I have several friends who often take extended breaks from Facebook for various reasons. And I totally understand, especially after I was greeted this morning by a sarcastic comment. It stung. I felt unknown by this friend. And I felt shamed. I pushed back the tears and fought to forget so I could focus on the babies.
Baby V was having a tough morning. Nothing was going right for him and he was struggling against acting out in his frustration. I knew that I could address his behavior or his heart. Addressing his behavior would have been easier, but I couldn’t ignore the hurts of his little heart, the confusion of his tiny perspective. Over and over again, I prayed for patience, kindness, and the ability to extend grace to my boy. As I fought for grace for my child, I realized I should be fighting for grace for myself, too.
I mistakenly thought that if I busied myself, the hurt of the ugly words from Facebook would go away. They didn’t. But as I entered that safe place of grace with my baby, I was reminded of how much I am loved and known by Christ. That love is manifested in my husband and children and friends like Meredith, with whom I got to spend a big chunk of our day.
Sitting down hours later, I was tempted to reread the words that pricked early this morning. Instead, I read an email from a big mama who has been counseling me through a breastfeeding issue. Her encouragement washed over me like a balm, relieving me of shame. Her letter ended, “What a momma.” Simple, but it meant everything for this woman, whom I think so highly of, to affirm me. Miles away, she is fighting for grace for me.
Sometimes I feel like a 13-year old again, blowing things out of perspective, allowing situations to be bigger than they are, giving in to the shame that comes from someone exposing your weakness. But days like this, where I am loved and reminded that I am not alone, I realize that it’s okay if I’m 13 again. I am loved in that place, cared for. There is grace for me. And for little V, too.