As a church, we have been going through the Believe book. This week, we covered the topic of patience.
Aaaahhhhh yes…patience…we all want more of it, but we don’t want to go through the painful process of obtaining it. I would love to be more patient…with myself, with my kids, with the person driving 10 miles under the speed limit. But I don’t want to have to work through it.
Wouldn’t you know it, today is the day (one of many) that I COMPLETELY blew up on my daughter. Yep, all you other mothers out there better just withdraw your names for the Mother of the Year award…it’s totally coming my way this year.
For those of you who know my daughter, she truly is delightful. She is kind and has a huge heart. She is funny and loves to do things to make me laugh. She has such a heart for animals and the oppressed.
She is also a ‘tween.’
So, I have been under a tremendous amount of pressure. I have writing deadlines to meet — I really do want to be a writer one day — and the best way to do that is to get my writing out there.
I also stepped into a full-time teaching position about 4 weeks ago, which, the only accurate way to describe it is to say it’s like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant.
I’m also in the final steps of a divorce. And it’s yucky. We’ve been separated for a while now, but it doesn’t stop the hurt.
Some people in my life know of these things and some do not. And when people ask me, “How are you doing?” my natural-gut-instinct is to plaster on a smile and say, “I’m great.”
But let me let all of my readers in on a little secret…ssshhhhh…
I’m not great.
I’m not good.
I’m not even fine, really.
I’m hurting. I’m hurting from a marriage that was built on lies and deceit. And, to be honest, I’m having a tremendously difficult time forgiving; him AND me. Yes, I know that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to just forget about all of the plans you made, the plans you thought the other person was making alongside you.
I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed with the actual teaching and the grading and the upset parents. I recently discovered a mistake in how grades were calculated. And in so doing, I upset many parents and students. One email in particular was from a ‘friend.’ I use the air quotes, because I would have thought that I would have been given the benefit of the doubt from this parent. But not at all. Instead I was told just how wrong I am. Awesome. I had to wait almost 48 hours before collecting myself and my thoughts before responding. Otherwise, I KNOW I would have said something I would have regretted.
I’m on the go. All. Of. The. Time. I love watching my kids be involved in sports and activities, but I’m constantly running. And trying to run a household and feed them relatively healthy meals. And work. And write.
I’m so incredibly insecure about my relationships with women, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been listening to Beth Moore while I get ready in the mornings and she has really hit some sensitive topics. I’m in constant competition — with other teachers, with other mothers, with other women, with other writers, with MYSELF — that it does NOTHING healthy for my self-esteem.
All I hear from the negative committee that meets in my head is YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.
Yep. It’s been great being me these days.
The problem, as I see it, is I’m not giving things to God. I’m trying to do everything in my own power. In my own skill. In my own strength.
Guess what? I can’t. And neither can you.
Remember my daughter from earlier in this lengthy post? Well, I’m quite certain that I broke her tonight. I’m pretty confident that her spirit is now completely wrecked. Everything that I’ve had building up inside me exploded out of my mouth and onto her tween heart and spirit.
It’s not her fault, at all. And not to make excuses for myself AT ALL, but she’s always there. She is with me 100% of the time outside of school, and I also have her for two periods at school. And she always stops to see me during her lunch.
I’ve tried calmly and rationally explaining to her that no two people are meant to be together 100% of the time…but that hasn’t gotten through.
I’m guessing my complete meltdown made my point, though.
I’m also guessing that I’m going to have to completely humble myself and apologize and beg for her forgiveness. It’s in my favor that she is kind and has a huge heart.
While this post wasn’t meant to be completely about my daughter, I wanted to show you all how lovely she truly is.
What was the point of all of this?
For me to process some things and get some stuff off of my chest. Maybe someone else out there is going through some of the same junk.
Also, when you ask someone how they’re doing, and you know some of the backstory, you might just put your arm around them and say, ‘how are you REALLY doing?’
“If I told you my story, you would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go.
And if I told you my story, you would hear Love that never gave up.
And If I told you my story, you would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine.
If I should speak, then let it be of the grace that is greater than all my sin.
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins.
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him.
This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.”
~~ “My Story” by Big Daddy Weave ~~
My name is Michelle Nehrig and this is my story. I pray that you read these words and read of Him.
I came to Christ in August 2004. On December 29, 2004, my beautiful daughter was conceived. She was conceived out of wedlock, and, to many in the church, she was born in sin. But she was just what God used to reach me. In many ways, I was not prepared to be a single mother. In many other, more amazing ways, ways I knew nothing of at the time, God knew exactly what He was doing.
From the instant her father and I came together, I had a very strong suspicion that I was pregnant. I wouldn’t take an OTC pregnancy test until March of 2005 to have my suspicions confirmed. It was during that period of time that we buried my great-grandmother. I was not close to her growing up, as she lived in Minnesota, and we were in Indiana. But I firmly believe that it was because of her prayers that I’m here to write this story out for you today. I was her eldest great-grandchild, so I read at her funeral in Minnesota.
I read a post today by a blogger I follow in which she gives the advice to ‘Write Anyway,’ even when we don’t feel like it. Or when we feel like our words are unoriginal. Or when we feel like we have nothing left to contribute.
The writer offers several suggestions on what to write about, one of which, I’m going to write about here today…
Write about something that feels like it pulverizes your heart.
Many of you may, or may not, know that I’ve been going through a very difficult time in my personal life right now. If you follow me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), you’ve likely read any one of my posts and thought to yourself, “Hmmm…there’s something not very ‘Michelle’ about that.”
See, I’m a positive person by nature. I’m typically ‘glass half-full’ and an optimist. However, that’s not where I’m ‘living’ right now. Right now, I’m living in a place of hurt.
Without going into a ton of detail here, my heart has been pulverized.
My heart has been ripped out of my chest. Thrown on the ground. Stomped on. Annihilated. Pulverized.
By lies. By deceit. By intentional withholding of crucial information. This information (and the lack thereof) caused me to make some HUGE life-changing decisions, that I would have made differently, had I known.
All by someone whom I trusted very deeply. I’m finding out this person was not worthy of my trust and loyalty.
If it were just me that it affected, it would be a different story. But, it involved my kiddos too. And now I’m angry.
I’m angry at myself for allowing this to happen.
I’m angry at the other person for doing this. For making the choices made.
My heart and my soul feel parched. Devoid of feeling. Vacant of life.
I found this on Pinterest last night and shared it with a friend and it is so accurate of how I’m feeling right now.
I am awesome at putting on the ‘tough girl’ facade. But I’m hurt and broken and my heart has been pulverized.
I need a friend. Someone who isn’t going to betray me and my trust and my loyalty. Because make no mistake about it, I am loyal. As long as it’s reciprocated.
I need a friend. Someone who I can trust. Implicitly.
I need a friend. Someone who will not further break me. Because I’m tired of being broken.
I’m looking for beauty in the world and something REAL in life that I can cling to. Something genuine. Something without pretense. Something that doesn’t make me want to lick a razor blade. Something that makes me want to be a better person. Something that makes ME better. Something that leaves a legacy for my children.
I don’t want to hear you tell me about how you have all of your shit together. Because the truth is, none of us do.
I don’t want you to try and impress me with your well-put-together appearance.
I want to hear about your brokenness.
I want to know what makes your heart feel pulverized.
Show me how you are genuine.
I want to see you on your worst day, so I can see that you fall apart too sometimes.
Because transparency is what makes you relatable. And real.
Jamie Grace, one of mine and my daughter’s favorite Christian female singers, has a song called “Do Life Big.” You can listen to it here: Do Life Big. This song came to me this morning. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it, but when I did, it spoke to me.
The first words she belts out in this song are: I gotta slow down…stop for a second, take a look around.
s l o w d o w n…
s l o w d o w n
I’ve been living in a state of semi-panic and high anxiety for about 4 months now. October 20, 2016 forever changed my life. I mean, this day and all that it held ROCKED my world to its core. Those details are for another day, perhaps…
Do you know what happens physically, when you are under a lot of stress and anxiety? You lose hair, by the handfuls. It takes allllll of your brain power to do simple tasks. You can’t enjoy living ‘in the moment,’ because you are perpetually concerned for what the future holds.
Yes, I understand, as a Christ-follower, worry is a form of disbelief. You can’t have worry and faith in the same breath. I get it.
In this song, she also says “I gotta take time to hear that little voice inside, saying I came to give you life. So spread your wings and fly.”
See, this stress and anxiety and semi-panic are not the life that God imagined for me…or for my children. Because let’s be honest, they are also deeply affected by the events of October 20.
In John 10:10, we find the words of Jesus, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
The next lyrics hold the key to my ability to change my mental focus and energy.
“I’ve got a secret to share. You are enough to change the atmosphere.”
This is it. This is the reminder I needed.
I am enough to change the atmosphere…
…in my home
…in my classroom
…in my circle of influence
…in my personal space
I am enough to change…
…how my kids see me
I am enough.
I. Am. Enough.
I am enough, just as I am.
A dear friend sent me a message yesterday that said, “You are significant with or without a significant other.”