The other night as I lay in bed, attempting to quiet my non-stop brain and get some sleep, I started thinking about fear. Real fear, in a deep, tangible way. Moving aside the things that just give me the heebie jeebies like roaches and tornados, I started dialoguing with God about what I’m actually afraid of. What strikes a chord deep inside, that something isn’t right. And the same phrase kept repeating.
I wasn’t really sure what I was afraid of missing, as I rolled to my back and stared at the ceiling, I started that real childish way of praying that I tend to get stuck in. But what, God? But what? Missing what? Will you tell me? Huh, huh huh? Until I was honestly annoying myself, and let everything go blank so I could maybe, you know, hear the answer. And then it started to come through, slowly – like a pinhole of light.
This. These days. These long, deep in the trenches days when my babies are babies. My deepest fear is that I’ll look back at some point, and what will reign will be stress and technology. That what I’ll remember will be either being at my wit’s end or on my damn phone. I am so unbelievably convicted by this right now, it makes tears spring to my eyes. Because what if that’s what my babies will remember too? That they’ll remember that mama was always a little on edge. Or was short with them. Or even worse, couldn’t put her technology and social media away long enough to be truly present with them. The two are intertwined, really. Because more often than not, if I’m sharp with my children, it’s because they’re distracting me from something else I’m trying to do. And obviously this isn’t to say that your children need every fragment of your attention at any given time. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of independence.
The Lord and I started working on my view of motherhood a few months ago, so I shouldn’t be surprised by this new revelation. We started talking about words like patience and grace, and it was kind of incredible to sit back and watch Him weave that into my story, into our days together. To be able to not join my three year old in her struggle to navigate her big emotions, but instead to stay grounded and guide her. So the whole fear of being on edge is an old fear that God and I have begun to wear down, I’m confident of that.
But are all of the things constantly vying for my attention ultimately winning over my girls? I mean, a lot of the time – the honest answer is yes. It’s so easy, and it happens so quickly, man. You pick up your phone to check a message or Google a question, and the next thing you know your child is tugging at your leg asking you to “watch dis, mama”. And that gut check comes. Ugh, that gut check.
My knee-jerk reaction is complete detachment. To get rid of it all – the social media, I mean. To wipe it all out like it never existed and be one of those “Facebook? Yeah I don’t have that” people (there’s always been this part of me that secretly wanted to be able to say that anyway). But I’m not totally sure that’s what God has for me. I’m still wading through a lot of this, if that’s not completely evident from this post. We keep circling back around to this concept of self-control, which has never been a strength of mine, but I think He wants it to be. I keep hearing small whispers that maybe He has me using social media as a tiny platform, to share about struggles with anxiety/depression, to share about real motherhood, etc. It’s easy to brush those away and feel like I’m making excuses to stay, that I think my reach is a little more significant than it really is, but like I said – still wading. So for now I’m doing my best to stay prayerful about my technology usage. To not miss the little moments when my girl does something truly hilarious, that I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of if I’d been too busy scrolling Instagram for the 100th time today. To stay on the side of grace about it all, to not let guilt or fear in, because there’s just no point. And I’m just praying a lot. For God to search me. Find the places that need margin, and show them to me, no matter how painful. To walk with me as I learn to practice self control and selflessness, in all areas of my life, but especially in my marriage & motherhood.
Convict me and grow me, Lord.