I’m currently a part of a challenge group on Facebook (more info at the bottom of this post), and this month’s “challenge blog post” if you will, wanted us to talk about what has been motherhood’s biggest surprise.
Friends, family, fellow mamas, I have STRUGGLED with this challenge! I have really had a difficult time narrowing down what has surprised me the most in this journey of mothering that I am on right now. But, this challenge was so good for me because it forced me to take a look at some deep issues that I have been burying and trying to ignore instead of fleshing them out and taking them to God.
So, here it goes…motherhood’s biggest surprise…
Seriously? Yes, seriously. The biggest “thing” that has taken me by surprise the most in my threeish years as a mom is the overwhelming loneliness that seems to sneak up on me. Now, I have to admit, it makes me both giggle and want to burst in to tears just typing this post. Giggles for the fact that there are definitely times where I wish for some alone time. Tears because even surrounded by my husband and kids, I have felt so very alone.
Why do I feel alone? I have an amazing husband, and I have the children of my heart. It doesn’t make sense. But, I think maybe, just maybe, feeling alone as a mother isn’t that uncommon.
Do you ever feel that way?
Those midnight feedings…or 2am feedings…or 4am feedings (depending on if your baby is super needy like mine or not) seem to be the hardest. Call it postpartum depression or whatever you feel like, but some of the most intense feelings of just being ALONE creep up on me during those times.
How about when your husband is doing something-anything-other than helping you talk with your angst-ridden pre-teen daughter about some serious heart issues? I know I sure feel like I’m alone in the trenches when it comes to those scenarios.
How about when you are with your extended family and you’re so busy caring for your children that you miss out on the large majority of the adult conversation. Or worse, when you are just simply excluded from the conversation altogether. Loneliness.
My mamas out there reading this, if you walk away with anything from this post, please let this be the thing that you take with you. You are NOT alone.
As I thought about and prayed and prayed and then prayed some more over this post, I did a lot of soul-searching and spent time with God in his Word. And, I have to say that, for me, I know that a lot of the feelings of loneliness that I have are because I am not going to God like I should be, whether it’s in prayer or reading his Word. I’m not saying that the feelings of loneliness are automatically going to disappear, but my attitude towards those times of loneliness is what is going to make all the difference.
My fellow in-the-trenches mamas, you are not alone. I am not alone. Some of my favorite passages of Scripture that I turn to when the loneliness that I feel presses down on me are found in the Psalms. I share just a few of them with you.
Psalm 73:23-28 I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
Psalm 31: 3-6 For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
4 You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, Lord, God of truth.
There are so many more that I could share with you, but, friend, as you read this post and meditate on these verses from Scripture, I pray that they are a balm for your hurting spirit, and that the comfort that I have found in these verses will also be a comfort for you. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I do know that we have a good God to whom we can turn in times of loneliness.
As I close out this post, I want to encourage you to also talk with your spouse, close friend, mother, father, etc…about these feelings of loneliness. I know for myself, whenever I start to feel lonely, I start withdrawing from my husband, my kids, my family in general. God never intended for us to be islands to ourselves, and seeking out help for the loneliness is absolutely vital. And know this, dear mama who feels alone tonight. I am praying for you.
You are not alone.
This Simply Wild Ride (Sarah Ray Bartlett) is an exclusive member of Becky Thompson’s Writer Network. For more information on how to join, go to www.BeckyThompsonCourse.com