TRIGGERED

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.

SURELY

Most days I wake up and literally can’t believe this is my life.. I feel so thankful and blessed for everything around me. Grateful for how God has transformed my life and grateful that He has made the little I had into something more beautiful than I could have ever hoped for or imaged.

I look at my growing belly, past the itchy stretch marks, heaviness and discomfort I see the most precious gift I could ever be given. The gift of life. I wonder how God could have found me fit or suitable enough to place this miracle within me. I wonder how I could be so lucky to have such an amazing husband. He is so talented, supportive, caring and considerate. He’s given me a sense of stability and structure that my heart has always longed for, knowing that he is always in my corner, rooting me on has given me such confidence to pursue my dreams, words can not even describe how thankful I am for him. I wake up every day in such a beautiful home, a wonderful job, fabulous friends and family. Most times, I don’t understand how I can be SO blessed.
 
I know that it’s not because of anything I’ve done. I know that I could never do enough to make myself worthy of all that God has blessed me with. I realize that it’s by His grace alone I’m able to have more than I deserve.
 
When I stop and think about grace, a very simple picture comes to mind.. (if you know me, you know I need an illustration for everything!) I envision myself, standing, looking towards the heavens at all of God’s goodness and glory, His love and mercy, and it just seems so far from me, close enough to see it and yearn for it but too far to touch it! And then I see grace. I believe grace is the substance that bridges the gap from where I am to where God is. Grace fills in everything that I can’t. It makes a way to a destination that would otherwise be impossible to reach. It makes the impossible, possible.
 
With all that I have, I still wake up every morning knowing that there is so much more to come. I turn over and see the most amazing man I know laying by my side (in case you didn’t know, I think my husband is absolutely wonderful and I’ll never stop saying it), my daughter flipping in my belly and I think “wow, could it get any better?”..
 
Something inside of me always whispers, “Yes. It can and it will”.
 
Now, I don’t say this to brag, or because I’m arrogant or conceited. I don’t even say it because my life is perfect or because I have no lack or struggle, that’s not the truth either. I say this because I can look across the balance of my life, the good and the bad, and still know that each portion is a blessing, not a burden. I’m a woman who chooses to talk about my joys and not my struggles, my hope and not my fears, my future and not my failures. If that is offensive, that’s unfortunate.
 
As my pregnancy comes to an end I’m filled with excitement and anticipation about the newest addition to our family. Filled with awe and wonder, I think what will it be like? Will I be a good mother? Will my husband and I provide for our daughter? Will we lead and direct her in the ways that she should go? Will I be a good example of a Christian women? Will my relationship with God be something she is attracted to or will she try to deflect God because of my example? Will my marriage remain stable and strong? Will my house stay in order? Will I still be able to write? Can I possibly be as active in ministry as I believe I’m called to be WHILE raising a child? Will I be the mother my daughter deserves?

 

As all these questions run through my mind, I can honestly say, I don’t have much of an answer for any of them. I really don’t know what things will be like, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t know where this road will take me. I can see where I am, I can see where I’m going, but the road to get there is still a blur.. In the midst of all the confusion, there is one thing that rings in my heart, loud and clear, the one thing that keeps me confident, the still, small voice that whispers:
 
“Surely there is enough grace.”
 
I realize that before I was a wife, a leader, a teacher, a writer, a mother, a friend, a sister, an aunt, an employee before I was any of these things, I was simply: Daughter
 
Realizing that being a Daughter to the Father is what I was first called to do, and being His Daughter will be my only eternal title, brings me peace that no matter what other “titles” I hold in between, Daughter came first and Daughter will be last. I may not know exactly what this journey will look like but I know that grace will bridge the gap of where I am, and where I need to go.
 
Maybe this life is impossible, maybe I do have unrealistic expectations OR maybe, just MAYBE I have come to the realization that with man it may be impossible, but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.
 
As I enter into this new chapter of life I’m convinced I will find success and balance, peace and joy. My prayer each day is “Not by my strength, but by YOUR grace.” and surely, there is enough grace……….