We’re over the hump of this half term. 3 weeks until a short breather before we head towards Christmas. It’s that point in the run where you wonder how you can really keep going until the end. It’s the hard breathing, legs aching kind of week. We’ve had the getting into the rhythm weeks and well, this one has just felt like a hard slog.
It’s been a week where the vast difference between husbandface’s days and mine seems all the more vast. We chatted on Tuesday night, he recounted his day of full on craziness. Teaching, meetings, sorting out fights, more meetings, presentations, dealing with tricky situations, trying to stay relentlessly positive in a world of moaning. He has a mental wonderful crazy job. I love that he has it but the contrast between his day and mine was amusingly stark as I gazed at the window and saw some Paw Patrol pictures that me and son1 had done. It seemed just too ridiculous.
I know my job is vital and I know it’s not about comparisons. I know that Husbandface is my loudest cheerleader in this weird, small, hard to find the meaning life I live right now but it’s hard to engage well with understanding each other’s worlds. It’s hard not to demand him home exactly in time for dinner each night. It’s hard to learn how to love each other’s worlds. Thankfully he’s awesome and recognises my need to have 20 minutes or so not being touched by a small person in a day. Thankfully he gets stuck into life when he gets home and reassures me again and again of the value of being with the boys.
I still feel like we are helping each other in our different spheres but it requires digging deep beyond resentment and points scoring. It requires choosing to be interested and not counting who has worked harder in the day. It requires grace and forgiveness and sacrifice. I’m glad we have a big story that helps us see that this world runs on grace, forgiveness and sacrifice. It’s the life of love we were given by our maker, shown in Jesus and enabled on us by the Spirit. I am not alone in trying to love.
That battle has been a massive thread of the week but so has the creeping darkness of loneliness. Along with the ‘what is the point of my days’ thoughts came the aching heart of wishing the void in me could be filled. I think the reality of changing friendships, church life altering and new potential friends on the horizon has left me unsettled. I keep looking to people to provide my certainty and security. It never works. Friendships evolve and change. People alone cannot provide my meaning and safety in this world. I always find the more I try and make them, the more slippery and unsure friendships can seem and loneliness hits hard.
To try and understand my soul and remind myself I’m not alone in these thoughts I’ve headed back to Henri Nowen. His writings always reassure me that I’m not alone in my cravings for more and more affection and affirmation from the people around me. His writings, as well, always gently pull me back to the One who is my centre and whose love can fill the abyss in my heart. To the One from whose safety I can be free to love with freedom and without holding too tight.
It’s been a weird old week with the edge of impatience and anger creeping into my voice with the kids. My emotions have affected how I’ve treated them far too much. Thankfully there is still grace for me. Thankfully we are at the end of the week again. Thankfully I’ve been able to notice and be aware of all these things and talk then through with my Maker. Thankfully the darkness hasn’t overwhelmed.
I’ll leave you with some of the lovely Henri :
‘You have to trust the place that is solid, the place where you can say yes to God’s love even when you do not feel it. Right now you feel nothing except emptiness and the lack of strength to choose. But keep saying, ‘God loves me and God’s love is enough’. You have to choose the solid place over and over again and return to it after every failure.’