Have you ever stopped in a moment and prayed something like this;
‘Lord, give me patience to deal with them!’
‘Jesus, please help me get through this meeting with this group of crazies!’
‘God, I am SO ANNOYED and frustrated, help me to be at peace.’
‘God, what is wrong with people!?’
If you’re like me, you pray prayers like this all the time desperately trying to get through the madness we face on a regular basis. Sometimes these desperate prayers just come out, quick and easy, without any thought or effort but lately, it’s been different for me. When I find myself praying these prayers, asking God things like ‘What is wrong with these people?!’ I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me towards a different kind of question… Questions like ‘Why does this trigger me?’
Since I started to get this little leading from the Lord, I’ve been asking myself over, and over (and OVER) again- this very question. ‘Lord, why does this trigger me?’
Asking the right questions has helped me to get to the root of MY ISSUE and become more accountable, rather then pointing the finger at someone else and expecting God to ‘fix them’ or change my situation.
Today I had yet another ‘God, why does this trigger me?’ moment.
I was dropping my daughter off at school already feeling frustrated that the morning derailed and turned into a yelling and crying match. I walk in and Sav’s teacher begins with the small talk, ‘How are you? How are you feeling?’ and then continues to tell me all about Savannah’s progress with her letters.
Now for the sake of back story, this wasn’t the first time I heard this. The first was via progress report that was sent home. After reading the progress report and the recommendations the first time, I was upset and frustrated. I thought of everything I would say to this teacher. Things like;
‘I would like to see the curriculum you’re teaching.’
‘What’s your plan to give Sav’s letter memory more attention during the school day?’
‘How often are you doing letters throughout the week?’
But when she began to speak, I just teared up with Savannah, standing next to me full of smiles and totally unaware of what was happening. I think all she heard was the great job she was doing with most of her letters and totally disregarded the portion about the letters she didn’t know. In an effort to keep it together, for Savvy’s sake at least, I just nodded my head in agreement, kissed Savannah good-bye and then left to my car where I cried my way to work.
‘Why did this trigger you?’ I felt the Holy Spirit ask me in my no words, tear filled moment.
Why did this trigger me? Why was I losing my mind over this moment? I reasoned with myself that my husband and I sacrifice a lot financially to put her in this school, we wanted the best for her, isn’t this their job? And that’s why I felt frustrated. Then I thought about how she would be starting Kindergarten next year and I wondered ‘will she be prepared?’ Being that kindergarten is about 7 months out, this was a premature concern so then the question remains, what is it? Why did this trigger me?
As I drove, guilt the weight of this world began to crush me.
– I should have more time to work with her.
– If I wasn’t working full time, I would- I could!
– If I could just be there for her more, this wouldn’t be an issue.
There it was, the trigger; the feeling of ‘being a full- time employee makes me a part time Mom’ guilt.
I was so upset because I felt like it’s all my fault, I felt like I can’t be there for her the way I want to be because I’m working, I felt like life will always make me choose and I can never, ever have the best of both worlds, someone or something will always feel the burden of this sacrifice.
Ugh. I hate this trigger. Of all the triggers, this is the worst because it attacks one of the things I hold dearest to me, motherhood.
I wish I could say in that moment, I shook it off, moved on and forgot all about it. I wish it was that simple, but it’s not. I felt frustrated, sad, even confused. Even as I pen this note, I’m asking the Holy Spirit ‘so what’s the answer?’
And all I hear is this; GRACE.
There is grace for this place. There is grace for this life. There is grace for this, not just for me but for my children, for my husband. I believe firmly that when you are called to something, anything – whether its motherhood, marriage, ministry, a job or career, school or training- whatever it is, when you are called to that, the Lord graces you for the journey as well as those who are meant to be on the journey with you.
For example, I know that I KNOW my husband is graced for me and my life as I am for his. Going to school, the personal aspirations I have, the fact that I was a dozen babies (joking- kinda), he is graced for that because he is meant to be on this journey with me.
Today, I’m reminded that my girls are also graced for this journey. Out of all the wombs that God could have placed sweet Savannah in, He chose mine. And that sweet and sassy baby girl is graced for this journey. She is graced to have a mom in the workforce, she is graced to be raised by parents in ministry, she is graced for this life because when God chose me as her mother, He graced her to be my daughter and when He chose her as my daughter, He graced me as her mother.
God didn’t slip, fall and drop her into my lap, or womb for that matter. This was a precise decision made in Heaven and if it makes sense there, surely it’ll make sense here.
Maybe you’re not a mother or this isn’t your struggle but I would challenge you that we all have triggers. This was my trigger today, other days my triggers vary. What’s your trigger?
I just want to encourage someone today who’s been triggered by something and it’s sending you into a spiral of frustration and guilt- you’re graced for this! And so are your children, your spouse and the people who are meant to be on this journey with you.
Be a good steward of what’s before you. All of it. Don’t resent or despise it because God, in all His wisdom chose you for this path. Is He, I mean could He, ever possibly be wrong? I think not.