Struggling with life

“The reality is not everyone wants to hear our messes or wounds. Not everyone will care or understand. Not everyone will believe or support us. But that doesn’t make our stories any less true or important.” Trudy Den Hoed at Freed to Fly

Trudy’s blog post this week challenged me. I want to hide away my struggles, bury them under smiles and justifications. When I find myself talking about a current challenges, there is an underlying shame that I’ve caused this messiness and don’t deserve to be accepted. Will this person that I am sharing with still accept me? Will they see me as bad mother? Or cold and unsympathetic? Or with too much mess in my life to be bothered with?

Shame too, comes from another question. Who am I to be admitting to these challenges when I have so much? And then the guilt. My struggles shouldn’t matter and don’t deserve attention. Is this self-pity?

Ironically, my purpose to write is to create connections. To create connections so one does not feel alone in the world. Trudy writes, “And even if our stories aren’t received by all, there just may be someone who needs to hear it and will feel less alone and more understood.”

Her words are what I needed to read. Are they words you also needed, dear readers?

Feeling less confident

Although I know that in life we will have struggles, the current pandemic environment has amplified my uncertainty about the future. Where once I felt like I was understanding how to navigate the bumpy and curved roads, now I grip the wheel with less confidence. I do hold on to hope for better days to come, particularly with my job that pays the bills and with my special-needs son whose defiant behaviour is again escalating.

Feeling Fearful

But I am fearful.

Although God calls us not to fear–I fear, my friends. I fear for my future, and I fear my son’s behaviour will damage his new living arrangements in a supportive group home.

I fear I am not good enough at my job and not a good enough mother, regardless of the current environment, to turn things around.

There have been days I struggle to stay awake. Somedays I loose that struggle and find myself covering myself up in a quilt and closing my eyes when hours of daylight still remain.

Better days

There also have been days with hikes in the mountains, neighbourhood walks with girlfriends, and star-gazing by campfires. There have been days with discovering new places among creeks and valleys and a first climb to the top of an old rusty grain bin to watch the deer in the distance and the hundreds of Canada Geese resting in a farmers field. There have been precious days, too, with the delightful laughter of grandchildren.

It’s these days that help keep me mentally okay. Family, friends and nature–oh do I need you even though I may hide behind smiles. Or be too proud to show that I need anyone. For to need seems just too vulnerable. What if you leave and never return?

Keeping it raw and real, I have no answers right now, wisdom or advise. I don’t want to water-down the reality with a feel-good meme or cliché. What I hope though, is you know that you are not alone in your struggles and even if your struggle is different from another’s, someone (maybe even me) understands how darn hard and messy it is. You are not alone.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart.

Matt Maher, Lord I Need You.

Another blogging friend, Rolain Peterson, is releasing his first devotional book this week, Rise Above Fear, Choosing Faith in Fear-Filled World. Rolain’s post are real and encouraging, and steeped in God’s truth. I hope you’ll take a moment to discover his place, Kingspeech. Considering the fears I have been having, I see God’s hand in the timing of his book release!

Also, my writing group, Writers’ Cafe, is working through the final edits of their story collection, Hope Connections. To find out more and be the first to hear of the latest news on the Fall 2020 release, visit Inspiring Hope In You.

How are you are seeing God’s hand in your life right now? If you’re feeling alone in your struggles, please let me know if there is something we, as a community here, can help you with.

Simply Breathing Rooms-An end of the month Breathing Space Post

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

I hope you are finding “simple little pleasures” today. Maybe browsing the below pictures will have you pausing and looking at your gems from past generation in your spaces. The first home pictures are from the Ukrainian Village Cultural Heritage Village commemorating the settlement of east Alberta by Ukrainians.

The second house is Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home in historical Savannah, Georgia.

What simple historical gems do you have in your home that are precious reminders of generations past? Is there a story around the item(s)?