I confess. I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself lately. I’ve even been feeling sorry for women in general.
It’s something about this stage of life. This stage where children are growing up and moving out at the same time as parents are aging and gradually leaving us, too. And lets just throw in The Change of Life for the fun of it. And we won’t mention that the dog probably won’t be around too much longer. Everything is changing at once.
I loved being a mom of young children, my home full of rambunctious noise and chaotic joy. The warmth of all being together at each holiday for the whole day. Now sons have other family commitments and celebrations to attend and that is good. I love the young women they have brought into our family and they add delight to our days. But holidays are complicated. They will never be the same. I don’t even want them to be the same, because I value the relationships that have been added. But it’s different.
And as I adjust to that change, I’m trying to adjust to a mom who doesn’t know me anymore. Yesterday, I was sitting with Mom and I asked her, “Do you know who I am?”
And she answered, with no concern or embarrassment, “No.”
So, I said, “I’m Cheryl. Do you know who Cheryl is?”
And again she simply answered, “No.”
And I miss the mom who knew me. The mom who called me all the time and wanted to listen longer than I wanted to talk and who worried more over my problems then I did. The mom who somehow knew just when to bring over a big pot of stew or a hot-dish. The mom who loved us all so well and so unconditionally.
And though my Dad is still strong in mind, he can’t see. And I miss the dad who could build anything and fix everything.
And I’m trying to get ready for Christmas and it all feels complicated and not the way it was. And I wonder why God has everything change at the same time in the lives of many women. Parents aging, children leaving, menopause… ALL at the same time? I don’t want to question God, but isn’t it all kind of overwhelming?
And I’m struggling to get in the “Christmas spirit” so I open my Bible to the first chapter of Luke. And I read about God giving Elizabeth a baby in her old age. I know it was joyful, but it had to be hard, too. Really hard.
And then God tells Mary she’s going to have a baby– though she’s not married. She knows that will be a scandal. And then God has her travel to Bethlehem when she is close to her delivery date. Nazareth is 70 to 80 miles from Bethlehem. According to some quick research, people traveled in caravans for safety then and typically traveled twenty miles a day. Can you imagine walking, or riding on a donkey, for twenty miles a day when you are quite pregnant? Mercy!
It all makes me think that God has always asked challenging things of women. I mean, just being pregnant and delivering a baby is about as tough as it gets. He asks us to join Him in the incredible mission of creating life. What an honor! And then He asks us to love and feed and nurture and train His precious children. And then He asks us to let them fly and trust Him with their lives and to keep praying for them and keep loving them through it all.
And there are joys. And there are tears. And life changes. And it brings new joys and new tears. And through it all God is with us, and He is loving us and He is giving us strength and grace for this journey. I read Luke 2:37-38(NKJV) ” ‘For with God nothing will be impossible.’ Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maid servant of the Lord! Let it be according to your word.’ “
And I think, therein lies all the wisdom I need… Nothing is impossible with God. I will get through all of this change with His grace. I am His maid servant. He will give me strength for whatever He assigns me. I can trust Him in everything and let it be. He is in control, I can let it be. I can be still and know that He is God. And I can let it be.