Personing is hard. At any given moment an infinite variation of life is coming at you.
Mothering is hard. It’s complicated. Consuming. 4 people’s perfect souls are in my care. They are all 4 so vastly unique. They each need something different from the others. And possibly even different than what they needed 3 hours ago.
Being a wife is beautiful. Amazing. Rewarding. And hard. It demands that your ever evolving humanity hyphenates wholeheartedly with another person’s ever evolving humanity.
PTSD is hard. Actually, it sucks balls. It is vicious. Unpredictable. Parasitic. It is about 5 full-time jobs rolled into one that you can’t clock out of. Your body is constantly picking up the slack for your brain. Your brain is all, “Bye, Felicia” when you need it most and your body is left to pick up the fragments. Flashbacks are always at the most inconvenient times and inappropriate situations. Scratch that. When is it ever a convenient time for your brain to unload out-of-context horror?
My soul is tired. My body is exhausted. My mind is weary.
Yesterday, I threw an adventure/pirate party for my 7-year-old daughter. Including my 3 oldest, there were 14 kids here. I think. Lucky for me, my 2-year-old was napping. A few parents stayed. A friend and her husband came to help. My husband’s participation was on fleek. My house was full.
I love my children fiercely. So I asked my anxiety to hold it together while I facilitated the fun.
But I am tired.
I’m getting better at knowing when I’m going to need to recharge. I’m more mindful of how decimated an interaction is going to leave me. I’m learning to plan self-care into my life.
A few years ago I read The Shack. My heart wept with recognition. When the movie was announced, my heart exploded with anticipation. As soon as I was able, I purchased a ticket to see it. For a showing immediately following church. The day after my daughter’s birthday party.
I need to tell you about church and me. A majority of the abuse I endured as a child was religious in nature. Clarification: it wore a Jesus hat. “Christianity” was the tool that 2 broken and hurting people used on their offspring to make themselves feel less out of control. They discharged their anguish onto their children in the name of God.
I struggle with church. I struggle with the Bible. Hear me out before you burn me at the stake. The words, the phrases, the settings… Triggers. A lot of the concepts, though far removed from how I grew up knowing them, look very similar outwardly to their rightful essence. This is the danger. While I am rewriting the real version in my heart and mind, there is an incredible amount of scar tissue there. My mind is rejecting the transplant as it looks eerily familiar. I’m constantly looking for new versions of the Bible. Versions that I can read and hear God’s healing love pour over my soul like a soothing balm. As of now, my all time favorite is The Jesus Storybook Bible. I am not embarrassed to say that I own it in hardcover and audio forms. And that when the crazy gets heavy, I hide in my minivan and listen.
So I stayed home by myself this morning. While the rest of my heart drove away in my van. They went to church without me because my soul needs some rest. Church is hard for me. Church is work. I pray it is not always this way. I hope some day to be edified without the complication of very conscious mindfulness exercises throughout the duration. I long for the day when I can join in with the worship and the teaching without fighting a panic attack. Someday maybe I will be able to hang after church to fellowship without being acutely aware of the crowd and scanning for exits.
Today is not that day. Today I am where I am. Jesus loves this me. Jesus is fully invested in this me.
So I am going on a date with Jesus to see a movie. That is my church today. I am so looking forward to it.
But first I have to find a box of tissues.