Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Own Your Exact Life, Sisters

“Take all the hard parts—the failure, the losses, the wounds— and give them to Jesus for glory. He makes magic with those, I tell you. Those scars are a gift; they say, “See, I’ve been there, and here I am still standing and you will too.” They become badges of honor, agents of healing.”
- Jen Hatmaker, For The Love

Sometimes it hits me..... There’s a little bit of tragedy in all the brilliant, educated, powerful women who have been dragged out of their passions and squeezed into motherhood. 

I’m just being honest.

All their lives, they've practiced making their dreams come true. They are teachers, authors, artists, musicians, counselors, movers and shakers. And now they clean up the same messes, day in and day out. The meal messes. The legos. The pee pee sheets. The bath water. The smeared food.

Even if they’re tackling their corner with bravery and strength, it’s just a little sad, isn’t it? 

Sometimes I think it's worth saying out loud. It's worth stopping to recognize that there's a deep cost to the work we do here.

There’s also overwhelming beauty.
Wise words once taught us, “Greater love has no one than this, that a person should lay down her life for her friends.” For our children, we undoubtedly lay our lives down. Daily. 

We lose ourselves. We give up our dreams. We give up sleep and physical beauty and social recognition and freedom. We give up single-minded focus, task oriented behaviors, and showers. We give up simplicity. But we haven’t given up! 

Are we writing our own tickets to the future? Picturing it and making it happen? Seeing the world, putting it all out there, leaning in? No... at least for a season, no.
But how totally ballsy is it to have your first dreams taken away, and just not give up?
To accept that your dreams were smashed and see it as a redirection not an end. To take a deep breath, let it go, maybe grieve a little, and then start telling a new story. Holy crap guys! [Insert corny and obligatory phoenix-rising-from-ashes references here. ;) ] It’s beautiful.

Being determined to only have one version of your life may rob you of the magical experience of turning scars into praise songs. Trials into testimonies. Loss into limping leadership. Hurt into heroism. 

Look at all those women out there… the ones that “used to be” job titles and labels... now they don't have the security of a label and they do this raw, organic, natural work of birthing and preparing they next generations of the world... they do motherhood. Quietly. Invisibly. Their rewards are jelly kisses and holding sleep-breathing angels with floppy miniature bodies just five more minutes. Look at all the sparkling intelligence and leadership there. Has she wasted her life? No. Look at the bravery. She has allowed herself to be humbled, but not crushed. Knocked down, but not destroyed. She will rise up with greater strength, because she knows that nothing (no loss of identity, no pedantic purpose, no stooping low) can take away her worth and her guts.  

It’s a beautiful coincidence in the English language (or iiiiiiis it?) that “Testimony” begins with “Test.” This is it, ladies. This season of life is our Test. Allow it to make you richer, not thinner. Warmer, not colder. More, not less. Let it add to your character rather than destroy your dreams. This is not a detour, but an integral formation of fibers in the tapestry of your life and the tome of your story.

If you will hold loosely to that one perfect vision you had of who you are, the Lord will reveal that you are much more than you ever imagined. 

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