My Own “Desperate”…part 1

All of last week was full of posting and reposting links to the book Desperate and the giveaways that were available.  I lay in bed Saturday morning thinking back to my own Desperate story – it made me dizzy!  Here is a blessing – I think I even laughed, as quietly as possible so as not to wake my sleeping husband, at some of those moments. It was quite insightful and inspiring, though, to think back to where I was and see where I am.  So, this begins my own Desperate story…

Let’s see, oh yes, at 20 my hunky, guitar playing man and I got married and a few weeks later got pregnant and before our first anniversary had Little Man #1!  I was so excited to be a mom, to hopefully be a generation breaker of many things that had been “wrong” in my life, and to lead in the ground breaking work of building a new legacy for further generations.  I remember the first morning when it was just us three and I was up very early with Christopher. I was feeding him, both from myself and from The Word.  That moment, in the dark, stillness of our tiny cabin was monumental for me.  I felt all the hope and possibility of being a mother.  Then…

Then we moved a little closer to our school, where I was still attending classes part-time and working 20 hours a week and Nathan was attending full-time and no longer working. We had stepped out on faith, thank God for His grace and care that fails not(!), and decided Nathan would not work during the week but would travel on weekends with his college band.  Mmhm!  Well, that lasted, oh, about a month.  At that point, I stopped working, Nathan got a job 30 minutes away at a coffee shop, and on the weekends he was not traveling with the band, he supply preached.

In the midst of the logistics of our life, work, not working, paying all the bills, doing homework, trying to stretch to buy groceries, etc., I was adjusting to being a young wife and a mother.  Want to know what?  There is a WHOLE LOT no one EVER told me about being a mom!  Things like these cute little babies will wake you up from your sleep…every night…for quite awhile!  Or that your body would do things you absolutely had not idea it could or would do to you!  I never knew that in the midst of being more exhausted than I can even explain and sick with the flu six weeks into motherhood and having to sleep on an air mattress because we didn’t have a bed yet and never knowing if we would get paid, that I would be expected to be a loving, patient, and gentle wife and mother.  I had no idea that that would be expected of  me, and I had no idea how to make it happen!  I was Desperate!

So, 18 months later we had Timothy and were settled in a parsonage in a little town that was taking care of our physical needs at that time.  (My husband comes from Dallas…mega churches…we were living in a town of 66 people…farmers…yes, imagine!)  Timothy’s pregnancy was so easy that I literally had him and a couple hours later thought, “I could do this again tomorrow!”  Easy…well, everything easy about Timothy ended on April 6, 2005, in the hospital.  Christopher had been such an easy starter baby – sleeping through the night by 6 weeks, having a soft, low cry, pretty content.  Timothy came out screaming and didn’t stop until kindergarten was over!  But let’s not get too far ahead…

So, we were living in the small town.  I spent more time there because Nathan was still in school full-time and I was a stay at home mom…an hour away from my husband every day…and we only had one car.  I was blessed to be in good company with about 4 others moms in the area with children all the same age as mine – God’s grace!  Oh, do you remember how I was so eager to “do it again” because Timothy’s pregnancy was so easy?  K, well, we did…6 months later.  So, there I was, a two year old, a 6 month old, and pregnant.  Now, I have not mentioned how I feel during the first part of pregnancy.  Well, let’s just say, I’m glad I was staying home by the time I was carrying baby #2!  Exhaustion over having an already baby…and then two…and then extreme exhaustion and nausea from being pregnant.  Oh, and post-pardum, which I did not know I had, because I thought it only showed up by way of not wanting to be near your newborns.  I wanted to be near them, didn’t want to hurt them, but I learned a new “f” word during those years that I am now trying really hard to unlearn…frustrated! (Had some of you holding your breath over that one!)  I was frustrated with our crumbling, old walls.  I was frustrated that we couldn’t afford for me to decorate anything.  I was frustrated that I was away from my husband more than we were together.  I was frustrated that we couldn’t find a ministry that fit us better, and that we fit better.  I was frustrated that Timothy would NOT go to sleep or sleep through the night or stay well or stop screaming…an no one was telling me why!  I was frustrated that I couldn’t sleep.  I was frustrated…that I was frustrated and angry and weepy and I had no idea why!  I was Desperately frustrated!

So, at some point in my pregnancy with Aaron, I wrote a letter to my husband’s Aunt, sharing all of my “frustrations”, and thankfully, she replied!  She informed me of the possibility of post-pardum, what it could look like, and how long it realistically could last.  She also pointed out the “desperate” state of my body in the last 2 1/2 years…pregnant, post-pardum while pregnant, still post-pardum from the first, probably, and now the second, and now pregnant again.  Not only was I frustrated, so was my body!

Now, the summer Aaron was born was interesting.  Still in all those same “positions” with home, work, husband, kids, and frustration; now, add potty training.  Please, just take a moment and pray for any mother who is potty training their child…especially when they have other children.  Selah.  Okay, now add to the potty training, the pressure of being told that you should start around 21 weeks, and it takes, oh, only about a week. Uhhhhuhhh!  You’re going there with me, aren’t you?!  Now, I was given this information by a very loving and helpful and wise source in my life, so when the week past, and I found myself pregnant, post-pardum, frustrated, yelling, and in tears asking my 2 year old to please forgive mommy, I felt like a complete failure!  Failing my husband, because how in the world would I have energy for our “alone time” when I didn’t have energy for any time!  Failing my first born because mommy yelled at him most of the time and turned on Blues Clues more than I should have.  Failing my second born because I couldn’t console him, keep him well, or stop yelling at him for screaming at me.  Failing my third, not yet born because I wasn’t giving him the prenatal, calm, his little inside-mommy’s-tummy-ears were supposed to be hearing.  At the same time, we were failing the church and the town we were living in, and they were failing us.  We just didn’t fit together, but nothing was opening up for us to move!  I – we – were Desperate!

Now, take a deep breath, because here comes a bit of light in all this darkness.  The day Aaron was born Nathan was on the phone with the minister who was starting this church in Falcon, Colorado.  A few weeks later, Aaron and I flew out to interview with Nathan for the Worship Arts position at this church plant.  Four weeks later, we packed everything in a U-Haul and hauled it out to Colorado Springs.  This is what I had been waiting for!  A new job, a new place, a new start, a new house…just new!  How was I to know all this new could still house all the “old” I lugged around within myself?  I didn’t have a clue, but my desperation was about to reach new heights and be unleashed in ways I never would have imagined or ever want to tell people…in person…in a group…or on a blog.  Selah…smile…breathe…

Even in the midst of the Desperate, they were and are my joy!
Even in the midst of the Desperate, they were and are my joy!

To be continued…
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5 thoughts on “My Own “Desperate”…part 1

  1. You are so brave to share all this! But, girl, I very much understand what you’re talking about. Maybe not to your extent (three kids age 2 or 3 and under?!?). But all those feelings, post-partum, frustration….. Check, check, check.

    1. If only I hadn’t secluded myself for so long, Lanaya. Since there can be such a fine line between “testifying” and complaining, I try to hold back, hold in, and hold on! I am finding there can be a wise way to share; I’m hoping that I stay on that side of things. Thank you for your words! I am always encouraged to hear from you!

  2. Oh sweet friend… wish I would have known you a little sooner. ; ) Thanks for sharing your story of desparation that so many new, and old, mothers feel. I know I will be glad I have read the rest of this story, as I always appreciate your insight girl. I’ll talk to you soon.

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