Until the dawn appeareth

I’m stuck in the death part, maybe you are too. The part where we wait. The part where darkness feels like a companion and we wait for dawn together. It’s not cancer, or terrorism or racial strife – no, it’s just the daily hard, and it can feel like drowning.

My mind so easily travels where I know it’s unhealthy to go. To wistful thinking about my grad school days overseas, where I was young, and thin and could drink without worrying about a baby inside of me or breastfeeding. Or, I think of filtered Facebook pictures showing friends who have the time, money and lack of being tied down to travel around the world. And I want that. Oh, how I want that. What I wouldn’t give to be sitting in a rooftop café in Rome eating bread and mozzarella, curled up with a hot cup of coffee.

This laying down is a choice to sacrifice for the moment, waiting with eager expectation that the dawn is coming. But the dawn feels like a dream. There’s a daily laying down – diapers, and not sleeping, and late-night arguments because in all of the crazy, I forgot not only to care for myself but also for my husband. And we retreat to contempt or we sweep it under the rug. Maybe you’re wondering if someone sees you. If the mess of the house or your love handles won’t be the currency to gain you love. That even in the now, even without traveling the world, that you are worth so very much.

dawn_sunrise_sun

Because validation is never going to come from an outside source and be truly satisfying. For me, I notice how my mind spirals deeper and deeper down and away from a center, and I realize the caverns of what Christians call sin in my own heart. How I reach out with Grinch-like talons to grasp onto a life that is not mine, can never be mine. Because it’s not just the daily deaths of motherhood, it’s this whole life of faith.

Because this life is not mine. It’s His.

Frankly sometimes that stings. And the death hurts.

Yet, there is no meaning apart from this daily death dance that you and I do. And I want my life, my sacrifice, to mean something. There is a promise that is centuries old, and moves in waves across genders, cultures and political movements. And it is a grace that is bigger than me or you, and the diapers and the tiredness and the lack of “me time.” It envelops and brightens and makes the suffering beautiful. It takes twisted, broken things and turns them into beauty.

So we’ll wait – you and I – until the dawn appears.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Ashley! I can very vividly remember the days of having littles and wondering if changing diapers and doing laundry and all the mundane tasks of the life of a mommy were worth the effort – if there would ever be a reward – if I would ever do anything for myself anymore. Being on the “older” side of that (I still wash dishes for 6, do laundry for 6, and clean up after 5 plus myself, the neat freak) I can say this: while you’re in knee-cap kid mode, taking care of littles, do two things. Take small amounts of time for yourself to do what you like to do, like when they nap or you can get mom or a friend to watch them for an hour or two. And keep dreaming of all those things you want to do with your life. God gave you those dreams, and there will be a day you will be able to pursue them. (Maybe even today, in that little moment of quiet time…) I wish I’d known to take little moments to pursue my dreams when my kids were ten years younger… but His timing is perfect, and I’m still amazed. And my kids know they’re loved and have a safe place, so I keep doing the mundane, knowing my reward is eternal.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I’m making time to write here and that has made me much happier. With four kids the baby and toddler stuff doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming as it did the first go around. But with so many people to care for and the noise, well that can be hard. Thanks for commenting and encouraging.

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  2. Oh, this is just beauty. The steel on the anvil getting sharper and sharper. Sparks fly, we are molded and become something entirely other. I love how you phrase the mundane and the sacrifice of self into the arms of our precious hope and sanctification. Praying hard for your heart in this journey!

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