Yesterday I just felt lost, in my own house with my own day, I knew where I was and I knew what I was supposed to do but Claire cried most of the day, my inbox was full, laundry was overwhelming me, and I needed to somehow make it to the store with a child who was screaming “mama” at me if I moved inches away from her. It was just one of those Mondays. It was particularly bad, nothing life altering happened, it’s just that life happened, and I was being semi selfish ok full on selfish, and I wanted to accomplish things and do thinks and go places and I was wandering.
I think we have all been there, on those terribly ordinary days when we don’t exactly feel like our world is crashing in but we feel like we are wandering through the dessert and we need either Jesus or a great babysitter to save us. Mondays seem to come and life seems to hit me in the face harder than I expected. Its not bad, its not even particularly stressful its just life. Its ordinary and I have to choose joy instead of the negativity that is overwhelming my brain.
In the few moments I had after an altered 6:45 instead of 7 bedtime in an effort to save my sanity I read this.
14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.
I saw this and two things came to mind, man how much I needed to be led, and how I needed to take up the full meaning of “sacrificing myself if necessary”. In motherhood I have noticed a trend I get angry when I feel like I am being asked (which never happens because 7 month olds don’t ask if you can handle them) to do beyond what I can. I get mad at God, I get mad at my husband, and I get mad because I shouldn’t be mad. I am blessed with this life and I truly believe that but some days are just hard.
Then he whispers, let me lead you.
No. I can do this. More anger followed by frustration.
And he whispers again, Let me lead you.
Finally it’s the end of the day and I see that I need to be led, I need him to take my hand and lead back into his ways because I might be a mother but I am not God (the two are often confused) and I can’t help my daughter without his guiding hand, I can’t have the patience I need to have, I can’t have the energy or the strength without him leading me to greener pastures. To pastures where I’m not frustrated that she won’t nap and I couldn’t get anything done. Pastures where I realize the mound of laundry is not an actual tragedy. Pastures where I see that this is all really a gift and my complaining won’t help anything. A pasture where I realize if Jesus could sacrifice for his children I can sacrifice for mine.
We all get there. It might not be motherhood, it might be with your job, or your spouse, or just a friendship gone awry because you wandered from him and now you need to be led back.
He calls us by name, he knows where we have strayed too and he takes us back to him because at the end of all my striving to be ahead of the flock I realize when he said I can’t do anything apart from him he meant that very literally.