Isn't it interesting how God shows up in the little details of life? By reading my blog, you probably have ascertained that I'm going through some things in life that are difficult. What I don't really talk about is my Weight Watchers Journey. I don't talk about it with anyone, really, because its very difficult and there are a whole lot of emotions tied to my weight. When I look in the mirror I see more than excess weight. I see pain. I see grief. I see fear. I see loss. I see rejection. I see a whole lot of things in each particle of excess fat. I did not get here easily. It has been very costly. One thing that is truly amazing about the current WW program is the meetings. It's one thing to watch what you eat, but in the meetings they really dive into WHY we eat. What is going on in our mind that we allow ourselves to do this? Better still, how can we start using tools for living to make positive changes in our whole self?
The past several weeks have been especially difficult on me. I'm finding that parenting adult children and being a mother-in-law is the hardest stage of parenting yet. When our kids are young they need us so much. And we need them. We are integral parts of each others' lives. And for a stay at home mom, often her kids are just about everything to them. Life for the mom centers on loving our children and raising them to know they are loved, and capable. Then they grow up. They don't need us as much as they used to..... But we still need them....And to mom, it was just yesterday that they came home from the hospital. I mean I can still see in my mind's eye the first time we walked into our house with a baby carriage. I knew this small person was going to change my entire world. He already had. Then as the days passed a piece of my heart started walking around. But, every single thing he did brought me joy. To see him struggle hurt me. To see him grow grew me. Letting him go to Sri Lanka 3 times took an emotional toll. Watching him marry the love of his life- seeing him so happy- made the past 20 years flash before my eyes.
People don't talk about how hard this stage is. We hear all about how difficult the toddler years are, and then we hear about how difficult the teen years are. But no one really talks about young adult years. This transition period where they branch out and start to figure out their own life. And mom, who has been there for everything is suddenly not anymore.
They're supposed to do this. They're supposed to move out. They're supposed to go to college. They're supposed to start making decisions, (even ones we disagree with). They're supposed to separate from us.
As a parent, I understand and accept this part of life. I want them to grow up and move out and be successful and happy in their lives.
But, I find myself wondering where I still fit in their lives. Do I matter? It's not that I want them tied down to me, or even want to tell them what to do. I just want to still be able to watch them from the sidelines. I want to still be part of their life.
Am I alone in this?
Part of my fear comes from my own broken relationship with my mom. I know that relationships between parent and child can go south and even end. I've experienced it. I know how easy it is to get there. I know the pain of this relationship in particular being broken. So I hold on. Maybe a little tighter than I should. But I'm fearful.
And so, this week I let my fear take over again.
This past week has been especially difficult for me. I am really struggling emotionally with lots of things.
So in my WW meeting after a particularly sleepless night they talked about the very thing I need to hear. Letting go. They talked about how when we have emotionally charged times we can think of it like the ocean. The emotions are the waves. If you're in the ocean, and the wave starts to build, at times it will pull you and sometimes even knock you down as it draws up and crashes over you, but then the water washes over you and you can stand strong again. It's important to know as we are in the part of the wave that knocks us down that it will wash over and we'll be able to stand back up again. I sat last night watching the waves at the beach thinking on this a lot as I tried to keep my emotions in check.
Then this morning I woke up and read my devotional in my Bible App.... Today's entry: The Wind and the Waves.
This is how God comforts us. These are the things that He does every single day. Things that, if we're not looking, we miss. If I had missed my quiet time with Him this morning I would have missed this message from Him. The message that He's there. He's walking with me through this valley of pain. When it feels like no one understands me, and I feel so very very alone, He is there. He is there. HE hasn't left me. HE knows my feelings, and is still there. HE knows my emotions and doesn't shy away. HE values me. I don't have to fit in a box for Him. I don't have to say the right things for Him. I don't have to keep the appropriate amount of distance for Him. I don't have to smile and act like everything is fine when it isn't for Him. I can simply rest in Him. I can just climb into His lap and cry. And He is not burdened by it. He will be there as the wave crashes over me. Even if the wave takes people or things out to sea, He will remain with me.