, go, go until there is nothing left but the shell of who you used to be.  Remember to put on your oxygen mask.  You can't help anyone else if you don't help yourself first.  I used to think that it was so weird that the airlines always remind you to put your mask on first before helping your kid or neighbor with theirs.  I always thought that you were supposed to help others who were younger or otherwise more helpless first and then serve yourself.  I mean that's what we do at dinner right?  Shouldn't that be in the rest of life too?  No, actually it's not.  You see, if you don't take care and time to put on your own oxygen mask first, you can maybe help one person or even two if you are lucky with theirs and then, well you likely pass out and are completely useless.  You may even not survive, but if you take care of yourself first by putting your mask on, then you can help a whole slew of others without tiring.

I know you're tired.

I know you're done with the way things are.

I know you're likely underappreciated.

And you may work twice as hard as everyone else and still can't seem to get ahead of things coming at you.

You feel really ready to just give up trying.

You know who else sees you?  Our loving Father.  And although you may not feel like it right now, but you are enough.  In fact, you are enough because He is more than enough.  You don't have to act like you have it all together anymore.  You can admit defeat and surrender control of whatever is going on in your life.

I know, I know.  Easier said than done.  Or maybe you've tried that and still nothing seems to help?  Well friend, I've been there too.  In fact, I still have to remind myself that it isn't all up to me.  And that's certainly a good thing and relief!  God is in control.  He's the ultimate provider.  He knew everything about you and your life before you were even born.

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