February 17, 2014

When You Feel Walls Going Up... a micro-memoir



A Writing Challenge today from my (in)Couraging Writers Group... a Micro-Memoir.  

"We’re aiming for 700 words or less. A true story. A story that belongs to you. If you link up, we ask you visit the person who linked up ahead of you and try to walk around a bit in their story. Leave a comment, we’re all in this together. Anyone is welcome."  For more info, or to join in, visit Alia Joy's over HERE.


I knew… like how you just know things, for no reason. I knew.  The sunshine and spring air blowing through the sunroof, swirling around my heart – it couldn’t lift the weight of winters’ knowing. 

Cold… frozen… no hope in sight, no stirring of life. 



It was unsettling and left me dizzy and the mindless driving through country roads didn’t ease the pain.  I couldn’t outrun it, and without concrete evidence or explanation – it sowed doubt and fear and an unbelief of something else that I thought I knew.

Before, I (thought I) knew that no matter what else… no matter what new skill, or latest trend, or open door – I knew that I was good at this Mothering thing.   Like – being a Mama came supernaturally.  This is my jam, ya’ll – it’s not just what I do but it’s who I am and it didn’t matter that I only had one, I mothered in everything I did, everywhere I went. This was my call.

I am not an overly confident person and there is not much I claim wholeheartedly, loudly – but this? Well – I did, with this.  

But now, with broken dreams, broken trust, and a future unknown, I began to question it all.  

I had failed.  This one thing that I felt made for… I had failed.

--

I mentioned it in passing, a quiet confession that came out more matter-of-fact statement, than the cry for help that it truly was. I had been feeling myself build walls for days.  I could sense the distance widening and it felt just and right and warranted, but what it really was was dangerous, self-protection, greedy.  It was a weak attempt at saving face, when what was really needed was some saving grace

I said it with voice trembling, tears spilling over lids that focused low, at nothing at all, blurry.



“I feel walls.  I am building walls. I can’t trust her with my heart.”

His look of fear, of disbelief, screamed ‘Failure’ in my mind, but his embrace silenced it all and wrapped me in a gift of silence.



I will ever be grateful that, next, he safely cupped up my confession and found my eyes… he pushed me, literally, toward her.  He said no.  You have to choose love anyway. Risk it all… again and again and again. This is what it means to be a Mother… you know this. You’ve lived this. Don’t stop now.  He was, to me, the Father heart of God – telling me, reminding me, that no matter what or who was yelling violent accusations in my mind, the truth was louder. Always louder.

Truth is a Person and He is always Love.  He offered me Grace that leaked out once I unclenched my fists; a Love that was not mine – which, on its’ best day can look like failure next to His – which never fails.  That love melted walls, wrapping arms around my Girlie, holding her close.  Forgiveness and Restoration unfold slow… a rebuilding of Trust requires time and space and air and sky. Walls never truly protect, they only lock you in.  

I held her close, rocking gently with the rhythm of our sobs… we lay broken and healing, all at the same time, as the sun shine pierced its’ way through the curtains and warmth was felt all the way through. A melting of Winters’ doubt.

We’re gonna be alright.  We will not just survive this thing – we will overcome it… we will stand taller, stronger, closer because of it.  

Today… a year or so later, I can tell you that I am a better Mother having felt those walls of protection rise, but having decided to partner with Him to tear them down and love anyway.

Now – when we preach “Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.” – they are not just words strung together. No, now they are our life, our family, lived out loud – healed and whole, and offering hope.



I learned to let go of perfection, wanting everything to go the way I wanted it. Instead I lean in and trust Him at His word that He really CAN work all things together for our good… that He really DOES make beautiful things out of us!


19 comments :

  1. I love the picture of you and your girlie, well your whole family walking together. That is so much a picture of mothering. Walking alongside our kids, a bit ahead but always holding their place next to us. Phew, take that nap. It is hard when writing a story that overlaps with someone else's. It's a hard line to navigate that can lead to being too vague or too explicit. Only the Holy Spirit can tell us what we should share or hold back. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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    1. Thanks my friend! This Mothering thing is both a joy and an honor - but oh how sometimes it feels like neither of those things, right? We have bathed that season of our families life in prayer and we are always careful to be authentic and real, while still covering, honoring, standing united. At any given point in the story, we all made mistakes... thankfully we have a God who makes beautiful things out of our messes - and through the healed up broken parts, glory leaks out!

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  2. Motherhood teaches us so very much doesn't it? Love the photo Karrilee, I think I've seen it before, but it says so much.

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    1. So very much indeed! Thanks for stopping by Shelly! And yes... you have seen it before! I tend to pull it back up when talking about this season in our family - for it does say oh so much! In fact, this was taken before the story above unfolded... I would say that if we were to retake the photo now - there would be less space in between, for we really ARE stronger, closer - because of it!

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  3. I love the photo and the post. Thanks for your openness to share a difficulty without oversharing. It allows for the reader to fill their own in and relate. Well done!

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    1. Mimi, thanks so much for stopping by and reading words here! No matter what the subject we write about, we always want to be honoring and loving - even in how we tell our own side. It is tricky to not overshare someone elses' story and as a family, we have talked about and prayed through where those boundaries lay. I appreciate your noticing, and willingness to fill in and relate where things are vague!

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  4. Motherhood is hard. Before kids we imagine what it will be like, but once we have one we realize how little we knew and how different it is. Kids make me a better person, but they also bring out my worst. Motherhood leaves you so raw and vulnerable — to love something so much, knowing it's our job to prepare them to fly. I appreciate your memoir, your journey as a mom, and how God played such an integral part. Thankful He helped you tear down walls and heal, too.

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    1. Christy... oh yes - I can't even imagine attempting this Motherhood gig without God being an integral part! I think, for me, because we were all three so close beforehand - it felt strange to recognize that walls were going up... so thankful that they were not up long enough for foundations to be (re)established! Tear 'em down... let Truth and Love reign... yes? I know this is your cry as well!

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  5. Beautiful word pictures and photographs! I can feel what you feel as you write! It doesn't get better than being a mom and allowing God to guide us as we "mother" makes it a grace-filled adventure. Visiting you from our writing group-blessed to be a part of it and blessed to get to know you through your writing.
    Mary

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    1. Mary, thanks so much! Yes - this Motherhood gig is the best thing ever. Hard - but anything worth anything always is, right? So glad to be in this group with you! Thanks for reading my words, and hearing my heart!

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  6. Nikki T7:11 PM

    This is lovely Karrilee. I can very much relate to putting up walls in my own journey through motherhood. Thank you for sharing your story! (visiting from the incouragers group)

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    1. Nikki, thanks so much for stopping by! Yes... it can be surprising how strong our survival tendencies can be, isn't it? Thankful for a God who helps us tear them down and choose love anyway! I need to go read more from the link up! Hopefully tomorrow!

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  7. Oh, this motherhood thing IS difficult isn't it? And yet redemptive in it's hard won and messy beauty if we let it be.

    Thanks for posting this. -

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    1. Yes Kathi - it is a Glorious Messy though, right? Thanks for stopping by my friend!

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  8. Karrilee, again such beauty - this heart of yours. I too have felt those walls building and the need to trust again and still, and more than that to trust God with these hearts of ours

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    1. I got cut off. :) You are doing such good God work, Mama. I love you and appreciate knowing pieces of your journey just ahead of mine.

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    2. Ashley... two things:
      1. I love you
      2. March!

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  9. Beautiful! Blessings to you, as you live out your daily calling!

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    1. Thank you Sybil! Right back at you! Blessings, abundant and overflowing! Thanks for stopping by!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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