I think the process of not being able to recognize myself stemmed from putting more value on who I was not rather than who I was. I can’t keep the house clean. I can’t keep the kids' toys organized. I can’t keep up with the laundry mountain. I can’t keep up with my family’s growth. I had everything I needed except the ability to adapt quickly. When things were changing around me, I was still operating as if nothing had changed. This caused me to become frustrated and feel unable to function, which led to disbelief in myself and disappointment. It didn’t help that I would compare myself to others or that my husband would also complain about what I wasn't doing in the midst of me trying to do everything, in such an inefficient way. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, isolated, and I didn’t know what to do. Looking at what was wrong and wishing it was different is not the same as changing things. It’s also extremely depressing to look at all of my problems at once. I would approach problems with nothing in mind but venting, complaining and wishing someone understood what I was going through, hoping the answer would be handed to me. “Can’t someone just show me exactly how to do it?”, I repeatedly wished. I wanted my own mom to mother me differently and be the proverbial older woman in the rocking chair who would sit and listen to me and then direct me with all the things I wish someone would just tell me. To her credit, she listened to me talk, sometimes for hours and hours, and the conversation, more like a one-sided venting session, almost always ended with her encouraging me to pray about it, to take it to my heavenly father, because he already knows what we need, she would say. I longed for the wisdom that could counsel me to fix the problems, make the right choices, take the shortcuts, and lessen the risks of life. That was the proble
m. I didn’t realize it then, but I had the answers. The picture of the woman in the rocking chair was my own mind’s way of telling ME to sit down and think…. Think through the problems. Slow down, pray about it, and figure it out. The collective of wise words that actually had been deposited into my spirit over time from my mother, mentors, friends, church leaders, teachers were all already there, waiting to speak, waiting to be heard, waiting for me to listen, but I didn’t recognize her as being inside of me. I thought the help I needed was supposed to come from outside of my life. I didn’t want to just hear from this woman. I wanted to be this woman, a matriarch, a warrior, an intercessor, a fortress, and a gentle, quiet force to be reckoned with. I didn’t know that’s who I saw myself as, actually, or that I had that much value in the first place. I was taught and believed that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” as stated in the scriptures; however, experiencing the wonderful and the fearful is what I longed for even though it was already there. I was already the me I wishI wasn’t, buried beneath the overgrowth of life happening so fast. The me I want to be does exist. I’ll meet her soon enough, as I continue to process, think, dream and pursue getting to know her, listen to her, plan for her… discovering and loving me
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
*The Message Bible Translation