Pain & Special Parenting
This is the day that I officially declare it: I am so very much unlike my God, our Lord and Savior.
Honestly, I’ve been a rock star mama for the longest time. I’m not passing along hurts or pains (that I’m aware of). And in many, many ways I have felt pride in how much I do for my miracle kids! How much I pour into them. How confident that they are because of it! But I am unlike God. I love my babies unconditionally, yet can’t bring myself to like my littlest sometimes, right now. And because of this, over the last few months, a Great Sadness has overcome my spirit. A sadness that has been – in part – recognizing I can’t fix everything. Not even my child.
Especially not my child.
I am so unlike God!
If you’ve been following our story over the last year (since I began to share it), then perhaps you know our Wild has been on an incredibly bumpy ride. If you’re new to our adventure, our Wild has severe sensory processing disorder. She’s been “put” on the autism spectrum by two clinical studies (though we are still diagnosis-free) and we’re currently battling with behaviors that represent anxiety, OCD, ODD, and ADHD. She’s still very little (she just turned 4!), and it’s hard to say if autism or sensory processing disorder is causing it all, or if these are just separate experiences of her sweet body. And in the midst of this, this mama is enveloped in a sadness so profound… that the things I’ve loved for years, just aren’t filling my well anymore.
I close my eyes and suddenly, I’m back – laying on the floor of my college apartment, getting high so that the sadness might go away. There’s a reason why I call my coaching practice and blog Raw Motherhood…
(Can we just be human?)
Back then, I didn’t have kids yet. My sadness was pain and disease. And I was tired of the roller coaster and doctors only giving me options that made me sicker. My sadness today is different. But it feels the same. I gave birth to this miracle. And my daughter’s pain? That’s my pain too. Seeing her battle her body daily, and being unable to provide or fix where she is has led us to an adventure of appointments with every kind of doctor and therapist possible, those that might support her better than my doctors supported me. Those who might be God’s hands where I can’t be.
In 2008, on that apartment floor I found Eckhart Tolle’s work A New Earth, and I suddenly saw life through fresh eyes. I didn’t need the marijuana anymore. I had God. And I saw His hands all over my life. I’ve had God ever since. But in raising Wild, I’ve been playing God too. I gave that up this year… I can’t always be His hands and feet. Especially not in the situations He isn’t calling me to.
It’s exhausting trying to be the Infinite with a very finite existence…
Thus, I believe that a Great Sadness takes over when we’re not on the right path. When we’re doing what we weren’t designed to do. Some of it is hormonal for many folks; I believe that fully. But for me, my spells of grief are in seeing clearly the pain, but not seeing the God who can heal it, take it, mold it, morph it, and reshape it into something good.
You can pray without ceasing to a God you believe in, yet take on a battle as all yours – and not feel a thing.
Which leads me to today. As I stop playing God, I begin a new chapter. A chapter that began because I wanted to serve more through our Celebrate Recovery Ministry at our church, that has now transformed into being a part of the served at Celebrate Recovery at our church. Three weeks in, and I couldn’t be more amazed by this process. Each week, I bare my soul to phenomenal women who get pain. They’re in it or almost through it or just beginning to dance with it for the very first time. And we support each other in accountability and non-judgement and prayer. There’s no hi, how are you? and responding with a bland good. There’s hi, my name is Jennifer. I am a grateful believer and a daughter of the King and I’m battling shame. I’m battling shame! (I had no idea.) And part of that shame is that tonight, I like my daughter. But this morning I did not. My shame is also in that I can’t do it all. My shame is that I can’t fix what God didn’t create me to fix.
I’m ready to give up shame. I’m ready to give up trying to be God. Life can bring us down some interesting paths, dear friends.
I’m so unlike God. But God is God. And in this process, I’m beginning to see that the more I trust Him with my daughter, the more that I can peek out from under the covers of the blanket of sadness (pretend covers, because Wild still doesn’t give me lots of them during our shared sleep) and see glimpses of who I am without my pain… and without hers.
To my fellow Warriors, I love you, He loves you, and we are both for you. If it’s time for you to hand over all the pains – especially the one’s you don’t own – to our Creator, know I’ve done it first. And I’m praying over the (gluten free) bread crumbs that I’m leaving behind me along this path – that you might pick them up and follow me out of the valley and up the mountain to higher ground.
Peace & Love,