Finding Peace in the "AND"
I am the "Blog Boss" for the fantastic ministry, Fearless Mom. We let moms share their unique perspectives in hopes of encouraging other moms, world-wide. I was featured on the blog and I wanted to share it here. You can read my blog by following this link, or just keep scrolling below.
One of the biggest blessings throughout my motherhood journey has been the Fearless Mom community.
As a mom of a 4-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, I have my fair share of challenges, joys, doubts, successes, fears, triumphs, and worries. Talking to other moms facing the same battles removes the shame and isolation I feel. Moms who are on the other side of my motherhood phases provide much-needed perspective and helpful advice. Being a part of a community has made me a better mom and a better person altogether.
Aside from my common and relatable motherhood struggles, I have health hardships that frequently rock my world. I have a progressively degenerative disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia that affects my energy and my ability to walk and talk, among other things. I use a walker full-time to help me get from point A to point B independently.
Unfortunately, my walker is not always enough to keep me safely on my feet. Late last year, I broke a bone in my foot during an accidental stumble. Since I am not coordinated enough to maneuver with crutches, I had to depend on a wheelchair during my recovery.
This stirred up a whole slew of feelings for me for several reasons. The main one is: life in a wheelchair is in my near future. FA is progressive, and while I can still walk assisted, walking will likely be an unsafe impossibility for me in about 5 years. The thought of getting an unwelcome preview of the life I am destined for, or speeding up this already heartbreakingly short timeline, was too much to bear. My heart felt just as broken as my foot, and my spirit was deflated.
I shared my struggles with the wise, kind, empathetic, and empowering Fearless Mom team member, Julia Fortman, and she encouraged me with the most beautiful words. I pinned her message and referred to it daily during my recovery and often pray on it now:
“I pray that you find peace in the ‘AND.’ It is possible to fear the loss of independence AND trust God’s plan. You can grieve as your mobility decreased AND have faith that God will carry you. You can simultaneously feel angry or discouraged that there is not yet a cure for FA AND trust that God’s timing is perfect. I sense that you are possibly trying so hard to stay positive and faithful that you are stiff-arming and maybe criticizing your raw emotions. They don’t have to be separate. They can coexist. So, feel them. Speak them. Put them in your hand and notice them. All the icky feelings. Go all the way through them and then lay them at God’s feet. And ask Him to supply you with everything you need. I pray today that you find peace in the AND.”
Such beautiful encouragement – I pray that her words over this specific setback in my life can translate to a specific challenge you may be facing and that you can find peace.
Motherhood is a lifelong calling. We will go through so many phases, experiences, events, milestones, and setbacks, and there is no one answer or quick fix. You figure it out as you go. That’s why parenting is so often referred to as a journey.
God did not intend for any of us to journey alone. We are built to thrive in a community. So, lean into yours and find peace in the AND.
“And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (ASV)