It’s tiring, isn’t it?

  • reading another failed pregnancy test
  • keeping calm as a new grandma asks when you’re going to start a family
  • reading the sixth birth announcement of the family down the street
  • watching other people’s children play in the snow
  • hearing your friends announce that they are adopting a child

These situations are so difficult. Why should that be? I want to say that I’m happy for those people, but sometimes I’m just not. I do my best to smile for the new parents and rejoice with the grandparents, but it’s no cake-walk. Sometimes it’s downright hard to be happy for those people. I fully realize that it’s a time to celebrate, for children are blessings from the Lord. However, when those blessings come to others and not to me…. Well, it pains me to be joyful because I want those blessings FOR ME.

imagesI’ve never been promised an easy life. I never knew I’d have trouble conceiving children. I never knew that parenting would be a challenge. I never fully understood that adoption would bring me tears of joy and sorrow. I never knew the pain that would come with watching a parent die.

Our vocations are given to us by God, but they can be tiring. Oh, it’s rewarding to be a Sunday School teacher, but that requires preparation and handling the unexpected questions that the children ask. It’s great to be a neighbor, but perhaps your own home is still rather quiet at night. The role of daughter holds its own blessings and challenges. A parent strives to give her young children her best but knows that she fails. Why must I consider that my parents might need me to assist them in making some decisions in their senior years? Why is it so hard? Some of us are given the vocation of mother; others are not.

Still, God has not promised that every vocation is going to turn out peachy-keen. This world is full of sin and sorrow. Parents anger their children. Teenagers rebel. Miscarriages occur. Adopted children ask haunting questions about birth parents. Our children, young and old, die unexpectedly. We gossip about the neighbors. We covet what our neighbors have. We despise the gifts that are given to others. Simply put – we fail in our vocations. WHY? And why can’t we have the vocations that we pick?  Why won’t God let ME decide what I want? Surely I know more than He does.

That thought process is exhausting. We desire to control every aspect of our lives. We want to keep our children safe, so we guard their every move. We expect to decide when to start a family, but we really don’t know how our bodies are going to react. We hope that the adoption process is a quick one, but we have no idea how long it’s really going to take. All of these things can consume us because we so desperately long to control everything. Why do we wear ourselves out like this?

Enter sin. That ugly reality of our own selfishness. Our sinful desire to rule the world. The dream that we can have the big house with two kids and a big dog and a cabin by the lake. The idea that people will want to be like us. The promise that we can have it all, if we only work harder. We deceive ourselves by thinking we know our own needs better than God does. We cling to the lie that we can have it all. It’s so tiring to live that way.

Yet there is forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ. He knows our struggles. He knows how hard it is to rejoice when you are suffering your own sorrows. He understands the emptiness in your home. He knows what it is likely to be alone and lonely. He desires only good things for you, even though you are surrounded by sadness. In fact, He does not leave you alone in your weariness and sorrow. He invites you to confide in Him and be comforted in Him.

Jesus says, “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

You have also been given sisters in Christ who pray for you. We know those birth announcements are difficult, so we visit you and cry with you. We stand beside you at those baptism celebrations. We invite you into our lives because we love for you who you are. Let these dear sisters share your burdens, your sorrows, your tiredness. They will mourn with you, and, at the appropriate times, they will rejoice with you. Their vocation is given to them by God to pray for you and to love you.

So rest in Jesus. Lay your burdens at His feet. Rest in His arms that hold you. He will never tire of listening to you or caring for you because He loves you.