Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A note to future me

Today, things are good.

My health is good.  My kids are healthy.  My husband is healthy.
My marriage is fun.  It's happy.  We're communicating.  We're intimate.
My parenting is under control.  For now.
I have friends who love me and support me.
I'm seeking the Lord.

But thats... today.

Life is far from perfect, but with how things stand today, I can face tomorrow.  Sure, there are rooms in my home that aren't clean.  Of course there are things in my marriage I'd improve.  One kid has bad eczema that she itches until it bleeds.  I just wish it would go away.  One kid peed her pants THREE times yesterday.  I've had a headache for a few days now.  But those things?  I can handle those things.

There have been days, lots of days recently, that I just didn't know if I could do another day.  Seriously. I couldn't seem to see past the end of the day, and see that things could ever be different.  Sometimes I tend to get stuck in a deep hole of doubt; I convince myself that this bad day will last forever.  When you're in the midst of a string of bad days (weeks, months... years), it's hard to imagine life ever being happy again.  Or easy.  Or different.

I remember being pregnant with my first baby, and laying on my bedroom floor in tears because of sciatic pain.  The pain in my back and legs was so stifling that I cried, imagining myself never being able to get down on the floor and play with my baby because of the pain.  I'd never go to the park with her, I'd never ride a rollercoaster with her, and piggy back rides?  Forget it!  But oh, that pain was temporary.  However, in that moment, I couldn't imagine not feeling it.  I thought sciatic pain would be my constant companion through pregnancy and beyond.

I've had dark days as a mom, where my yelling and impatience got the best of me and I wanted to give up.  I was sure my kids would remember a childhood marked by a grumpy mom.  I imagined every day of my life being filled with anger towards my kids who wouldn't listen.  There have been times I resented them for turning me into such a grouch.

And marriage.  Ohhhh marriage.  I've had days when I wanted to throw in the towel.  It's hard.  We've gone through those phases where we're just roommates, coexisting and sharing few words or loving glances.  We've confronted tough stuff that would've been easier to avoid.  It's in the midst of those conversations that I have to fight the urge to run away because I just can not imagine it ever being fun or light-hearted again.  I've caught myself believing that it will always be a state of misery and feeling stuck.

I've walked the dark road of depression.  A heavy fog surrounds you and suffocates you.  You feel alone and scared and without hope.  I honestly couldn't remember how it felt to be happy, and I couldn't imagine feeling joy again.  

Today... things are good.  But I don't know what tomorrow has in store.

And so I'm writing my future self a note to remind her that things can be good.  That the bad doesn't last forever.  It's a cycle.  Things felt good... things felt bad... things turned good again... things WILL feel bad again.  Repeat.  

I don't have this false sense that life is good today and always will be.  John 16:33 says "In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  It's not a surprise that life isn't easy.  But today I'm recognizing that there is HOPE.  Hope that the God who brought me through it before will do it again.

- - -

Dear future Angie who feels like life is going to swallow you whole,

You've got this.  God's got this.  It - whatever that may be - won't last forever.  Remember that day not too long ago when things felt good?  When you realized that you'd made it through dark days and emerged triumphant?  You will again.

Things might feel yucky today.  Tomorrow might be another story.  Hang in there.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.'"
Lamentations 3:22-24

From the Angie who made it another day


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