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We were watching This Is Us, and a scene came on that suffocated me with how real it was. It’s a scene where the mom Rebecca is in a cabin frantically running from door to door turning locks, and it’s being explained to her son watching from the outside that all she’s doing, really doing, is trying to keep everything out that could hurt anyone and she’s trying to keep everyone safe – no matter the cost to her.

I realized while watching this scene unfold that THIS IS ME! At some point while learning techniques for how to help my kids, doing activities, making support tools, working with them hands-on, and all the other life things I do, I pushed what I felt about this struggle down. I buried it under the “doing of stuff” so far that I was aware of my feelings but numb to them.

I didn’t realize I had done this. When this scene unfolded, it was like standing up on a foot that’s been asleep. You didn’t know it was numb, but once you lean onto it, you feel it come alive, and it hurts. 

It hurt so bad. It hurt to finally let all the weight of everything begin to fall. I have felt so tired for the last few weeks now as the bandage has been peeling off this deep wound. I feel these feelings in a way that is completely new to me that is also almost impossible to explain. I have these feelings, but I also have to remember the truth. I wrote a post a while back titled “When you know what you know, but feel what you feel.” I’m glad God moved my heart to start writing out what He has given me in the last few years. It has been great for my heart to go back to those things later, and if I hadn’t captured those words then, they wouldn’t be encouraging me now. 

Here’s what I know:

  • My children are fearfully and wonderfully made
  • My babies are incredible people filled with more amazing qualities than I could list here 
  • Whatever comes out of this challenge they have both faced and are continually making progress through will in the end be for their good and God’s glory
  • It’s okay for the struggle to hurt

I hurt in it. I’ve been alone in it. I have lost part of being honest with myself in making new charts and finding new activities. I have allowed myself to be more their teacher in this area and less their momma to wall off and protect myself from the real stuff in it. That doesn’t mean I have not loved them well or done those things from any place of motivation that wasn’t good. It just means I busied myself and the result was distraction from my own feelings. It is impossible to not want to just fix whatever is wrong for those you love. If I could have waived a wand and made it all different I would have, but I instead did the things I knew would help them – those things just didn’t honor the real stuff that was happening in my own heart.

The real stuff is hard and scary and unsettling. The real stuff is not without hope though. The real stuff just requires facing in honesty what IS and how that FEELS. I’m learning all the time those are different. 

Today I don’t have all the answers, but I know that I love them all the time. I know that’s the most important thing. I know my husband and I will see them through every challenge that comes along with love in our hearts that are fully surrendered to Christ. I know that whatever comes or whatever work has to be done, it will happen. They will have every opportunity to grow and develop. It will all happen.

As my nerves open up to a pain long buried, I’m not really alone. I have my best friend and husband. I have beautiful children who make every day, no matter how difficult, worth it. I have a name written on the hands of my Savior who cares and intercedes for me. 

In the pain, there’s bigger truth I can be anchored to as I work through the feelings that are coming alive and out of numbness. God cares about my heart in this. The hurt won’t always be there, but it’s okay that it is today. It’s okay to let myself feel it, and it’s okay to then get passed it and onto a new hope that will be birthed out of new mercies with each dawn. 

We are each finding our way through words towards new wholeness. A friend pointed out the beautiful irony in that given how much words have been the challenge. I’ll take the irony with the joy that is coming with it. Words will always mean so much more to me now, and I tuck the ones spoken in our home away in my heart and feel it begin to mend.