The last few weeks have kicked this old girl squarely in the pants.
I have gone from a pull-myself-up-from-the-bootstraps mama to a consistent blubbering mountain of mess. It is no one thing in particular that has me sniffling. Just a whole lot of life coming at me all at once.
But something remarkable has also happened in these same few weeks.
Every morning as I have placed my feet on the floor, I’ve heard these opening words to the 10th Avenue North song, Worn play clearly in my exhausted mind:
“I’m tired, I’m worn. My heart is heavy. From the work it takes to just keep breathing...”
Even more remarkable, different strains, different lines followed on different mornings:
Exhaustion met with “I’m worn even before the day begins.”
Sadness met with “I know I need to lift my eyes up, but I’m too weak, life just won’t let up.”
Anger met with “I’ve made mistakes, I’ve let my hope fail.”
Ending always with, “So heaven come and flood my eyes.”
In retrospect, it has, no doubt, been a gift from Jesus. Designed perfectly for my tired brain. A brain that often struggles to read words on a page.
I imagine it is for this very reason that He has so lovingly brought the words to my mind. Fixing them in my heart every morning. For a moment when the truth of the melody would become absolutely real to me.
And real, it has become.
The day it happened was rough one. Lots of tears. Lots of time in my pulling-it-together corner.
The particular moment happened right after I surveyed the great room to see if anyone was there to hear or see my blubbering. Coast was clear. Blubbering began.
But I had forgotten something very important. A little girl who is just short enough not to be seen over the height of the kitchen counter. I realized my mistake when I felt a little hand gently tug on my shirt.
“What’s is wrong, Mommy?”
Immediately, I tried to put on a brave face and bent down to assure her I was fine.
But then something incredible happened:
My baby girl took her hand and held my chin firmly in place as she looked into my eyes. I tried to look down and keep from crying harder but she was relentless in keeping my gaze. Finally, she took my face in both hands, pressed her forehead to mine and said with a maturity beyond her two-year-old years,
“I. Love. You.”
Sob. Sob. Sob.
Face back to hers. “I said, “I. Love. You.”
She kissed my cheek ever so softly, wiped the tears away with her hands and hugged me tightly.
Then, just as quickly as she came, she was gone.
The next morning, I woke up with the same words running through my mind that had come to me the morning before.
But this time, I saw a little face filled with concern. I felt little hands lifting my eyes to a place of purpose. And I heard a little voice speak of a Father’s love.
For the first time in weeks, it didn’t matter that I was worn. Or tired. Or done.
What mattered is that I knew when I cried out, He would respond. He would come. He would care.
And greater still, He would bring heaven down to fill my teary eyes. Just as He had done on a day that the world was kicking me squarely in the pants. When He used a little girl’s hands and heart to finally make me hear Him say:
“I. Love. You.”