I wrote this devotional for our mom's group and thought I would share the ramblings of my heart.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
During service our Pastor spoke about the fear of loneliness. He said that loneliness is an epidemic that effects 60 million Americans. I immediately leaned over to Chad and said “I have the opposite problem- I want to be alone and no one ever leaves me alone” He looked a little hurt and I immediately retracted- “I want to be alone with you….I mean….I mean…just away from being someone’s mom, just for a night. I mean….” And then I laughed nervously and said just kidding. So that got me thinking about my knee jerk reaction, as a mom, am I actually really lonely?
I have found motherhood to be the conundrum of loneliness. You have no choice but to be surrounded by people at all times. One of my facebook friends posted “I use to want it all and now I just want to go to the bathroom alone.” How many times have you heard your name called in the last 24 hours? You are the least lonely person on the planet. You are wanted, loved and needed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year…Yet….motherhood is lonely. Isolating.
We isolate ourselves with these restless natives we call our children. A lot of times instead of going to church it’s just easier to stay home. Think about tonight. How many schedules did you tweak, adjust and rearrange just to get here? Sometimes its just easier to be alone. I remember speaking of my fellow adoptive moms after her son came home from Russia. She had to stop going to her mom’s play date group because of some of his undesirable behaviors. I remember her saying that she felt the other moms were judging her because of his aggressiveness. Were they judging her? Maybe. Was she just isolating herself because she felt inadequate? Most likely. We get broken in our loneliness.
Lets go back to our bible verse. A cord of three is not easily broken. By being here tonight you are reinforcing that cord. Binding together with other moms breaks the feeling of loneliness. More specifically, binding together with non-judgmental moms that have walked this path before or are walking the exact same path now breaks the cycle of loneliness. Moms that have survived epic public meltdowns, teenagers flunking out of school, getting mixed up in the wrong crowd, first dates, first heartbreaks, potty training. Seeking support and (solicited!) advice fortifies our lifelines. Furthermore, taking time for yourself and enjoying self-inflicted solitude (what I was poorly conveying to my husband) is a good thing too.
Most importantly, that cord is three fold. You, your support system (hopefully that will be Re:Fresh) and first and foremost with Christ. He is the thread that holds us together when we are stretched to the breaking point. He is our grace when we feel like we are failing as a parent. He is our joy when we are running late, can’t find anyone’s shoes and someone spills grape juice on the carpet. He is our comfort when we just want to cry. He’s the one at the end of an exhausting day you can run to with your burdens and shortcomings. He is the one cheering you on at the finish line when it’s all said and done saying “Well done my good and faithful servant”. Well done my good and faithful MOM servant. I know you. You are the one with the cold dinner. The one folding a mountain of laundry. The one cleaning up the barf. From the kids, the dog, everyone. You are the one on your knees at 2am praying for a son that has turned his back on the church. You are the one going without so that your kids are happy and healthy. Your husband left so you are mom and dad. You are the one that doesn't know where the next meal is coming from, but there it is being served on your table. You are the one praying feverishly for your children, your spouse. I know you. And I love you.
So maybe you’re feeling lonely while puzzling over the fact that you are NEVER, EVER alone. Take courage mom, and walk away tonight knowing you are never alone. We are here to pick you up and most importantly, Christ is here eternally to forge a precious thread that will never be broken.