Wednesday, October 22, 2014
It's about time I let it all out. I confess, I haven't been completely 100% honest. You see, I'm guilty of what so many of us are. I hide my struggles, only posting the good, and keeping the struggles locked away where only those closest to me can see and many times, not even sharing with them. After all, who wouldn't prefer to see cute pictures of babies on the beach or hear about how well they're growing? Nobody wants to read about how some days, I don't have the strength to even put on real clothes, much less take a shower and brush my hair. Nobody wants to hear about how I'll do anything, including eating baby food myself, to avoid going to the grocery store alone with four babies. (For the record, rice cereal cannot be used as a substitute for rice when making stir-fry.)
See, from the beginning, I knew that my pregnancy was nothing short of a miracle. God had finally heard my prayers and my cries and had answered them with "yes". He made me a mother. My job, and my promise to Him, was to use my pregnancy and my children to glorify Him. So what better way to do that than to share these gorgeous little miracles God gave me with the world and to share my story of how I went from a 0.5% chance of ever conceiving one month, to being pregnant with quadruplets less than two months later? My job is to be on cloud nine every day, happy, joyous, and sharing my story with everyone I see, all while I praise God and tell others how He answered my prayer and then fulfills my every need. To the world, I need to appear to be SuperMom (a term I hate by the way). I mean, people will run to Him and love Him and glorify Him left and right if He answers prayers like that, right?
Wrong. Actually, I don't think that's what God wants. While I have no doubt that it was Him who answered my prayers and that God definitely wants our story to glorify Him, I also think God wants me to be real. It's okay to admit that what I'm doing and what I've done has been hard. It's okay to admit how much I've cried behind closed doors. So often, strangers approach me and ask me a simple question, yet I never know the right answer to tell them. When they ask me the simple question "is it hard" what do I say? Do I tell them yes, it's hard and some days I only have enough strength in me to get through it minute by minute? Most often, I just smile at them and say "No; God gives me the strength to get through."
But my answer is wrong. I'm making being a Christian look easy on the surface. I'm plastering on a smile that isn't real. I'm hiding the struggle in hopes that it will turn someone on to God. I have a very important job. I'm responsible for four little innocent souls as well as their every need. I carried four babies inside of me at once. My pregnancy was probably one of the most physically hard things I've ever done in my life not to mention the stress levels and worries that went along with it. Providing care for four infants is hard both physically and mentally. And if my quad mom friends are right (and they usually are), it gets even harder as four babies become toddlers and start to explore their limits and test boundaries. It's not supposed to be easy. Everyone knows that. Yet why would I think that God wants me to smile and minimize the struggles?
The truth is, even with God on my side, I struggle. No one ever said being a Christian was easy. So often, we find ourselves feeling pressure to show that because we are Christian, our lives are perfect. God didn't make us perfect, He made a human. And if we're so wrapped up in appearing perfect to others, how does that make us look to non-believers? If our lives are so perfect just by believing in God, then why does God let bad things happen to them even though they want to believe in Him? We're not accurately representing the Christian faith and for that, I am wrong.
Being a Christian isn't easy. Sometimes, I ask God for help and He says "not now". Sometimes, I ask Him to make my day easy, and He gives me extra challenges. I'm so far from perfect it's not even funny. I've been so blessed to have received so many offers of help and while I'm confessing, there are times when I've turned away visits because that would mean I have to take a shower and comb my hair in addition to plastering a smile on my face to make it appear as though I'm handling everything just fine. As Adam will tell you, often, even though people would offer, I was too afraid of letting people see that I needed help and busy trying to do it all by myself, that in the end, I put a lot of unnecessary stress and strain on myself. I realize I'm wrong. I realize it's okay to need help. I realize that God wants me to share my struggles. He wants me to lean on others when they offer help, because that is one of the reasons He put us here and if He puts it on their heart to help me, then by refusing the help, I'm denying Him.
One of the biggest struggles for me lately has been moving to a new city and knowing no one. While I love our new home and I love seeing Adam at night, during the day, it's just me. There's no community members stopping by to help with laundry or to just give me encouraging words or even just a hug. Day in and day out, it's me caring for four babies' every need all day long. Taking the babies out means I'm setting myself up to be bombarded with the same questions I hear over and over from strangers, not to mention fending off people who make no effort to wash their hands before trying to touch the babies I watched fight to breathe their first breaths from the side of a plastic incubator. Grocery shopping is limited to what I can fit in the bottom of the quad stroller. Trying to make a doctor's appointment is a struggle. Trying to get a haircut or a pedicure or some alone time to feel like a woman again, is unheard of. Most days, unless Adam is home, I'm not eating foods that are good for me; if I eat at all, I'm eating foods that are convenient and I'm starting to see the effect on my health now. I can't remember the last time I had a conversation with one of my friends that wasn't over text message or instant messenger because usually the minute I get on the phone is the minute one or all four decide to cry. And as my husband pointed out, I've been so consumed with trying to move into a home and care for four babies, he can't remember the last time I did a single nice thing just for him. I know God will lead me to wonderful people if I ask Him but right now, I'm struggling.
But I feel like God wants me to share with others that even though I'm struggling right now and things are hard, I know this is only temporary. You see, God is not too concerned about my comfort, happiness, and the ease of my life right now. If that were the case, God would not have made Earth and Heaven separately. God has a plan for me and He has a plan for our babies and He has a plan for each and every one of us. Right now, I feel like God is teaching me, among other things, that it's okay to admit when I need help. There's no need for others to think I'm Super Mom. And even though I love my babies to the moon and back and I treasure them and each and every minute I have with them, it's okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes.
Of course, it's not for me to know what God's plan is for me. My job is to do one thing: Glorify God. And I've been failing. By hiding my struggles in an attempt to appear as Super Mom, I'm not glorifying God. I've been far too concerned with appearing as though I have everything in control on my own, to be able to give God ALL of the glory. I need to share both the victories and the struggles with others, lean on them not only for help but also for prayer and testimony so that my life can be a true testament to HIS GLORY! It's not easy but I am taking the first steps. There's a lady here that I met when we moved in whose offered more than once to help me with anything I need. I've been hesitant to accept because inviting strangers into your home is both scary and hard when it's just you, not to mention when you're protecting four infants. However, I've reached out to her. She's going to come by this week and she's going to help me go to the doctor in a couple weeks. I've also reached out to a couple of churches to begin our search for a church home here and I'm working on a way to interact with our neighborhood and let them know we have quads over the upcoming Halloween holiday. And probably an even bigger step towards giving God His glory, is admitting I've been wrong. My only hope is that by sharing my falter, I encourage others to share the real side of them so they too can glorify God. And if by chance you're reading this and you don't believe, then maybe you'll see in your heart that Christians aren't perfect. We struggle too. Sometimes more than you can imagine.
Love and prayers,