It’s cold a flu season here in Oklahoma and it is crazy. Everyone I know seems to be fighting something. Thankfully we haven’t really been sick up til this last week and it’s already January. That has to be some kind of record.
You see in years past it seemed like we were always sick. I think it was last year that I had to stay home from church functions for a month straight because at least one of my kids had a cold or cough. Since we were living away from family at the time, church was my only social activity I had and when I had to stay home from it, I really struggled with loneliness.
Sickness season is hard on everyone, especially moms. We feel helpless because our babies are sick and we want them to feel better. We are tired because while working to meet the needs of others is hard, when they are sick and especially needy, it is downright exhausting. And we feel alone because we have been cut off from the adult world due to our child’s illness and just want adult connection, which is even harder to get if you rarely see your husband due to his work schedule.
And maybe you have expressed these feelings to other women and they gave you the “it’ll pass” talk. I know this is meant to be encouraging by giving you hope that sicknesses aren’t forever. But for me, this was not helpful. When I hear “This is not forever” what I really hear is, “You need to tough this out. It shouldn’t last to much longer.” That’s not what I need. I need someone to give me a hug, telling me they understand how difficult this season was. I need to know that I’m not the only one depressed by lack of social interaction with grown ups. I need to know I’m not alone.
Maybe you are there now. Maybe it’s been a good week or more since you’ve put make-up on much less left the house. If that’s true mama, then please hear this: It’s okay.
It’s okay to feel exhausted and like you’ve nothing left to give. You’ve been giving and giving with no time to recharge your own batteries. You’re spent.
It’s okay to feel like you want to pull your hair out if you have to watch one more episode of paw patrol because God gave you a brain that needs stimulation and you haven’t had much.
It’s okay to feel helpless because you can’t make your kids better.
It’s okay to cry because you feel alone. God made us relational beings and gave us the desire for human interaction. Eve was made for Adam so that he might have a human relationship with her. The early church spent the majority of their time together listening to the Word and in fellowship with one another. This is God’s design.
The One who Understands All
It’s okay to have those feelings because that’s what makes you human. But please don’t here me give you permission to wallow in them indefinitely. On the contrary. God gave you those emotions and put you in these circumstances to drive you to his comforting arms. He truly understands what you are feeling.
Jesus gave and gave day in and day out and was even awakened from sleep in the middle of a storm to give some more. He knows what exhaustion feels like.
Jesus understands our desire for human interaction. Afterall, he did call twelve men to be his close friends here on earth.
Jesus knows loneliness. He stood alone before the religious leaders and Pilate while his friends had scattered from fear. He walked up the hill in the middle of a crowd feeling alone because they all wanted him dead. While dying on the cross he cried “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” because, for the first time ever, his Father had turned his face away. For the first time ever. He was completely alone.
Draw Near to Grace
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I love this passage but after reading it in the light of sickness season, it is especially precious to me. The picture of my omniscient Savior sitting on a throne of grace, offering me grace to help me in my time of need comforts my heart greatly and I hope it does yours as well.
So Mama, I know its hard. Cleaning throw up, wiping noses, listening to a relentless cough is very discouraging. But take heart in the fact the Jesus knows too, and as a friend, He is walking beside you, empowering you to make it through this difficult time by his abundant grace.