Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keepin' It Real

Today has been a "real day" - a day with "real" hurts, "real" frustrations, "real" feelings of inadequacy, "real" truth, "real" friendship, "real" peace. I'm not a very transparent person when it comes to my own feelings and emotions...nope, that stays bottled up inside - and, then comes out in explosions with "the ugly cry". You know what the ugly cry is...face scrunched, snot running, and crying so loudly and deeply that no one can understand anything that is coming out of your mouth. I also don't share the ugly cry with many people (thank goodness!), let alone talk about it. But, I'm feelin' "real" today, so count this as an honor that I'm even sharing this with you.

I have a wonderful job that allows me to not only work with young children, but do parenting as well. I have an opportunity to feel like I'm making a difference in the well being of a family, and that is what makes my heart tick. Today, though was a gut wrenching day when I felt like all the air had been sucked out of my lungs. A 19 year old mother of 3 little girls (yes, you read that right!) came to me today so beaten down. She told me that she was having to take her 3 girls out of our Even Start program because she was moving to live with her father out of state. She had left her husband, and was currently living with her mom - but, the mom was being so unsupportive of her, telling her that she isn't a good mother, that she would never amount to anything, and how stupid she was. The entire time she spoke, she looked at her feet, with the weight of the world on her shoulders. When she finally looked up, I could only see one thing in her eyes - DEFEAT. No hope, no chance for change...just defeated by the words of another.

When I got home, I stumbled upon a blog that shares about the personal struggle a mother had with losing a baby. In everything, she praised the Lord. In everything, she trusted Him. In everything, she prayed without ceasing. Numerous times she would write "Today I choose to live." I had such empathy and compassion for this dear lady, having walked similar steps...but, felt so inadequate as I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in her words. How could she have such unwavering faith in a time that she had complete and total reason to question God and just be down right mad? As I read her story, I began to sob...then, it turned into the ugly cry. Thankfully, God can interpret the desperate groanings of our soul. I began to pour my heart out to the Lord, and it was as if He said to me, "Hayley, you haven't been choosing to live. You choose to be defeated. No hope, no chance for change...just defeated by your life's circumstances." Instead of praising Him for the heart aches, and allowing Him to use those circumstances for His glory I've allowed the heart aches to define who I am, ultimately having power over me. Thank you, Lord for speaking truth to my heart!

So, in the same way - but, totally not the same way - I could relate to my little Even Start mother...that statement is about as clear as muddy water, isn't it? This is what I mean - the Lord allowed me to see the defeatedness in my life, to be able to minister to this precious girl tomorrow...and, that is a sweet blessing :)

After all the soul searching, I literally felt exhausted...but, I had to go to a meeting so I had to pull myself together. The whole way there, I thought "I just really want to be at home right now in my bed under the covers hidden from the outside world"...but I trudged on. It just so happened though (Hmmmm...funny how "just so happened" happens at the most opportune times) I was meeting 2 of the funniest girls I know to go with me. I laughed so much with them my stomach ached and I left feeling so glad I had gone. It reminded me of the verse, "Weeping may remain for a night...but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Psalms 30:5) And, again...I was thankful.

Dear Lord,
I praise you for the storms in my life. I thank you for this season of waiting and hoping to be a mother. I thank you for the blessing of being able to conceive not just once but twice, and the hope that gives us. I praise you that I have the choice to choose to live everday undefeated. I thank you for the strength you have given Brad and I to daily trust you in the journey. I praise your name for what you are doing and are going to do in our lives, and pray that in our joy you will be glorified.

Hope I didn't scare too many of you away with talk of the ugly cry!! Just keepin' it real today...


  1. Thanks for always "Keepin it real."

  2. Mrs. Hayley, you're amazing.