I call my husband frequently, “Babe, my gas light just came on. How much further can I drive?” The past few years, I have realised that motherhood is all about what you have left when you are running on an empty tank.
When the petrol tank warning light is on in my body, mind, soul and spirit, what is in my reserve?
I have the tummy bug and so do my two youngest children. After getting sick a few nights ago, I went to bed early only for my husband James to apologetically wake me several hours later asking for help. I walked out of my bedroom to hear vomiting in surround sound. Evan in his room on the left; Meredith in her room on the right. Dividing and conquering, James and I mastered a routine of changing bed linens, cleaning floors, changing the kids pajamas and our clothes on repeat.
Several days later, I feel like it has been groundhog day. Improving in health a bit more each day, my exhaustion is setting in full force. Not being able to keep food down, I feel shaky, have a splitting headache from being dehydrated and am completely exhausted from rocking the baby in the wee hours of the night. I woke up one night to a faint cry, finding baby girl covered in dried corn flakes in her hair. She had thrown up, but was so unwell, she fell back asleep without a cry. Having my own queasy stomach and knowing how poorly she felt, I tenderly pulled out bits of cemented food from her little curls while baby girl looked at me helplessly in the warm bath.
In these moments, I recognise my body is in desperate need of some fuel. Without knowing how much further I can go or when I can refuel, I carry on going hoping I can make it without running out completely. Last night, I was so nauseated and exhausted and tired of throwing up that I lie on my floor and just sang to Jesus, evoking his peace and presence. Asking for his calm, begging for some fuel, inviting him into this sacred space where I am beyond my capacity. That is where I found peace, hope, and light. That is where I found a supernatural reserve to push past the circumstances and find joy and contentment.
It is a beautiful, beautiful place to be beyond yourself if you invite the creator of the universe to meet you there. Where people see religion as a set of traditions that limit freedom, I experience an intimacy in the darkness with God that illuminates a way forward- a transcendental experience that I can only describe as awesome.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.