First let me say--things have been pretty heavy around here, so just know that this is a happy story-- a good story. So hang in there with me.
I’ve shared that I underwent a season of intense anxiety and panic attacks this past spring. I’m gonna be straight up with you: it sucked. Actually, it was unbearably difficult for me and my husband. It was awful. But I really really wouldn’t trade it. I wouldn’t go back and change any of it if I could. I learned so much about God and myself. I experienced more intimacy and authenticity in my spiritual life, my marriage, my friendships, and my my church than I ever could have imagined was possible. Still sucked though.
At my lowest, most crumpled up, the same thing kept swirling around my head. An image of a mom who was absent and sickly and weak, a mom who was completely unreliable, a mom who couldn’t help herself or anyone else. I felt like darkness had swallowed me up and my kids and husband were paying the price. They couldn’t depend on me. Could they feel the darkness I felt? Would they carry scars and feel abandoned?
One morning in particular, the weight of my inadequacy was the heaviest it had ever felt. Austin took our oldest to school like he’d been doing for two weeks, and I tried to find something other than television to occupy our youngest without requiring too much effort on my part. He is obsessed with baths, so into the bathtub he went with all his favorite toys. I sat on the bathroom floor with my journal and my bible, hoping that he would be too content to notice my morning meltdown. It worked. He didn’t look up from his toys and I made sure to muffle my crying so he wouldn’t hear. I was journaling and praying about all the damage I was doing. More than anything...and I mean anything, I desperately wanted to be someone that the kids and Austin could depend on. I wanted to feel like a mom, I wanted to deserve the title. Without being a strong, reliable place for them to land I didn’t know who I was.
And just then, my phone rang.
“Hey so I just dropped Lyric off. On the drive he asked me when he could be baptized. I asked him why he would want to get baptized and he said he prayed to accept Jesus’ rescue plan. I asked him a bunch of questions and he seems like this is something he ready for and really wants. I told him we would talk more about it tonight. But I think this is the real thing.”
And instantly--instantly the truth echoed in my heart like a rescue call through a cave.
“You don’t have to be dependable because I am forever and completely steadfast. Where you saw darkness, I made light. Where you were afraid, I was working.”
I thought my kids would have nothing good to take away from this season. I thought everything in their world was overcast and sad because of what I couldn’t do for them. I’d closed the door to joy and goodness...at least for that day. I didn’t think it was possible.
But all things are possible with Christ! One of the deepest joys of my life was unfolding right in the middle of one of the deepest pains of my life.
Right under my roof, God was working and doing a magnificent and glorious thing! When my mind was clouded by darkness, my son’s heart was being illuminated in light.
God’s presence hadn’t left us, he hadn’t turned a blind eye on our family. He was the parent that our kids needed, now and forever. And in his wholeness he has given Austin and I the freedom to be broken, flawed people carried by God’s grace too.
This gift of salvation for our son was double fold. God knew this juxtaposition was exactly what I needed, to have everything stripped away and everything provided in the same moment in time. I would have been so happy no matter when this had happened for our son, but the timing was a precious ministry to my heart and a beacon of light that will stand in my life for years to come.