Oddly enough I had been anticipating his question all day (and thinking about how best to answer it). Motherhood in general—and how HARD it could be–had been heavy on my mind. Did he really want to know what my day was like?
Of course, being my best friend, he would listen and be sympathetic. And as someone whom is also tasked with parenting our kids (and whom also knows them intimately), he can relate to my daily struggles.
But would he really understand? Would my sweet loving husband—who gets to escape to a job every day—ever really get it, no matter how much I try to describe it?
No, I decided. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t understand the relentlessness of motherhood… the sheer endurance required to just keep going during those times when you so want to give up.
He doesn’t understand that sometimes–oftentimes, actually–homeschooling is lonely and hard.
Would another homeschool mom understand what I was going through? Maybe. Somewhat. I’m sure she could relate since she was faced with similar daily challenges with her own kids.
But really, even she—the one who lived a parallel life—wouldn’t get the total picture because she didn’t live with my kids. She doesn’t face my same daily challenges. And to be fair, I don’t face hers. So like my husband, she can understand to a degree, but never fully.
To put it bluntly, there is no one else who completely understands my daily struggles. There is no one else who completely gets it.
This could be quite a lonely concept.
That is if I didn’t have a relationship with the One who created me.
He not only knows me, He knows you. And your kids.
And no one else cares for you (or them) more than He does.
He is the person whom is the silent observer in every conversation. The One who loves us in spite of every mistake we’ve ever made. The One who knew your heart yesterday and who knows it right now… deep in the throes of motherhood and homeschooling.
This is more than mere “religion” or following a set of rules. It is being called into a relationship with the One who demonstrates how to live the fullest life (John 10:10; Eph 3:18-20).
He wants to be our gentle guide toward peaceful places of replenishment and restoration (Psalm 1, 23).
He is the One that can pick you us when we fall (as I so often do on my mothering journey) (Psalm 94:16-19).
He sees the scars of our past mistakes, and still says, “you are my daughter, my beautiful bride. Come with me, and let me make things new” (Song of Songs 2:10-13; Isaiah 43:19; Psalm 32:1-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
He wants to be our refuge and strength, our “very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1; Psalm 9:9; Psalm 91:14-16).
He reminds us to not worry about the passing troubles of this life (John 14:1; Matthew 6:34).
He tells us to focus my eyes not on the fading pleasures of this world, but to spend our moments doing things that count for eternity (Matthew 6:19-21; Matthew 6:25-33; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
He whispers that your soul (and mine) has infinite worth, and that ultimately we are to live and breathe for Him, our audience of one (Psalm 56:3-4; Psalm 31:19-24; Psalm 27:1-3).
There is truly none like Him (1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Chronicles 17:20; Exodus 8:10). And yet, His love for me (and for you) is so strong that He says, “I’m willing to sacrifice all that I am as King of the Universe to simply come down and live among you so that you can see a tangible picture of what a godly life looks like (Philippians 2:5-7; Colossians 1:15); and so that you can see first hand that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you (including die in your place).”
Truly, we are put in these situations where we must say “No one understands my struggles” (Proverbs 14:10) so that we can realize the desperation of our situation— that there’s nothing we’ve done that is too wretched; that there’s no pain that money or privilege can hide us from (book of Ecclesiastes); and that there is no one but Him that can fully understand (1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 2:6).
He uses our desperation—yes, even the everyday chaos of motherhood—to cause us to lift our eyes and quiet our hearts. Can you see it?
In this insanely busy world, sometimes pain is the only way that we can stop our running long enough to actually listen to the heartbeat of the true life—the deepest, eternal purpose that goes beyond our running to and fro and gives a meaning to the madness.
Do you hear Him calling out to You when you are at the end of your rope with your kids?
Do you hear Him saying, “Beloved, I see you struggling. I understand. I am listening”?
Do you hear His quiet voice whispering, “It’s alright. Take a five-minute break. Clear your mind so that you can listen to how I want you to respond in this situation”?
Do you feel His arms comforting you like no mother, husband or friend ever could, offering an indescribable peace that just doesn’t make sense given the circumstances (Psalm 94:16-19; Philippians 4:7)?
He wants to give these things to you. In fact, you were not meant to live this life without them.
Have you asked this most precious “friend of all friends” to have a home in your heart?
This isn’t some strange, mystical event. It’s simply saying, “I have not lived a perfect life, and I never will, no matter how I try. I recognize that I was made for a greater purpose than to just exist from day to day. Will you please show me that purpose? Will you give me a new hope and reason for living? Will you help me die to what I think is important so that You can show me the path to true and complete life?”
If this is a commitment you’ve already made to Him, then, sister, I say to you: lift your eyes up! Stop focusing on the circumstances themselves, but instead on the treasure He may have for you to learn through them. He says that our trials not only teach us how to be comforters to others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7) but bring us closer to him (Hebrews 4:15-16). Read His word—the source of all true wisdom and power (Hebrews 4:12) and the guidebook to the full, happy life (Psalm 119:105).
It doesn’t mean that life as a Christian is always perfect and always makes sense. And some days, homeschooling is lonely and hard. But we do have a great someone who can understand and who does care deeply, even if some days it feels like we can’t ever be fully understood.