on being a grown up
I love almost everything about being a grown up…except the “being a grown up” part. There are times when I simply don’t feel like acting like a grown up. I mean, it’s all fun and games til you wake up with all this responsibility and you look over your shoulder for the person who has the answers to all the questions and you realize, “Oh, it’s me…they’re looking at me. I’m supposed to be the grown up here and know the right thing to say, do, or feel.” This week has been one of those times I’d like to pass the responsibility baton to someone who actually knows what they are doing. Remember last week when I said I need to love more, work more, blah, blah, blah…That was all just crazy talk! At least, that’s the way I feel.
(Clearly my kids have an emotionally stable mother and my husband always knows what person he’s coming home to after work. They’re so lucky.)
Sometimes it’s all just too much. Too many questions and not enough answers. Too much pain and not enough healing. Too many tears and not enough laughter. Too many idiots and not enough craftsmen (Oh, right…like you haven’t thought that.) Sometimes I feel like acting my shoe size and not my age. Sometimes I feel like saying something that isn’t nice rather than not saying anything at all. Sometimes I feel like throwing caution to the wind and swimming immediately after I eat, going out in the cold with my hair sopping wet, and eating raw cookie dough til I puke (not from salmonella but from lack of self-control). Sometimes I feel like quitting, only to find that I feel like a failure. Sometimes I feel like hiding, only to find that I feel like a coward. Sometimes I feel like fighting, only to find that I feel like a loser.
I’ve had several heavy, painful conversations this week. Messy situations that don’t have clear-cut answers. Disappointing conversations that expose weaknesses in others and in myself. I had a heavy conversation Tuesday night with one of my children. They (I know a pronoun of he or she is correct grammar, but since my kids’ enjoy some privacy, I’d rather risk you thinking me a fool, than outing my kids) anyway, they said to me, “do you think God is mad at me? Do you think He still loves me when I act like I don’t know Him or feel like I don’t want to do the right thing?”
Then, on Wednesday I listened to a lecture on writing your story and the speaker said, “Speak Truth into the void because there are thousands of voices speaking lies.” And, it was then that God reminded me of one of my favorite “mom mottos” with which I repeatedly scold, I mean gently remind, my children.
“Your feelings are lying to you.”
I’m making an assumption, but my guess is that if I need to hear that today, you may need to hear it as well. Our feelings can straight up lie to us without batting an eye.
I went to bed Tuesday night listening to my child cry himself/herself to sleep because sometimes the voice of our feelings is so much louder than the Voice of Truth that our feelings seem honest, true, believable. Don’t get me wrong-feelings need to be validated, but they don’t always need to be believed.
Because when my child feels like God is mad at them, Truth says:
The Lord your God is with you.
He is mighty enough to save you.
He will take great delight in you.
The quietness of his love will calm you down.
He will sing with joy because of you.
Because when my child feels like God doesn’t love them, Truth says:
But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The blood of Christ has made us right with God. So we are even more sure that Jesus will save us from God’s anger.
Because when I feel like I don’t know what to do or say, Truth says:
My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need. If any of you need wisdom, ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone. He doesn’t find fault.
Because when I feel like there isn’t an answer, Truth says:
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful.
I love almost everything about being a grown up, but one of my favorite parts is having 40 years of experiencing God’s faithfulness. I have 40 years to look back in retrospect and recognize the hand of God and His Faithfulness to me in my times of plenty and in my times of drought. No one can take that away from me. No one can argue that He’s not true, because it’s my experience. It’s like witnessing your child hit a home run and then someone telling you it didn’t happen. You saw it. You experienced it. You know it. I’m not sure about what you were feeling during that time, but I’m fairly certain your feelings may have been lying to you.