“I don’t feel connection anymore! I feel like I’m fighting to find me but I’m lonely, overwhelmed and unsatisfied.”
This was me two weeks ago on the bed crying to my husband. In less then a year, I moved a state away from all my family and friends, got married and took on 3 children after 33 years of life as a single. Some call it change, I call it a quantum leap!
I was used to saying “yes” to every family member, and every friend. I went to every birthday party, every social outing and answered every call and text in less then 3 minutes. I was there for everyone. I valued people and I believe for that reason they valued me. My role was best daughter, best sister and best friend. But what happens when you can’t possibly be that anymore? What happens when your role changes significantly?
Listen ladies, I believe women truly have the power to be superwoman and as I get older I realize most of us are. But we are still human. We all only have 24 hours in a day. We all only have 2 hands. We all only have one body that scientists have yet to figure out how to split in half to be in two places at once. And we are still fragile. We need to take care of ourselves. No husband, child, family member or friend will want the you that has nothing to give.
From this role change, I’m truly learning the meaning of “leaving and cleaving” that Genesis 2:24 describes. Where we are to become one with our husband, make them the priority, and everything and everyone else in life comes after. We are to leave home not just physically but also relationally. Your husband is your number one. And you respect and honor him above everyone else. We are to leave home emotionally too. When something exciting happens, your first inclination should be to call your husband. Not your mom, your sister or your friend. He is your person!
Which leads me back to the question “what happens when you can’t be everything to everyone anymore?”
You may get some eye rolls. You may get talked about. You may get some feelings of guilt because us women want to be there for people. You may feel lonely because sometimes life as a wife and mom is a thankless job and the conversation you had today with your four year old just isn’t as fulfilling as the conversation you’d have with your best friend. And lastly, you may cry. More then once. Because life changes and change is hard!
But after every hard time in life there’s a silver lining just like after a rain storm comes a rainbow.
I know if I do this right, one day I’ll see the little people I’ve helped mold be proud of who they are. I know if I do this right, one day our home will be a place of safety that the kids come running to for love when the world hurts them. I know if I do this right, one day I’ll be sitting next to Neil at our 50th wedding anniversary party, weeping while I’m listening to the toasts of how our love made our children seek a love worth having. I know if I do this right, the hard times will be forgotten and the loneliness will be turned to absolute awe and fullness when I get to the gates and Jesus says “well done my good and faithful serving.”
So hold tight to your husband first and foremost, it’s just you and him til the end! Second, love your children because everyday that passes is another day they let go. (And remember they are supposed to, so they too can someday create a family legacy of their own.) Third, save some margin for downtime. You need it. And lastly, when time allows, connect with the other ones you love. If they are still standing by your side after you’ve set your boundaries and priorities, they will encourage, support and understand what you are going through. They are your cheerleaders!
Side note: This post was just as much for me as it was for you. My heart needed to write it. And I will need to read it on the hard days. I hope it helps you as much as it will help me.
Dear Lord, thank you for showing us the way to live. Your Word is our direction and we want to live by that knowing it’s the way to ultimate satisfaction. We know just like you suffered here on earth, we will too. But just like you, one day we will feel the glory of heaven if we just do choose to do life with you. We are not perfect and we need you. We know your grace is with us in our mistakes and you only look for our progress. Please make us more like you every day. Break us down to be rebuilt in your way. We need your strength. We need your companionship on the days we get lonely. We love you and know you are with us in all things and for that we praise your name. Amen.