I’m still riding a bit of a high after reading One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler. If you want to read my review you can find it here and if you want to buy it (and believe me, you do want to buy it) you can find it here. The book is about following your dreams in the midst of chaos and it was a message I really needed to hear.
I love writing and I love having this space to write in but I am constantly beset by my own negative thinking and I struggle to move past it. Reading about Jen’s failures made me realize that it’s ok to fail because it is through failure that God can open doors for us. Since I am a newly minted expert in failure (2018 has been interesting to say the least) I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned.
Let’s talk about the first trimester of my current pregnancy. In short, it was horrible. In long (is that the way to say that?) it was incredibly horrible. I was so sick, nauseated, and tired that I could not get myself off the couch to do almost anything. My children lived off of cereal and frozen waffles. Chuck lived off of… I’m actually not sure. He was left to fend for himself. My house was a disgusting disaster. I was a disgusting disaster. And this was all compounded by a never ending rant in my head about how I was a failure.
I was failing as a wife. I was failing as a mother. I was failing as a housekeeper. And I was failing as a woman. I only had two children; I know people who have large families and their lives don’t fall apart when they’re pregnant for the sixth time. What was my excuse for imploding during my third pregnancy? The truth is I don’t need an excuse. It is ok to say that right now, we need to be in survival mode and everything else can wait until the storm passes. It doesn’t mean that I’m failing, it means that in this particular season of life nothing will be perfect and that’s ok. There is beauty that can be found even when our lives are falling apart.
There were the times my husband went out of his way to get me something I was craving because he knew how hard it was for me to eat. The kids would kiss me on the forehead and shush each other when I was trying to nap. My sister in law would take my kids to her house for a few hours so that I could rest. My priest friend blessed me and prayed for me. In all of these small but significant ways, my loved ones gathered around me to lift me up.
In the midst of my failure I was given an opportunity to be a grateful and humbled recipient of my family’s love and attention. I was in no way grateful or humble. I was crotchety and agitated and felt even worse because I couldn’t take care of myself. I failed miserably at the whole “pleasant and gracious patient” thing. BUT, God’s goodness means that this failure isn’t the end. One day I will again need love and support from the people who love me and I will have another chance to receive and return that love with all the tenderness that it was given to me. Next time, with God’s grace and mercy, I will not fail.