I am struggling today.

No, I’ve been struggling for several weeks now; it’s just to the point now I am slap worn down.

In the midst of every day life we expect trials; I know this.  The scriptures tell us in John 16:33 that we WILL have troubles in this world, but that we are to FEAR NOT for He has overcome the world.  It also tells us that IN HIM, we can have peace.  *Sigh . . . . * 

So where is my peace?

While I continue with my journaling, my quiet time, and even recently, our family has started reading the Bible together at night and having a prayer time involving all of us, I still have no peace,  no comfort, no sense of making sense.

Instead, I am angry, jealous, and convinced God messed up big time when He gave me not one, but two special needs children.

I know.  I am sure as you read that you gasped thinking I am a horrible mother; and that is OK for you to think that.

I love my children with all my heart; probably too much. 

In fact, on a side note, let me give you an example of why I say that.

My oldest daughter, Kayla, flew out Thursday night (a week ago tonight) to be with her fiance that is stationed in San Diego, CA.  They were married Friday at 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time at the court house amongst some friends. 

Kayla kept me alive through years of drunken stupidity.  MANY times I wanted to die and had it all figured out how to  make that happen; but the only thing that stopped me was the fear that resonated deep within that if I killed myself, then her dad would raise her.  He was a drunk (and still is) as well.  In my, at the time sick and demented mind, I could do a better job than he could with raising her, so I always chickened out.

I’ve carried that secret with me for many years, until now. 

While cleaning a house the Friday afternoon after she flew out, I lost it emotionally.  I cried for two house, sobbing and weeping; realizing she was gone.  Amongst my cry out to God, I said, “God, how will I ever go on without her?  She was my life!” 

It was then, I heard from God.

He said, “Stacey, have you ever wept over the things of God like you are weeping over your daughter?”

THEN, I wept in seeking repentance, because the answer, was “No, Lord, I have not.”

In trying to keep that ugly honesty in the forefront of my brain, to try and love God more than my children, and to weep over the things that truly cause God pain, in dealing with in general “life” issues, there still remains the fact that I have two special needs children that I love and adore above all things; that bring smiles to my face time after time again, that count of me to help them when they can’t make things right; that are sucking the life out of me. 

It is at this point of exhaustion and lack of sleep, lack of answers, and wanting to know what God was thinking when He gave a once drunk, with a HOT temper, two children that would need more love and patience than I can sometimes give.

It is then . . . . . in those weak moments that I become jealous, envious, and yes, sometimes angry over what other have.

No, I am not talking about financially here people.  I am FINALLY at peace with the fact that we are poor.  I am at peace with the fact that we are in a house . . . . no, a home, that is falling apart.  I am at peace with the fact that we have one beautiful car covered in white chipped paint and the beautiful color of . . . . hmmmm, what’s that called, rustic red?!  Ha!  I am at peace with the fact that we do not go on vacations, that we do not buy just because.  I am at peace and FINALLY ok with the fact that when my friends are out getting pedicures and their nails done that I am scrubbing mud clumps out my son’s fingernails, I am at peace and THANKFUL for hand me down furniture and clothing, and I am at peace with ALL of that because my God has provided again, and again, and again for us . . . He has been faithful above and beyond in meeting the needs of many needs, and EVEN some of those wants we have!   Because of seeing the hand of God so many times in these areas of provisions, I know beyond a shadow of doubt, my God has my family’s back . . . .   For THAT I give Him praise!

The jealousy and envy I speak of, that rages in me is one that is so shameful that I hate to even admit.

It’s the jealousy of “normal” kids.

Now, before I go on, don’t tell me what normal is.  Ok.  I’ve heard it all before.  I know there are many levels of normality out there.  I also know there are families that have it a lot worse than we do; so I try, in my chaos of a life to be thankful . . . I really do.

The normality I am talking about wanting is a child that can sit still for more than 3 minutes.  A child that doesn’t punch and scream and yell at the rest of the family cause he can’t figure out what is going on in his brain.  A child that switches from rage to tears in a heart beat when he realizes he just hit his momma, or bit her, or pulls his sister’s hair out, or runs screaming from one end of the house to the other without any control because he heard something; or runs out the house screaming bloody murder like he is being beaten and genuinely fearful of his life . . .  Or a child that doesn’t wake up screaming and crying because she itches all over, or seams in her pants and shirts don’t bother her, and cries for four hours because she can’t make just one letter perfect, so the erases, and re-erases, and re-erases over and over trying to form that one. perfect. letter.  Or the child that doesn’t have to not only have tags cut out, but even the tagless clothing items don’t bother them because even the tagless items still itch because those stupid black letters are rough.  Or a child that isn’t afraid to take showers because she can’t get dry afterwards and that doesn’t cry and try for hours to get dry when they already are.  Or what about a child that is afraid to go pee because she can’t get the wet feeling to go away and holds it for 12 hours a day until her stomach hurts.

Those, and many more other reasons, are why I am sincerely struggling and weary this morning.

I know, I know, I know, God has a plan.

I know that in my weakness He is my strength (trust me, He is the one doing ALL the carrying right now). 

I know His grace is sufficient. 

I know God uses cracked vessels (and I definitely have lots of cracks, lumps, and stretches too!).

I know God has a plan. 

I know all the scriptures; I know these things.

But still, even loving my children with all this momma’s heart, I find myself wishing for just a glimpse of normality. 

And then, in that same wish for a glimpse of normality, I find myself fearful of how that prayer would be answered; and I try to once again, be grateful for what I have been given.

If you are reading this, your prayers are needed for us today.

Our youngest has a doctor appointment this morning to check for a bladder infection from holding her urine so long and to check into occupational therapy for her.

For the days Christopher has good days, I am thankful; as many of my Kaitlyn’s have been horrifying.  When they both are having bad days, it is more draining that words can even explain.

I thank you for your intercession on our family’s behalf.  At times, it is the only comfort we have.

In my prayer journal this morning I wrote, “Hear my cries, Lord.  Strengthen and encourage me this day.  I need to see Your hand.  I love you and trust you.  Amen.”