Yes, I admit it. I am a mess. A total disaster. I have piles of laundry. I can’t remember the last time I got a haircut. My clothes are always stained and most of my jeans are ripped at the knees. My kids have sticky hands and faces and they all need haircuts too. They all disobey and forget their chores and sometimes I even raise my voice. I say things that I later think are too strict or too lenient or just too crazy.
I forget appointments and run late for church (and many other things) and I am always trying my best to keep my six year old and two year old from running off. I see the looks of pity or sometimes contempt from moms with obedient, calm and clean children at their side and I want to explain that we have “issues,” but I am too busy keeping the kids out of traffic.
We don’t always finish our assignments. We don’t always even start all our assignments. My almost three year old is not potty trained and she is the one that has no known neurological issues. I often forget to thank the wonderful people in our lives and I forget to thank the Lord for my many blessings. For all of this, and so much more, I have felt guilty. And don’t forget about feeling guilty for wasting time feeling guilty.
Motherhood means lots of guilt for many of us and for those of us who have children with special needs, that guilt is compounded. Was it the chocolate I ate when I was pregnant – or maybe the GMOs or the chemicals that I used cleaning the bathroom? In reality it may have been all of those things or none of those things. Those things are unknowns, but there are other things that I do know.
I do know is that I love my family deeply. I know that I love my God profoundly. I know that I am learning to love them all better. I trust the Lord more than I did before and I believe that He is FOR us and He is not surprised or bewildered by our problems. I believe that He wants our ultimate good even more than I do. I believe that I am my children’s mom for a reason and that all of these struggles have changed and refined me in good ways. I also believe that there are many more mountains to climb, more pain to bear, more faith to build, but I have faith that our battles are not in vain.
I have come to realize that faith doesn’t have time for mommy guilt. Faith moves forward, not back. Faith learns from mistakes, repents of sin and takes a new path. Faith is the “hupostasis” (the assurance, the “substance”, the guarantee, our “handle”) on those things that we cannot yet see with our eyes. I build my life on the invisible things that I will one day see – the purpose in the difficulty, the building of my trust in God’s goodness, the “success” (in whatever way) of my children, the other things that I have not even imagined yet, but I believe are there. Those things motivate me and give me strength.
Yes, I am still a mess, but I am a mess with a purpose and I can live with that.