Thursday, June 7, 2012

Airing Dirty Laundry

Most days, I do okay as a mama. I can get by. I can feed and play with and snuggle my baby with a happy heart. The struggle for me comes with the crying. Oh, the crying. What a blessing :) I have always been annoyed with loud, continual noise. Undoubtedly, crying fits into this category. What I wasn't prepared for was my own reaction to when MY child cried.  

I don't think any mom likes to hear their baby cry. We're wired that way by God so that we respond to their needs. However, combine crying with postpartum depression, lack of sleep, and hormones and you have a mini-crisis that doesn't seem so mini.

My child has never been in danger. Please don't get that picture. She is very loved and well cared for. The postpartum depression (I hate to even use that word because I have a very mild form of that - there are people much worse off than I am and I don't pretend to know their struggles) is under control thanks to the Word, frequent walks, breaks, and turmeric.

My point in putting this out in the blog world is this - we as the Church shouldn't shy away from people's problems. Every single one of us has some problem that becomes debilitating without the Holy Spirit helping us. Whether it's eating too much or not eating enough. Whether slandering someone with our words or killing them in our hearts. Whether it's being lazy or being too busy. Every single one of us is lost without the Holy Spirit's complete control over our lives.

I took this picture because I thought it was humorous. I put it on Instagram, saying, "Oh, is that all it takes to be my own boss?!?" But seriously, that's what all of us want in our flesh. We don't want to surrender our lives to the Lord. We don't want to surrender to the fact that He has very specific commands for His Bride in Scripture. We want to be our own bosses. 

I think in my own life, part of the cause of my depression was a struggle to be my own boss, to do my own thing. Can I be super honest? The Church sometimes cultivates this attitude. We tell people that they need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This is true. But why don't we tell them that they need a communal relationship with Jesus Christ - discipleship. Them being discipled and discipling someone else. We ignore passages in Titus that tell us, "In this way, the older women will train the younger women to love their husbands and their children...." (2:4)

"Oh, but I'm too busy," we say. "My job right now is to disciple my children."
Please understand me. Your job IS to disciple your children. But what about the young woman who's mother isn't around, either because she's died or because she doesn't live close by? Does she not need someone to disciple her as well?
"Oh, but I'm just too busy to disciple someone right now."
Oh, did the Holy Spirit tell you that? Or did your busy schedule?

Can I share with you a danger of lack of discipleship? Let me share part of an email I wrote to my husband when I was in a particularly dark place recently -
"i struggle with the ladies in church too. i get so frustrated with them. they expect me to mentor their daughters and small girls, but they are clueless that there is a requirement for them as well - for them to mentor their own children and for them to mentor someone my age, too. i keep telling myself that doing what the Lord requires of me is enough. that i need to keep mentoring teens/college age kids. but i am so burnt out with pouring myself into other people and having no one reciprocate. i know that this is not how the church is supposed to function. God didn't create us to live this way. most Sundays i hate going to church. mostly because i don't ever get to sit and just be. someone is always coming to me asking me to do something, asking me to fulfill responsibilities. i hate it. i want to yell at them and tell them to get off their lazy hineys and do it themselves. i hate it when old women come up to me and tell me that they've "done their time" doing things and now they're just going to sit back and coast. that is unbiblical. that is not God's design for the church. i don't know what to do. i know that i need to do the right thing regardless of their behavior. but is it the right thing to stay in a situation that God says isn't his plan for the way the church is supposed to function? i am not looking for a perfect church. i know they don't exist. i am looking for something that i desperately need at this time in my life - godly women "showing me the ropes."

This is an ugly picture of an ugly heart, hurting. I am someone who loves the Church and the church. I never dreamed that I could get to that exasperated state - life without surrender to the Holy Spirit. It's ugly.
I'm not posting this to make anyone feel guilty. Truly, I'm not. I was trying to take a nap and the Holy Spirit kept prompting me to write this post. I don't like exposing these pieces of my life. They are painful and ugly. They have the potential to embarrass me profusely. My pride tells me to let others think I'm perfect, that I have it all together.

But none of us "have it together." Only when we surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit do we have the perfect peace that comes from knowing we are in His will.

Please receive this in the spirit that it's intended. Like I said earlier, I love the Church and the church. Please view it as a challenge. A challenge to be different. Find someone to intentionally disciple. Surrender your plans to the Holy Spirit and let Him change them or  throw them out as He sees fit.
And if you are struggling with something, tell someone. We were never meant to walk alone.


  1. I had to close my office door so I could cry 1/4 of the way through this one. I mean it, Mar, I am SO proud of you. You have such an incredible heart and I am truly grateful to know you. I so wish that meant our lives coincided much, much more frequently, but know that you are so dear to me! Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly. You encourage & challenge me, even from 1000+ miles away. I love you!!

  2. It is always an admirable thing when people show themselves to be genuine, when people are transparent. It is very brave, thank you Mary Anne. I love you. You can always call me sometime for a chat (or a vent). :) Thank you for this post.