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I wasn’t planning on blogging today. But after an exhausting day working on Christmas projects together, I found myself sitting down to write.
Russ had just taken our two year old son away…to I don’t know where, and I didn’t really care. I had been up since 6 am, and had already done quite a bit of cleaning and got most of the Christmas presents wrapped.
Being alone in the guest bedroom surrounded by ribbons and bows listening to music gives you a lot of time to think…to ponder. My emotions started vacillating somewhere between nostalgia and a weird sort of melancholy that was quickly turning into depression.
I had taken a break because my back was hurting and was checking Facebook when Russ said that one thing that set me off, and I just kind of snapped. That’s when he staged the intervention and left the house with Ezra. He told me that I could do whatever I wanted…he even told me that “you can sit on your butt the whole time we’re gone if you want to!” And he meant it. While the offer was tempting, those presents weren’t going to wrap themselves. And it’s hard to keep Little Man away from all those tantalizing things unless he’s watching TV or sleeping. So I figured that while he was off with Daddy, I should just go ahead and finish them anyway.
My mood continued somewhere in that weird melancholy state. I was angry and frustrated that they left. They shouldn’t have to leave me alone so much. Russ said he wasn’t mad and that I shouldn’t feel bad…he just wanted to help. But I still felt horrible that I had reached that breaking point…yet again.
I wrapped my husband’s gift and was just kind of overcome with weird emotions. His gift is kind of significant, yet I am still torn if he will even like it. I can’t say what it is, because I know he will read this post. But his gift made me feel like it was such a feeble attempt to show him how much I love him, respect him, and feel for the hell we have lived through together the last six years. It doesn’t seem enough. He deserves more.
I went on to wrap gift after gift for my siblings and parents and was finishing up Ezra’s countdown-to-Christmas-mini-gift-calendar when this song came on…Breath of Heaven. This is probably only the 30th time I’ve listened to this song…this season. I started crying harder than I have cried in months.
Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
I know this song is about Mary. But I feel this way every single day. My life is not easy. Motherhood is not easy like I thought it would be. Being the wife of a soldier has not been easy. I think Christmas makes me feel weird sometimes because for the last seven Christmases I’ve witnessed such a broad range of emotions at Christmastime.
2005 I was in the middle of having my heart broken by the guy I thought I was supposed to marry.
2006 I was starting to get my life back together and hope for the future.
2008 he was already gone, in the midst of a combat deployment.
2009 we had just found out we were pregnant with Ezra, 4 days before Christmas.
2010 we were packing deployment bags, on Christmas day.
2011 we were less than a week from homecoming, sitting on pins and needles waiting on “that call” that would tell me he was on his way.
In case you didn’t get it already, that’s a LOT of big life-changing life events, varying from the highest of highs to the lows of lows, all happening at Christmas time. That’s a lot of emotion-filled memories that are flooding me this year.
And I guess I wonder every day why God chose me to live my life… I’m too young, too fragile. Couldn’t there have been someone wiser…stronger…to take my place?
Apparently, just like God thought Mary was capable of birthing and raising the Son of God, he thinks that I’m capable of loving a hurting man, of raising an energetic son who demands so much more of me than I feel to able to give…of entering into a vast unknown that will leave me who knows where within a matter of just a few months.
And so…I offer all I am…For the mercy of Your plan…
And so, I pray. I don’t pray well. I don’t pray often. But when my heart is overwhelmed, somehow I think that those internal groanings that don’t even form into tears somehow form into prayers that He hears.
Help me be strong, help me be, help me
Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness, for You are holy
I find it interesting that, in this rendition, Mary didn’t pray to be an amazing mom. She didn’t pray to be a great wife. She didn’t pray for the health of her child. She only prayed to be held together, to be strong, and to be near to God.
I daily have to remind myself that if I feel like I’m barely holding together, then that’s probably right where God wants me. Because it is in that moment when He is there to lighten my darkness.