Life comes and goes in seasons; most are so subtle they are barely noticeable, but others rock your entire world and leave it spinning. These transitional seasons test every part of you. I am finding this to be especially true in parenting through a transition. A big life-altering transition in which we don’t have control over and parenting a little one during it all has been the biggest test of faith I have ever encountered. As adults we have learned to curb our emotions, to keep ourselves in check. We can keep it all together even when our entire world is falling apart around us. Children don’t have this ability; the normal ebb and flow of life is exchanged for a different routine. I wish I could say it has been a good transition, but life isn’t a fairytale. It has been full of pain, long nights, and even longer days. This horrid life circumstance has affected me tremendously, but it has also affected my son. His world has been flipped and misplaced, he just does not have the ability to understand what is going on. So, we stumble and rise through this together; and let me tell you there is so much failure.
So. Much. Failure.
I fail him repeatedly; he fails to understand creating a never-ending cycle that is sometimes just tough. How can you explain to a toddler how our lives just changed instantly? There is no way to show them, you just try to go with it. We make new routines and add people in. I try to fill in the missing gaps, but at the same time I am starkly aware that our new reality has even bigger gaps. Just the ebb and flow, this is the season we are in.
I wish I could gather him up and shield him from all the tension. I wish I could protect him from the brokenness; he is so little, why do we have to live in such brokenness at such a young age? I see the tension in his little balled up hands, or when he stomps his feet in anger. He can’t express what he is feeling, and he doesn’t grasp the change. It bubbles up in him like a volcano; this little spitfire of a child sees the world rocking, but the rumbling just won’t stop. As his mother I want to help him with those big feelings, because what is happening in his world-in our world- is not his fault. In this brokenness, in this shame and heartache, something comes whispering. Not overflowing like volcanic ash but trickling through us like a breeze after a storm. Fresh, cleansing, steady.
Following the hard blows of failure, we somehow end up landing with our feet steady in grace.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned.” That is grace. We are not crushed or abandoned. Even when life hits hard, we fail and fail again, there is grace. There is grace for the man who won’t believe he is enough, grace for the woman who keeps going when all the odds are against her. Grace for the Mama who fails but tries and tries again. There is grace in all of it, in every season, pain and heart ache. In parenthood-there must be heaping amounts- in life. Even when the brokenness comes, inevitably it will, we will have the grace to walk through it. Failure will always be there; we are not perfect, but there will always be more grace.
We walk through seasons and transitions and come out the other side changed. We are the ones who get to decide what kind of change it will be. We either walk out better or bitter, but if we have grace coming through than better is the only option we have. Walking out of failure and into grace will be my only hope in parenting through this season well; even when our world rumbles around us I will teach my son to stand steady, clinging to the only thing that will stand firm through it all- grace-that we may not be crushed. So that this season can pass, but grace in us-it will always remain.