The last several days have been rough for me. It has been the first active full-on flare up of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE for short, lupus) I've had in at least 4-5 months. I wasn't physically or emotionally prepared for it. Fortunately, just a few of the symptoms are still hanging around and causing me to have to "slow down". Maybe another day or two and I'll be over the hump and back to "normal"---our at least "our" normal.
It seems that my little guy has been the most confused with seeing me physically struggling. He just doesn't have as many memories of mom being sick as the other 2 (fortunately!). Last night after church, he just seemed really upset and was VERY clingy and wanting my full attention. He just wanted mommy. I took the time to read him a couple of extra stories in his favorite Bible story book that we've been reading together as part of our church doing "The Story". He snuggled in beside me and went to sleep.
Usually, Kevin has no issue carrying him up to bed (other than the fact it is a back breaking job that is getting more difficult easy he gets bigger AND more priceless). This time, though he was still in a sleepy state, he kept pulling at me and crying that he just wanted to snuggle with mommy. Even a couple of hours later, he was still in that thought mode. He came back down and kept trying to wake up his Dad trying to get him to get out of the bed so HE could snuggle with me instead. Though we stuck to the rule of him having sleep in his own bed until Kev gets up for work at 3:30, I had Kev go up and bring him down to snuggle with me then.
He was hilarious and so sweet. He snuggled in to his perfect little spot, which anyone that knows Bradlee well, knows that he is a FULL on snuggler. I barely have room to breathe. He kept saying "Ah, finally" over and over. It was precious.
It was a reminder of how precious motherhood is. How valuable. How much our kids CRAVE time with us.
He had been feeling uneasy because Mom hadn't been herself for several days. He needed that time with me.
It confirmed for my heart that the tough decisions I've made recently and am continuing to make are WORTH it. Saying "no" to other things, so I can say "yes" to them----so very worth it. I look forward to seeing how our family dynamics change in the coming weeks and months. I've fully been physically present with them for so long, but I've been less emotionally present as time has gone on. I can hardly wait to see what directions we go as my heart has found new encouragement to live in THIS moment. Letting so much stress from the outside world go and giving them all of me. It's a journey that is going to be well worth each "no".
Though his needing me did confirm how valuable motherhood is, something else amazing happened. A definite confirmation my heart needed that I was moving in the right direction.
My prayers changed.
The last several weeks I have REALLY struggled with personal prayers. I've basically been having to pray, "Lord, you know my heart. You know what I'm thinking, feeling, and trying to say...but I can't form the words." There had just been so much chaos swirling that I couldn't focus. I could easily pray for the needs of others and their situations. I could easily pray for things "outside" of me, but when it came to my own heart/needs and things in the very depths of me....I just couldn't do it. There was a wall. There was a separation.
Last night, after I got home from church and had officially completed my first "no" to great things----I was still emotional. Still struggling with having given something up that my heart loved, but at complete peace for knowing the decision was the right one. Even my kids are saying they can't imagine not seeing me participating in different activities, etc... It's like trying to separate peanut butter from jelly once it's been combined. I was already second guessing myself. What will happen here? How will this affect this? Will this change a friendship with this person? Will this prevent me from doing this? Did this friendship only thrive because I "served". The list went on and on.
In the middle of my emotional break down (which I cried all the way home because it was a relief AND hard at the same time), a soothing calm entered my heart. Over and over I kept hearing the words to the song "Lord, Move or Move Me" (FFH).
Sometimes in life we need God to move, we need Him to move mountains or to work our situations, etc.. Other times, we need to move. We may simply need to move out of His way. We may simply need to move IN His way and on His path. I FINALLY let Him move me. For so long, I had prayed for Him to change situations, give me this, gave me that, help me here, help me there, show me this, show me that. He simply just needed me to MOVE. To MOVE out of one way into another. In my heart, I could feel the Holy Spirit soothing my soul with the words "I moved you. You didn't quit. I moved you. You're "no" is just a "yes" to what I have been WAITING to give you." Sort of like a "finally" or "about time". Like a "now that we are on the same page, we can move on".
With my emotions still raw, the house finally quiet....I did what I normally do. I began to pray. As I've done the last several weeks, I prayed for the needs around us, those outside of our own home. Yet, instead of that out of focus, unable to form words that I've been struggling with when it came to my own heart and our own home.........my prayers flowed. My heart was able to begin to empty the things it had been holding onto for so long.
Another confirmation. Confirmation that so much of this chaos, discontentment, and distress of the last month is lifting. I don't know exactly where we are heading or what He is going to do next. I don't know which changes of heart are going to happen or what else I have to change. I know for certain that the days ahead are going to be worth it. My heart is already finding that release.
It just took me finally allowing Him to move me. Move me back on the path He chose for me and called my heart to. I don't know exactly what the picture will look like in a few months, but I'll gladly be here waiting for it. For my heart is back home....Home where it belongs. Connecting to the one that matters most, which connects me to the ones that matter most to me. Home.