I traveled to Iowa by airplane with my two year old and nine month old babies by myself. It was two different airplane rides. Lydia was in this phase, where she liked to run away from me, and Joshua hated to sit still. I knew all this going into it, but I was like, “yeah, I can do this.” Plus, I really wanted to see my sister.
When I finally arrived, I was covered in sweat, fig newtons, spit-up, and other unmentionables. There had been wailing and lots of running away, with me frantic in tears and chasing.
I know there are some moms out there that have lots of children. I am in awe of you, but it was such an overwhelming day for yours truly. By the time we finally arrived at my sister’s home, my children and I got very sick. We all broke out in feverish chills. I spent three hours trying to console them and put them to sleep. It was late in the evening, bordering on eighteen hours of travel time. Finally, I borrowed my sister’s keys and put them in the car for a drive.
Driving and scatter-brained through the small town Iowa streets, I heard the sirens behind me and at once realized I had on my brights and I had been driving around the same neighborhood six times in a row. My hair was ratted, my pj's be-speckled with baby goo, and I had tears running down my checks. I knew I looked and was driving like a crazy lady.
The officer came to the window. I explained my seeming insanity and he walked off to check me out. At this moment, I felt really low. It wasn’t just the day. Things were catching up with me. The demands of motherhood, ministry, and marriage felt huge. All the goals and projects I have set –up for myself felt crushing and I knew I was failing and that life was slipping me by. Lots of striving was coming to a head.
I let my head flop onto the steering wheel and told God how mad I was at him. There was more weeping and wailing. Thankfully, my children were by this time asleep.“God, I’m so angry at you right now. You never cut me a break and my life is so freaking hard and I never get any of the things I want.” It’s hard to read and write these words, because he has given me things that I never dreamed I would have – mostly himself. But these were my honest thoughts and unfortunately, these were my spoken words. I was very mad and so tired. Striving is a temptation I struggle with. I am always striving to make things better, be better, do more, and friends it really is hell on earth.
“I just can’t take it anymore. I am giving you everything. I surrender all to you right now. I surrender all” I shouted. Then, I felt a welcomed peace. I knew at once, that I didn’t need or have to do the vast majority of the things I slave away at and that only one thing was required of me, handing life over to Jesus. Surrendering all to God is a wonderful thing and we can do it hourly if we need to. He’s always there to meet us.
I didn’t get the ticket either.
What in your life are you constantly striving for? What burdens are you continually carrying? Some of us are struggling with things that loom larger than life - cancer, greed, violence, broken relationship, and all kinds of hurt, temptation, and sin. God knows are struggles. Let’s hand all that striving to fix things over to Jesus and let him bless us with his peace and presence.