“Desperado…why don’t you come to your senses; you’ve been out ridin fences for so long now. Oh, you’re a hard one…I know that you got your reasons, these things that are pleasin you, can hurt you somehow…” I love the Eagles, but this song may have influenced my life far to much!
Does anybody else do everything in their power to make themselves look stronger than they really are, or am I the only one who does that?
No matter what, at all costs, I do everything in my power to make sure that I appear as though I have it all together! For as long as I can remember I have never wanted to look weak, sad, or like I couldn’t handle something! I don’t want to come across as though I’m struggling or sad (see there this attitude comes through again), but I thought I’d share my journey on how this mentality of having it all together has affected my life in ways that are now only starting to become clear.
In my life I have always been the “care-taker”. Post high school, I have been the oldest person in my friend group so I’m the mama-bear to them. When they struggle, I take care of them. When they are sad, I comfort them. When they feel loss, I sit with them until they are o.k. In my life, I can count on one hand the times that I have let somebody do that for me, and that somebody is usually my mom or my husband. I’m thankful I have a wonderful relationship with Jesus because I depend on Him to hold me daily and wipe my tears, take away my sadness, and give me comfort when I need it. When I lost my mother-in-law by suicide, I was pre-occupied with caring for my husband and children to allow myself to grieve. When I lost not one, but two children by miscarriage in three months I buried myself in work and shared my feelings and my pain with nobody, but Jesus. Each morning when I wake up filled with worry because my seven-year-old special needs child won’t eat anything but bottles, I pretend I have it all together and act as though it doesn’t affect me at all. As I watched my mother have two heart attacks within one year, I was the strong one…I told friends I didn’t need anything! I lived the mantra that everything was going to be ok, but really, I was a scared little child crumbled in the corner not wanting to think about what would happen if my mommy wasn’t with me! Today every moment of my day is filled with thoughts about my baby in China who we are STILL waiting to go and get. FIFTEEN MONTHS later, I am still not any closer to getting my son than I was February 25, 2020, when our adoption was finalized. It feels as though I have given birth, and somebody stole my child from me! As a mom of four other children and a wife, I must go on each day without letting them know my heart is breaking. Again, I must have it “all together”!
Now, there is not one single person in this world that has told me that I must have it all together. There is not one single person in this world that told me that they would not be here for me if I needed to cry on their shoulder. These are unrealistic expectations that I have placed upon myself! Why are we so hard on ourselves my friends? Why do we expect so much out of ourselves if we don’t expect that out of other people? If my friends were going through these things in their lives, you better bet I wouldn’t expect them to go it alone! In fact, I’m that person who WON’T let my friends go it alone!
I was on retreat about a month ago and on that retreat, God made it crystal clear to me that I have not let anybody (other than my husband and my mom) really get to know me. Because of this, I have felt lonely much of my life. I’ve felt as though I am an outcast, and I just really don’t fit in anywhere. Even the people I call my best friends, I haven’t really let them “know” me. (Sorry Bestie…I’m working on it!)
I am not telling you these things to make anyone feel sorry for me, but instead I am telling you these things, so you are NOT like me. Desperado is not the way that Jesus intended us to live our lives. Jesus wants us to have companions on our journey…He knew that Adam could not be alone, so he created a suitable companion. So, friends…it’s times to come down from our fences and allow others into our world so that we aren’t alone. God wants to be our main support, but He also created special people to walk the journey called life with us…it’s time I (and maybe you) let them!