So, I have had several messages sent to me today wanting to know if I was okay since I "ranted" a couple of days ago on my blog post...well, I am okay, thank you...but I was having a mama moment that tends to happen every now and then. I tried to be as gracious as I could, perhaps more mama in me showed than grace, but it was a mama that simply misses her son and has some hard times on her hands and in her heart. Writing and being real gives me that opportunity to not just give grace to others, but to show others I need it too. This is all part of my life after loss...and these moments are just as real as the come to Jesus moments I have...please note, these moments lead me to those come to Jesus moments too!
So, perhaps the post was a tad uncharacteristic for my usual posts but it was real, honest and raw, just as I said it would be.
I am a human mama that has moments that get to me...and God is a big God sees that and understands that. And with that, I am keeping it real... it's not all rainbows and butterflies.
But at the end of the day, it's all God that molds me back together and gives me the humility to pick myself up and try again.
So here I am, trying again!
I ran across a blog that spoke directly to my heart for many reasons. It is a must read for anyone that has lost a child! Click here for the link.
I love the words Ann Voskamp shares as they also relate to my heart very much. "I struggle with fear. I always have. And I have faced one of the most terrible things a parent can ever go through. But I don’t want those to be the deciding factors in how I mother my children."
Wow, when I read those words, I stopped what I was doing, which ironically was telling my kids to be careful in the pool, and realized that this is exactly what I am doing!!! (please read her blog post linked above, it is truly worth the read!)
This is why Ann's words went straight to my heart...I am letting the fear of losing Matthew determine how I parent my boys now. In fear of losing them or something tragic happening to one or both of them.
I have a 13 year old son and a 6 year old very brave, I want to do everything that the teenagers do, son. I have so many rules for them that is it quite ridiculous and I recognize that these rules are probably bigger than most rules because I also have a 7 year old in heaven. These rules I have for them are are fears wrapped up in a different word for me. I know that.
My boys are pretty typical boys that love adventure more than pizza. Any chance to do some boy stuff and the door shuts as quickly as it opens with a "Bye Mom" that is interrupted by the slamming of the door.
Boy stuff isn't just about race tracks (inside race tracks) and Hot Wheel Cars anymore...oh no...it is at an entirely new level! Big flips in the pool, BB guns in the woods (not my 6 year old!), four wheeler riding in the trail, standing right on the edge of the pond to catch a fish while mama sits behind them saying "you are too close to the water, there could be a snake..."
You get the picture, right?
Last night they were outside with their dad riding their four wheelers. This will come as no surprise, I am not a fan of four wheelers. (shocker!) And four wheelers and living in the country are like ponds and fish. Most of us have them. The big smiles that accompany their helmets really make me smile, until I hear the engines start, then I am off into the house with music or the TV on loud so I don't hear the four wheelers. That may sound terrible but that is the way it is. No one is allowed to ride them until their daddy gets home and then when he is outside watching them, I recluse to the house to panic and pray until the engines turn off and all the helmets are being carried inside by my boys that are safe.
The boys are forever telling me "relax mom," "take a chill, mom," "it's going to be okay, mom." and so on!
Oh and let's not forget about the foot long list I have for them when they go away to college sporting events, of course to see Ole Miss! :) Even when they go with their dad, I have the list...and they know it! The list that includes the infamous don't ever go to the bathroom alone! (go into the stall alone, but never to the bathroom alone) There are creeps in those bathrooms and that is just one of my rules. Period. I will say that I won't budge on that one.
The boys do have so much fun and they get to experience so many things and I am super happy about that. And while they are experiencing all of the above and more, let's just say I talk to God a lot.
Why can I not just relax and let them be boys and have fun WITHOUT all of my worrying and my rules? Why?
Because I am afraid of what could happen to them in an instant just like it happened to Matthew.
Before you think it, I know what the Bible says about fear...keep reading.
My oldest just walked out of the door to go fishing in our pond and he said before I even had to, "I know, I know, watch for snakes, I love you Mom." And out the door he went. There's a country song "There Goes My Life" and I promise when I see these boys walking away from me, I see my heart going with them and my life all right there.
My family often jokes with me about being too concerned or worried about the boys. I simply don't know how to be anything else. I am on edge most of the time and I am pretty sure that isn't such a great place to view everything, especially since the boys are more adventurous than ever and they are growing up.
This is where it comes down to trusting God with the outcome of any and every situation, including my children. Well, I did that and continue to do so, but as a mama who lost her son, that is a battle of the flesh for me sometimes. Keeping it real here, again.
I am a Christian who loves Jesus more than anything in the world and that believes in Him with all of my heart. I believe that I will be reunited with Matthew in heaven and I believe without hope of that I wouldn't be able to carry on.
With that said, one may wonder why the struggle with fear/ anxiety/worry over my kids? I wish I could tell you how many times a day I give them to God and pray that He will calm my heart over anxiety of something tragic happening again. And He does. He gets me through that moment and I lean into the next. I have to depend upon Him and I have learned that I cannot go one day without Him.
1 Peter 5:7 says Cast all your anxiety upon the Lord because He cares for you. I repeat this verse many times and cast my anxieties and my fears every single day. And if I am being completely honest, which I am, I cast my cares a lot during the day, not just once! This keeps me grounded in my faith for those moments when I hear those engines start! And so on! I cast a lot!!!
Am I overprotective? Um, yes. I would have to say yes. Does that make me a bad mom? Um, no. I would have to say no. It just means that I know what it feels like to lose one child and I don't ever, ever want to know what it feels like to lose another.
SO Dear God, thank you for the grace that you have given to me when I have crazy mama moments and thank you for helping me moment to moment, adventure to adventure, as these boys I have are growing up. Thank you for helping me to to understand that as I try to relax more and loosen up the grip I have, that you our Father have them, tightly in your hands. That dear God, is very important for me to know!
Thank you all for bearing with me in these times when grace is needed and appreciated in my life more than ever!
Love to all of you!