Saturday, March 5, 2011

{ I've been quiet... }

...because I'm not sure what to say. Honestly, the last few weeks have been difficult for me. I'm still processing, still soul-seasick from rough waters. I don't have many words right now. One of the hardest things for me about blogging is that, on the one hand, I want my small patch of internet to be bright, happy, joyful, creative, and enjoyable; a reflection of God's tremendous grace to me. On the other hand, I also want to be honest, vulnerable, "real;" I don't want to hide the bad or ugly parts of life. I don't want to project an artificial reality of glib cheeryness. God's grace isn't always sunshine...sometimes His grace comes in the form of bad weather, too. But clearly the internet isn't the best place to throw back the figurative curtains and give the world a webcam into the nitty-gritty of one's life. {It appears I have a perpetual online identity crisis, does it not?}

Thus, I quietly stow away, enjoying others' blogs, unsure of what to say on mine.

I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. A few weeks ago it really started to get to me: I have no hope that I'll ever be able to stop working full-time. {Note: I didn't say the situation has become hopeless. Our outlook hasn't changed suddenly; it's just that I have no hope. Big difference.} I've been married a year and a half. Before we our wedding, we half-seriously joked that I should quit my job when we got back from our honeymoon. The reality is that we need both our incomes right now. I don't know when we'll be at a point where I don't need to work. And in the last few weeks, I slammed face-first into a very unpleasant reality: I don't think that day will ever come. I've lost hope. I've given up. I didn't choose to, it's just...gone.

I know in my head that God is sovereign, that He holds tomorrow in His hand, that I don't even know if I'll draw another breath....but knowing this in my heart is an entirely different matter. I want to be done with my career--scratch that, I want to be done awhile ago!

As a result, I've spent a lot of time lately being frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed.

What am I doing wrong?

Why is my life arranged in this way?

Has God forgotten?

Earlier this week I was making conversation with a patient and asked if she has family nearby.

"No, my son is in Connecticut."
"Then how did you end up in Washington?"
"Well, it's a long story..."

She was an Australian war bride during World War II. She met an American serviceman, they married, and he took her back to his family in Connecticut. They were married for 55 years before he died. Some time after his death, she submitted a pen-pal request to the veterans' newsletter for the unit/brigade {I don't remember the term} her husband was part of, asking to correspond with other war brides or people who had served with her late husband. A man in Washington responded, and after they'd written each other for seven months, he flew back to visit her. A month later, he returned with an engagement ring, and she moved across the country with her new husband.

Something in my heart moved a little bit as she spoke. I glimpsed a life that had taken turns she never dreamt of; both good and bad that she never could've imagined had come her way. The whole world explodes into warfare in WWII--and out of that, she meets her husband. She moves thousands of miles away from her family and friends, to another continent--and spends the rest of her life there, gaining new family and friends. Her husband dies after they've had a lifetime together--and from her connections with his veterans' newsletter, she meets another man who loves her and asks her to be his wife.

Trust Me. It's a still, small voice. I've been too furious even to want to listen for it. I still feel the weight of dread, fear, and anger that what I want so much has not been given me. But I also feel this: Trust Me. In an elderly lady's brief recollection of the twists and turns in her own life, I catch the briefest glimpse of a God whose plans are bigger than the horizon I see. For an instant, I can imagine a scenario in which there is hope.

What? Hope? How can I find hope when I'm at work--I thought I felt hopeless because I still have to work!
Your ways are not my ways, Lord. But I want trust You even when I can't see where You're leading me.

If the Lord had not been my help,

my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

When I thought, "My foot slips,"

your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,

your consolations cheer my soul.

~ Psalm 94:17-19, ESV


  1. Hi Nikki, Tonya from 4 little Fergusons here. :) I know we have not officially "met", but you commented on my blog, and I am commenting on yours, sooo in cyberspace does that make us friends?! :) I just had to come here and encourage you about this subject, one I hold near and dear to my heart! First of all you MUST start speaking positively, believing IN FAITH that God knows your hearts desires and ALL things are possible for those who love Him. Financially there was noooo stinkin' way I should've been able to get to stay home. First of all, our first baby came 15 months after we got married, what a great surprise, but there went our "4 year plan" so I could stay home. We barely made $17k a year and needed my income to "make it". God said, "Nope, trust Me." Guess who made it day after day, month after month, year after year even though the numbers NEVER added up. Not once! We took a HUUUUGE leap of faith, cut out extras and watched our Father's miraculous provision ever single time, and in ways that only He can. From my reading tonight on here, I didn't see any babies yet and I don't know your "plan" for this. Regardless, the time to start believing and praying for this dream to come to fruitation is now. God knows your heart and He wants to give you your very own dream come true. TRUST HIM, then LEAP! Hugs~ Tonya

  2. Love, love, love your transparency here!

    Yes we want blogs to be a place where we can be happy and see pretties, BUT - I for one get frustrated when that is all that blog authors "put out there". I want real. And this is oh-so-real. I actually have alot to say about this. Maybe more than should be on a blog comment, so perhaps I should email you sometime. :)
    I just think you are a wonderful lady - and I know that God has amazing things in store for you and Mike!!!

  3. Oh friend...I love this sharing what is real and hard but that you serve a really good God who does care about these things. I could totally echo the first comment on here. When I had my first and wanted to stay home it was on faith too. We shouldn't have been able to do it but God provided. Don't give up hope...we always have hope. And God works in wonderful and mysterious ways! love you and missed you at Chelle's shower yesterday!

  4. Sooo with you on this my dear ((hugs)). Love your new banner and I've missed you around blog-land! Life is full of un-expected twists and turns but it's hard to be stuck in a place you can't see your way out of. Praying for peace for you :)

  5. Oh, sweet friend, your honesty + vunerability here are so so beautiful.

    Your words in the post right above this: "Letting people see that I don't have it all together is a really frightening thing to me. But then you end up isolated, feeling alone and not known or understood...also not where I want to be." really really struck me. Oh, how I can relate to that so much.

    Really really praying for you. That God gives you so much peace + comfort and that you really feel Him meeting you where you are. I know those longings to be a mother- so so well. In the years before we had Audrey, I remember just aching for a baby so much. God knows the desires of your heart, dear friend. Each and every one. And He knows how badly you want to be at home with your little ones when they arrive. I know it is so hard to trust + have faith when you cannot see what is ahead, and I know it is such a huge cliche, but His timing + His way are so perfect.

    I love you!

  6. I am just reading this post now for the first time, with I hear the brave + beautiful ache in your voice and heart, and in your written out thoughts...and I want to reach over and hug you up and pray over you...that you wouldn't lose heart in the face of all of this. That God would pour His tender grace all over you, especially in the middle of those lost hopes. And that he would give you, in His perfect wisdom, the very desires of your heart. xo

  7. Well, I know how you feel. I have to work full time while Michael stays home with Noah. It was really hard when Noah was a baby and I was having to get up three times in the middle of the night and still go to work full time. It was hard not to get bitter sometimes.
    It's taken me awhile, but I've made peace with the fact that I'm probably never going to get to be a stay at home mom.
    It's not always easy, but so many people have it worse than me--single mothers, people who don't get summers off like I do.
    So my new mantra is "Look for the good". I am trying to find all the things in my job that I enjoy and appreciate.
    But anyway, if you never get to stay at home, I will commiserate with you. I know how you feel.

  8. @Melody--so good to hear from you! Noah is such a cutie, love the vids on FB. You're so right, there are MUCH worse things out there than having to work when your children are young. Lately it's been terribly easy for me to be bitter and discouraged about my specific circumstances. It's a fine line to walk: striving to do what you believe God's called you to do, without idolizing the goal and being discontent during the journey to that goal. Since we don't have kids yet, we still have flexibility/time to work toward our dream...but I want to be there already!!
    And no matter what "job" I have, I think I'll always envy your summers off! :-)