Relational struggles in our home have been so very few over the last 28 years. After we had children, we didn't experience all the 'dreaded' times of those phases that most parents and families go through - even in the teen years of our three oldest children, life was generally whole, good, creative, productive, and loving.
Today, we are in a season where I wonder if I was only in a dream all those other years, or were my kids normal back then, or do I know anything about parenting anymore? There is certainly a lot to be said for the consequential dynamics that times of grieving will produce, but, right now, I look at all the factors and relationships and I feel not a little overwhelmed.
There are so many disjointed pieces - not to mention all the missing pieces. There is a lack of knowledge as to how to rebuild (yes, we've taken ourselves to a family counsellor for help). There is little human energy compared to the task at hand. It would be so easy to give up.
It would be so easy to blame. It would be so easy to become defensive. It would be so easy to have a pity party! (After all, what more can you expect when menopause has made its entrance!) It would be all to easy to point out all the ways you've done the right things that were either ignored or not appreciated because it wasn't what they wanted or because they were too mad to see or appreciate your demonstrations of love in the midst of your own pain and emptiness.
It would be so easy to do what so many other people have done through the ages - get fed up with people's lack of maturity in social graces, morals and family respect, and give them the ultimatum to "shape up or ship out".
There is no greater opportunity for things to implode as in a situation where all these factors are stirring around. It would be all to easy to explode and not care where all the mess splatters.
Honestly, right now, I have a struggle to "Be still and know that He is God" . That's where my heart longs to be, because without that, I have no wisdom, no strength, no refuge, no hope, no love. Apart from Him and His incredible heart, I can do nothing beyond what many others have done in destroying their families in the rashness of selfish control.
I have been through circumstances that would try any one's faith to the max and I have KNOWN, EXPERIENCED, not just believed or hoped, that all of God's promises are true - because at those terrible 'faith defying' or 'faith defining' moments HE WAS THERE in all of His goodness and did not fail or leave me for one infinitesimal second.
I wait patiently for Him. I listen carefully for Him. I trust that He will strengthen and keep me through all of the 'mess' until the light dawns again. I know He will be with me, no matter how dark and terrible it gets, no matter how weak I feel, no matter what I have to go through to get to the other side of the battle. I know that all His ways are good and when I pursue Him with everything that is in me, I am at peace and am truly blessed!