This momma is feeling weary.
Like so many of you, I feel as though I am sprinting through quick sand. It has been a challenging few months at Patchwork Farm. Those that know us well have probably read between the lines of our summertime posts and have picked up on the strain and struggles we aren’t voicing.
Under normal circumstances the events that have unfolded in our life over the last 18 months would be enough to rock anyone’s world. Looking over the posts from Braden’s adoption day until today (adoptions, graduations, cross country college drop-offs, weddings, residential placements, lost jobs, new jobs, baby announcements, missionary farewells, etc., etc., etc…) , you can see that we have lived a dozen lives in the past 18 months. Each and every one of these major life moments is enough to rock one’s world, but pile them together, top it with a worldwide pandemic, and we find ourselves running on empty. These changes have challenged the family unit as a whole, but has been especially trying for those family members with a more disrupted past. Each change is a trigger and each challenging change leads to challenging behaviors…the compilation of which have left me feeling beat down and weary.
As I talk to friends who find themselves struggling with the unique challenges of living in a Covid world, regardless of what their personal challenges are…
– What school choice is best for my kids?
– When will I safely be able to visit my mother again?
– Is my best friend going to recover from Covid-19?
– Will my husband be able to safely get back to work?
– How am I going to manage working at home while schooling my children?
– Will the activities that feed my soul and bring me joy ever return?
…The feelings are the same.
It is the uncertainty about tomorrow, and the fear of things never getting better, that bring those feelings of weariness.
Whether we are talking about Covid-19 related challenges, or simply life challenges, it is the uncertainty of when the load will lift, or when the challenges will ease, that are the most wearing.
The burdens we find ourselves bearing (health challenges, relationship challenges, parenting challenges, financial challenges, etc.) can be likened to a boulder we are asked to push indefinitely,
Leaving us feeling much like Sisyphus.
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra. He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity.
Sometimes the trials of our life feel just that way…
Like an eternal punishment that we are forced to bear.
A heavy rock that we push upward, only to have it roll back over us when we make it to the top,
Forcing us to begin again.
But maybe instead of looking at the trials we bear as a punishment that we are sentenced to, we should look at at trials as opportunities for growth, as illustrated in the story below.
“Once upon a time, there was a man who was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man’s mind such as: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. He decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?” To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My child, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.
And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition, you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.
Yet you haven’t moved the rock.
But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom.
This you have done.
I, my child, will now move the rock.”
When weariness overtakes me, and feelings of despair and discouragement leave me feeling like a failure, I must remember that I was not called to push this boulder to the top of the mountain. I was simply called to faithfully arise each day, and continue pushing forward, trusting that when God has finished the work He is doing through me and within me, He will lift that boulder from my path.
There is a purpose in the struggle.
It is through the challenging seasons of mortality that we have the opportunity to grow, improve, and strengthen muscles we would never ordinarily use…
And in the process become more Christlike.
Let us not grow weary.
This too shall pass, and we will be all the better for it.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9