We all have our moments.
All women, at one time or another, has had a “WHY ME?” moment – and probably more than once. Married, single, widowed or divorced; mother to 10 or mother of none, every woman has moments when life seems inexplicable and overwhelming, and all we can do is cry out to God.
However, as a mother of two preschoolers, I figure I’m allowed a few more moments than most.
Both of my kids have always been good nappers, but last month my daughter balked at going to sleep in the afternoon. Throw in an early appearance of Daylight Savings Time, and most would agree that we had a recipe for disaster.
At this point, some of you may be thinking, “I have four kids and none of them have ever napped!”
To that all I can say is, “God bless you.”
For me, those three hours in the afternoon provide me a time of quiet, a time to reconnect and a time to get done what I would otherwise not attempt while trying to cook, clean, sing, dance, teach, play, exercise and basically maintain my sanity throughout the day – with my kids in tow by my side.
So you can imagine my dismay when, after a day of not napping, 3-year-old Kariss decided to also challenge her bedtime. It was more than I could tolerate after such a day; so I simply stood up, walked out of her bedroom and closed the door behind me (a signal that things must be really bad because her door always needs to stay open in her world).
As the cries of horror began, I walked into my own bedroom, looked up to the sky and said, “Lord, you REALLY need to give me a word right now!”
I then walked over to my closet (which I like to imagine as a much more serene version of itself when it functions as my “prayer closet”) and opened my Bible to Psalm 139:3, having no idea what it would say, but only obeying the whisper of the Holy Spirit in my head.
Now I know this is a poor time to interrupt my own story, as I’m sure you’re anxiously awaiting the brilliant epiphany I discovered, but I do have to emphasize the last line of that last paragraph: “the whisper of the Holy Spirit.”
See, I discovered something interesting while driving home from work a few months ago. As I drove on I-95 singing along to the radio, a great deluge of rain came pouring down on my car, drowning out the music. The volume of the song didn’t change, but the circumstances around me did. If I wanted to continue listening, I had to turn up the volume on the radio to compete with the sounds of my environment.
It made me think of God’s voice. Though we cannot make His voice louder, we can turn down the noise in our lives so that we can hear Him better. The Holy Spirit is not pushy or intrusive. However, His voice is a constant. Sometimes when we feel we’re not hearing the voice of God, perhaps it’s because our lives are drowning Him out.
OK, so back to our story. As I looked up Psalm 139:3, I found this: You discern my going out and my laying down; You are familiar with all my ways.
I realized that when I don’t understand my children, sometimes I allow myself to doubt whether I’m truly a capable mother or wife. But in that verse, God reassured me that He knows everything about me – and my daughter. Even in our simple bedtime routine, God is present, and He created me for that moment in that place with that person.
He made me to be Kariss’ mom. And when He creates us, He equips us.
Essentially, it all comes down to this. God knows. I don’t, but God does. To be completely honest, I’m still a little confused, but if I study God and study my daughter, I have a chance to be the mother she needs me to be.
By the time it all sank in, the sobs from the next room had settled, and I returned to my daughter’s bed a more confident, yet more humble, mother. I spoke more gently, I kissed more sweetly and I squeezed her tighter than ever before. I knew in that moment that all we had was that moment.
So the next time you’re tempted to ask, “Why God?” first try to quiet yourself and tune in to the Holy Spirit, who’s usually whispering to you beneath the noise.