Has life got you down just now? Feeling a bit tired maybe, a bit lonely, a bit of despair? Have you felt a bit bone weary, heart weary, soul weary? I know. Me too.
And while it’s nothing major, it’s everything major. Because life is a big deal and it deals us a hand and we can choose which cards we’re gonna play but sometimes we’re left just staring at those cards thinking we’re ready to fold.
I know we can look across the world and see tragedy, see hungry bellies and earthquakes and call all we have going on here, “first world problems.” We can dismiss each others hardships with these few glib words and they’re partly true. Yes, we have first world problems. But it’s only because we live in the first world! And while I appreciate the fact that we should watch what we get whiny about, I think more often than not, we need to be careful. Because first world problems are still problems. And hard days are still hard days. And loneliness is still loneliness, and weariness still so hard no matter where you live. We’re told to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15) not dismiss the weepers because they don’t really have it as bad as that guy.
And some weeks, let’s admit it, shall we, it just feels that bad.
I’ve had dental issues for a few weeks now and while I’m thankful that I can see a dentist for the pain and that he can help it still just hurts. For days and days and even more days now there’s been the dull roar of pain, some from the problem and some from the solution. Interesting how we need to hurt in order to heal, huh?
So while my life isn’t near over and I can’t even come close to calling it a tragedy, when you hurt endlessly for a few weeks it can start to grate on you. Wear you down. Make you want to drop the kids off at school and come back home only to crawl into bed and hide under the covers. Make you want to cook eggs for dinner again. Make you say no to the coffee dates and the after school fun.
But it’s not just personal. The people around me lately have been dealing with so much. There’s been death, so much death, heartbreak, mental illness, failing marriages. There’s been new babies that haven’t made it home from the hospital just yet and teens whose decisions have been less than wise. There’s been young moms left alone to raise their babies because husbands have been unfaithful or cancer has taken over their body or they just decided they didn’t want to anymore.
When all of this hurt feels like too much to handle, feels like it’s bearing down on my shoulders just a bit too heavy and I can’t find my footing and my smile feels fake, it’s not just a first world problem. When I don’t know what to do but get on my knees and plead with God for it all to stop, for it all to turn out the way I want it to, for Him to just make all things right, right now, it’s not a first world problem.
It’s my people. It’s my tribe. It’s real and it hurts and I simply want to weep with the weeping.
When life finds me at this place of feeling weak and hurting, when I want to pull the blinds closed tight and block out the sound of the chirping birds because if feels like they’re taunting me. When I want to lay my head on the pillow and not even think about having to pick it up again. When the tears flow silently and the prayers jump all helter skelter from one thought to the next, that’s when you’ll find me in the kitchen.
When it all feels like too much the bottom line is, I need home. Home is hands being kept busy to avoid all-out despair. Home is fingers kneading the dough and the smells that will greet my family when they walk in the door.
My heart becomes centered when I take away the pity that comes with hiding and when I get with the business of stirring and sifting. My prayers become focused when I take my gaze off of this world and I intercede on behalf of all of the need all while I simply knead.
Somehow things become right again when I pick up my purpose of caring for my family well, when I pursue my passion of home and all that entails, when I pray and I plead, not as one without hope but as one who is here at this time and in this place for a specific reason. Mixing and measuring become my souls work for the day.
My worship becomes unwavering when I pull the pans out of the oven. I can hold fast to the plans and promises of God when I hold fast to the place that he’s called me to be. I can’t see all that he’s doing or why it has to be this way but I can know as certainly as these things being gobbled back with delight that he is good.
Find your place. Find your passion. Find your purpose and there you will find peace. My place is home.