To Be Understood


Today I was sad. 

I tried not to think about it, and I did a pretty good job until the afternoon, when it hit me like a wave that it was my last day of maternity leave and work is waiting for me on Monday. It's been eight weeks, and I am so thankful for the blessing of this summer. Since I have a traditional office job, I don't get a summer break, but having a baby in June meant that I basically got the whole summer off, and it has been so wonderful.

It's no secret that I find being a working mom to be really hard. And I'm not here to discuss or debate the challenges of being a mom who stays at home or a mom who works. Everyone has different needs and different strengths and different desires, but since having R, my heart has been to stay at home. 

This summer I felt like I got to open the gate and stand in the green grass that I've been staring at from the other side of the fence. I can't honestly tell you I've loved every single minute, because staying at home with two kids all day is often stressful and sometimes boring and always exhausting. 

But, you guys, I have loved it.

I am so thankful to be able to work from home for a couple of months with J before going back to the office, so I don't have to leave him just yet. But I still have to take R to daycare, and let's be real: working from home is not at all the same thing as not working.

So today I was sad.

I texted a few friends about it, because I'm someone who needs to share all my feeeeeelings. They were supportive, but for one reason or another, none of them can truly relate. One doesn't have any kids, one is a SAHM, one works but doesn't have my angst about it... 

It's nice to have friends I can share things with who will listen, and sometimes that's enough. 

But sometimes I want more.
I want to be understood.

I don't want to have to go into the reasons why right now it isn't possible for me to not have a job, or why I don't want to try to find something else because I do honestly like where I work. I don't want to have to try not to sound offensive when I talk about why for me being home this summer has been so much easier than the past year and a half of working. I don't want to have to explain why the phrase "full-time mom" when applied to a stay-at-home mom is so insulting to me (but seriously, we need to stop saying this).

I just want to say I'm sad about going back to being a working mom and be truly, totally understood about everything that's included in that statement.

Today I was sitting on the couch holding J, and R was playing next to me, and I started crying thinking about Monday. Not just watery eyes but actual tears streaming down my face.

And God spoke to me. 

It wasn't an audible voice, of course. There wasn't any thunder; the lights didn't flicker.
Nothing happened. But I just felt this peace settle over me, and I felt God whisper:
I see you. 
I hear you. 
I understand.

Christians like to talk about God understanding all of our fears and desires and knowing all of our thoughts. He experienced it all! we say. He knows what it feels like! And sometimes it's kind of like, yeah yeah okay. That's a nice sentiment, but I can't give God a hug or send him a text and get a reply, so what good does that do me? Sometimes he feels too far "out there" to offer tangible, real-time comfort.

But today, I felt him so close. Honestly I did. And more than that, I felt totally understood. I told him I was sad, and I didn't have to say anything else because he knew everything else.

So I'm writing this now to remind you (and myself) that God sees you. He hears you. And most of all, he understands. Whatever it is that you're anxious or sad or angry or confused about, he knows, and you don't have to explain yourself. He won't be offended or upset. He won't think you're silly. He won't roll his eyes.

Lay it down at his feet and find rest. It doesn't mean you won't still be sad or anxious or angry or confused, but it does mean that you are always seen and heard. You are always understood.

No further explanation needed.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 
- Matthew 11:28

*Comments turned off. I hope this encouraged you today. 
You are seen and heard. You are understood.