Monday, February 17, 2014

When life is just too much to handle.

Yesterday was a hard day. It felt utterly impossible and it magnified the fact that I am a single parent. Ever have days like that?

This one was a long time coming, I suppose. Last year at the end of August, I sold my 2nd cleaning company. I had a couple of really good leads on jobs, but they ultimately did not culminate in a job offer. Instead of getting to invest my profit from the sale of my company, I ended up living on it. After a few months of that, I started getting nervous about my finances, so I went to work for a fine dining restaurant, serving tables. Not exactly the step up my career ladder I had hoped for, but a good job for the in-between.

Well, a fairly good job for the in-between, I guess. I am working 3-4 (usually 3) nights a week so that does allow me quite a bit of time with Jackson (we are part time homeschooling), but it also puts me away from home until very late a few night a week. Since I am no spring chicken, my body does not exactly "bounce back" from the 6-7 hours of walking and lifting heavy trays and going to bed wayyyy past my bedtime. Every "morning after", I feel hungover and OLD. And truthfully, it's not enough for us to live on. When I say things have been tight lately, that is the understatement of my year. (It's only February, note to self.)

So, when I received a job offer a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled and relieved and ecstatic and happy and WOOHOOOO, I GOT A JOB!!!! The job almost seems tailor-made for me. I will get to work in my giftedness in a job that marries business and ministry. Couldn't be happier. Except...

It involves a move. And my sweet Jackson has already experienced so much challenge and change that the thought of more of it makes my heart hurt. And apparently it makes his heart hurt too because he fell apart yesterday. It started when I found that he was chatting with people he doesn't know in a multiple player web-based game. This is against our house-rules and, honestly, it completely freaks me out. He had also JUST come off a 3 week period of not having his computer because I'd found him playing on it at 2:30 in the morning, so I was really disappointed to find that he was playing inappropriately on it again. (Moms, is it just me??? What the heck! I hate computers!!!!)

So, I'm wanting to talk to him about character, integrity, internet safety (fun stuff for a 10 year old boy, no doubt) and he just lost it. He was so angry and so sad and so miffed about being moved around (we moved from Castle Rock to Denver in 2010 and from Denver to Austin in 2011) and hurt about stuff related to the divorce and man oh man, he just let it all out. I listened and I did my best to empathize. And I questioned my parenting and I questioned our future and I questioned my decisions and I just questioned it all. Because when my kid is in pain, I want to make it better and I'm willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES. But sometimes I just don't know. I don't always know. I just don't. And this is the hardest thing I ever encounter.

And in that moment, instead of trying to figure it out by myself and trying to hear God by myself, I reached out. I called some friends and asked if we could come over. They said yes and so we went over and sat in their living room for 2 hours and told them all of it. It helped so much because A) They care about us and B) They're not feeling it the same way we are so they are able to listen and see the big picture and give advice and support from the outside looking in. Jackson and I both felt better when we left. We were like 2 over inflated balloons that needed our spouts untied so we could let out some stiff air. I could almost hear the stress escaping us.

Today is a new day, we are starting from a better place. Nothing has really changed, except that my boy expressed himself and was listened to and the same goes for me. I still have some big decisions to make and change is imminent. And with change comes challenge, which is so hard but is always good for us if we let it be. Here is part of the Jesus Calling devotion for today:

Do not fear change, for I am making you 
a new creation, 
with old things passing away and new things continually on the horizon.  
When you cling to old ways and sameness, you resist My work within you. 
I want you to embrace all that I am doing in your life, 
finding your security in Me alone. 

Because, you know, that's how God is. Always communication and comforting. I believe that and I believe that He sees us, each of us, and knows the way that is best for us. It's getting past our present circumstances and hearing Him that is very hard sometimes. Which is why it is so important to reach out. 

We need to reach out more, don't you think? It's hard sometimes because we are all incredibly critical of ourselves as parents. We expect so much more of ourselves than we should. We are not the Lone Rangers! Especially us single parents. It feels like the loneliest role sometimes. But don't believe the lie that you are alone. People care and want to help, but can't unless we reach out. Be brave! Let others into your pain and confusion and difficult decision-making. It really makes a huge difference!

XO,
Erin

PS What are you dealing with right now? Is it difficult for you to reach out and let others in on your burden?

3 comments:

Adrienne Graves said...

I'm glad you guys both got to share and were so brave to let others in! You are the second person to share that Jesus Calling quote from this morning (a book I don't have, but Jason just got it and reads it like a book, not by date!!!!) so I'm guessing my heart needed to hear this, too!

Thanks for sharing your heart...I'm praying for you and God to give you both confidence in His plans for you, whatever and wherever they may be.

Love you! xoxox

Kate said...

I'm so sorry things have been tough for you two! Thoughts and prayers for guidance and contentment for you both!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I needed to know it isn't just us...everyone else seems so normal and perfect...