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When Life is Blurry

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Gwen Smith

October 27, 2016

Blog, Encouragement, Friendship, Parenting, Sorrow, Trials, Trusting God, Worth

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Have you ever felt alone, scared, angry, confused, and hurt all at the same time? Ever felt like running away from a difficult situation? I have. There was a time when I wanted to run—hard and fast—from life as I knew it.

I was a young mom with three babies that had been born within three and a half years. (A maternal trifecta!) Then, to everybody’s surprise, my husband got a promotion that moved our seedling family across the country to a place where we didn’t know anybody.

I jokingly refer to that time as the “blurry era.” I had two babies in diapers that carried around their blankies, and one “big boy” who was potty training and struggling to say goodbye to his binky. There was always a diaper to change, a mouth to feed, or a mess to clean up.

My days were a blur and my emotions were overloaded.

I was tired 24/7.

Each day, my husband Brad wore a suit, smelled of cologne, and drove to a sleek metropolitan high rise. I wore sweats, smelled of either throw up, baby food, or formula, and stayed home with three little humans who constantly cried, ate, played, made a mess, or slept (but never at the same time).

Brad earned his company’s President’s Club Award that year. I earned our family’s Pouter Club Award.

I had left the work force and surrendered my weekly paycheck to wipe little bottoms and snotty noses. While I love my children dearly and did enjoy many sweet mommy moments, life didn’t seem fair at the time.

As a young mom, I regularly wrestled with my role in our family. My identity felt muted. Chained down. I felt that to embrace my position as a stay-at-home mom was the equivalent of hugging a porcupine. I didn’t want to do it! I associated my worth with my work…and wrongly so.

I allowed my self-worth to be determined by variable factors.

I felt less valuable as a woman, and I felt alone.

Postpartum depression was my reality. In darker moments, I felt invisible and insignificant. As if the world might be better without me.

So many women struggle with these same feelings. Perhaps you are wrestling with feelings of insignificance right now. Allow these words of Jesus to turn your heart to the truth of your value:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)

I struggled to view myself as God did.

During that season Scripture was essential to train my heart on truth. (It still is!) God also used a friend to remind me of my value. He answered prayers that never even made it past my lips when he sent me a priceless girlfriend named Peg. She was a young mom who had also just left the workforce. We laughed together, cried together, prayed together, watched each other’s children, and encouraged one another. She was a true blessing in that desperate season of life.

Do you have friends like Peg? Are you that friend to anyone else?

Christian community makes such a difference. It’s important that we don’t push people away and isolate. It’s important that we don’t push God away. When we open our hearts and our homes to others and embrace the truth of who God says we are, we become vessels of encouragement and esteem to one another.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

 

Dear Lord,
Thanks for the beauty of friendship and for reminding me that I am never beyond Your sight or Your reach. Help me to face blurry and emotionally charged days with a courage that is firmly routed in your strength.
In Jesus’ name, amen

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read what the Lord said through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 49:15-16, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.”

How does this affect you to know that this is God’s heart for you? Would love to hear where you are with this. Did you need this reminder today? Click here to leave a comment or to post a prayer need. Encourage one another. Be the body. Be the beauty. Pray and love on each other. It’s what we do around here!

As always, I’m grateful to do life with you.

Warm love,

GWEN

 

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Portions of today’s post are from my book Broken Into Beautiful. If you’re brave enough to get real so that you—and those you love—can discover true freedom and God’s extravagant restoration, get your copy today from Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit my web store.

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About Gwen Smith


Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.

 

23 responses to “When Life is Blurry”

  1. Cassia says:

    Hi Gwen, thank you for sharing this. I’m also like you who left the corporate life. There are times when I compare my present life with my life before and I’d say that I’m very grateful for my life now. But, honestly, there are moments when I feel how you felt- I mean the ugly feeling of insignificance and muted identity (as you wrote). Thankfully, He always, always, comes to the rescue and reminds me how deeply loved I am as His daughter. I hope that other women discover that wonderful truth as well. That because of Him, life becomes truly beautiful. May He continue to bless your heart.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Thank you for sharing! There are so many women out there who feel this way. I pray they can see their significance in God. Gwen

  2. Susan young says:

    Hi Gwen, I have been in a lot of pain and very blury because I haven’t been able to get to church for months and nobody from church contacts me ever. I read my bible and do a study. But am lonely for real Christian Fellowship. All my real friends have died or moved away.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Susan, I am so sorry that you feel such discouragement right now. Please know that God is always with you. Just continue to seek those quiet moments with him. I pray right now that God will bring someone into you life who will bless you and who will be that friend that you need!

    • Cassia says:

      Hi, Susan. I understand how you feel. I search for genuine Christian fellowship as well. Sometimes, I honestly feel disappointed when I try to reach out and I get no response. A couple of my friends have moved somewhere very far. I miss the deep conversations and sharing of convictions. But you know what? God always finds a way to lift my spirit. He tells me to just keep on doing things for Him out of love and keep on loving others-whether it gets reciprocated or not. I’ll pray for you; I know it can be lonely. He will never let go of you.

  3. Kate says:

    Prayer request:

    Our son got married last Saturday Oct 22nd. Two weeks before the wedding his side of the family was uninvited to the wedding. We are not sure what happened, but we believe he has become part of a cult. He says he loves us but we need to trust him to make his own decisions. His new wife stopped talking to us about 4 months ago. I called her mother and she did not want to talk to us either. My husband, our other son and his wife, myself and the rest of our family is devastated by their choices. Our family are all believers and her side is not. Our son says he is now an Atheist. They live with another couple and the other couple is into witchcraft(we just found this out in May2016). He and I work together and I see him everyday. He will not acknowledge me at work anymore. His birthday is today and I want to hug him so much. He has asked that we do not contact him anymore. He stayed in contact with us until 2 weeks ago. We have a million feelings going one inside. I feel somehow I have failed him as a mother.

  4. sheila says:

    I didn’t get a chance to read it yesterday so as I read today I too have been in a blurry at one time. I think all of us have. As I read today it applied to a couple of co-workers so I forwarded the message to them. hopefully it will enlighten their spirits and give them comfort. we all struggle each day and I know through prayer and faith that we will come out on top if we just turn to God. I know that our heavenly father knows each of us and even though we feel alone we never are. I pray that each of us always remembers that we can talk to someone and to our heavenly father anytime in prayer.

  5. Tina says:

    I needed this today. I got news I wasn’t expecting from my recent mammogram and have to be screened again bc of somethin suspicious that showed up. I am believing that God is definitely with me through this testing my faith. I am not going to let the enemy play negative things in my mind. I am going to do what’s necessary as far as additional testing and hold on to my faith believing God has it all under control. Prayers of peace and healing would be appreciated.

  6. Bonnie says:

    To my dear sisters in Christ. After reading all of your stories and prayer requests, I think we’ve all had seasons in life when we’ve been in the “blurry”. Those days and seasons in our lives are for a purpose. If we fix our eyes on Jesus, He makes it clear that all we have to do is follow Him. Read His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. Be a joy-giver in the times when you don’t want to. Show God’s love to others and He will bless you. Let’s take our eyes off our circumstances and look to Him – our loving and wonderful Father. To Him we give thanks, praise, honor and glory – forever! Father, for all the women who have burdened hearts, pour out your grace and mercy on them. Remind them that You hold them in the palm of your hands – that you will never leave them nor forsake them. You are familiar with suffering for you paid the price for us at Calvary ~ so that we could be free of the burdens of sin. Your love is amazing! Thank you Lord for loving us and for the many ways you provide and care for us – each and every day! We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ Precious Holy Name, I pray.

  7. Dona Luna says:

    I truly enjoyed your post today. I was in this place at one time. Although my situation was a little different – both my husband and I were working full-time and raising a family. Because of my husband’s job, I was the primary care giver for our two small children. In addition, I was the one who called the repairman when needed; took the children to the doctor; volunteered at school; planned family functions; and the list goes on. Although I enjoyed being a mom, and loved my children with all my heart, this was what was expected of me. Most times I felt like a single mom – either he was working or he was very selfish and did what mattered to him only. I didn’t have the confidence one should have in themselves. I was feeling helpless. I didn’t feel worthy of myself or my family. I didn’t like me or who I was. Because of these feelings, I didn’t feel worthy of God’s love either. I started to come out of this ugly place I had dug with the help of my Christian community and by realizing I was worth saving. I knew I could be more than I was and I proceeded to read books and do things that helped me to love me. This allowed me to love others more freely. It in turn allowed me to let friends in and build relationships with people. This included my husband who realized our situation and helped to make it more equal. We became best friends who would pick each other up when we were down.

  8. Valerie Price says:

    Thank you, your devotionals are always such a blessing! I have a prayer request. I am an older gal (they call me a senior citizen 😏, I depise that!) with an adult son whom I was helping emotionally and financially through a hard divorce with two little children. I relocated to his state and things were great as I paid several months rent for him and watched his girls for the summer so he could work again. But, then we got evicted because he was still behind in his work. Things have been really hard, We were camping at $30 a night and it was an experience as the campgrounds are magnificent, God’s work of natural beauty,but still a hardship, of course. My son just found a small place to rent that he could afford on a nice property on the water. The children love it (they are with him on Wednesdays and Friday after school til Monday morning). I worked with him for an entire month on a flip house and have not been paid yet, not until he finishes the job. I had to buy a car (used) with the only money I had left as a down and now have car payments that absorb my tiny Social Security check. I was a stay at home mom, gave up my work but loved being with my babies… My husband of 9 yrs flipped out over an illness he acquired and our marrage ended. I was awarded $12,000 a month for home and family. He declared zero income three times over a few years and I lost everything…I had worked well below my worth at $12 an hour, my college degree is worthless. I saved what I gave him and now I am broke and feeling broken again. The small place my son rented does not have enough room for me. He thought maybe I could stay in a trailor, an RV, that is on the property and the landlord agreed but of course there is a rental fee. My son said he would cover it but I don’t know for how long. But, I looked at the trailor yesterday and it is unlivable as it was not well maintained and has a leak and the ceiling is sagging, black and moldy. I dont know what I have done to deserve this?!? I need prayers for a little sanctuary to live in, I am now so worn out. My son said before I looked at the trailor, if I didnt like it, that in a few weeks he could buy a used one and maybe put it on the property but he l didn’t discuss this with the landlord… life is definately blur to say the least. My son is working out of town til the weekend and I can stay in his place but I know its hard when the kids are here because I have to sleep on the sofa… I am in such a need for prayers from prayers warriors… I know the Lord hasn’t abandoned me but I am feeling that way… I pray for miracles. Thank you and God bless!

    • Bobbi says:

      Hi Valerie I just read and prayed for your situation. I have not been myself lately probably in a “blurry”. However, as I read your situation it caused me to remember all that God has done & provided for me as I left my unstable marriage. I had absolutely nothing, no money, no job, no place to live. But I stepped out in faith and truly trusted God step by step. Today I have all those things including, “my little santuary”. Those simple words you wrote caused me to be grateful! I am believing for “your little santuary” as I know God is more than able & if He did it for me He will do it for you!!! God bless you Sister❤️

  9. JoAnn says:

    Please pray for me. I have a habit that I am trying very hard to break. “I do not do what I want to do, and I do what I do not want to do.” I break it and then come back to it.. I am so weak…Ask the Lord to help me break the chain for once and for all..

  10. Jenifer Tillmann says:

    I needed this today! Although my days as a young mom are gone, I am in the work force, how the enemy tries to steel my strength, and lead me down the negative. God is my strength and my foundation. Blessings to you! Jenifer

  11. Pheora Laramie says:

    I would like to leave a prayer request. My household recently moved across town and since the move, life has been upside down. My husband works 3 jobs to provide for our family and I stay at home to raise our granddaughter. Things have been very challenging with my health as well and I cannot seem to move forward or get ahead at all!! I recently stopped a medication that is very difficult to quit and that has put me into a reality that I’m not sure I can face alone. I pray and God answers, but sometimes I just feel alone and sad. Like my world doesn’t make sense and maybe never will. I’m not even sure what to pray for anymore, I just ask God to help me. I know He has plans for me, I’m just not sure what. And as far as friends, I don’t really have anyone. My best friend works all the time and we rarely speak.

  12. Helen says:

    This lesson of sincere friendship, really grabbed my heart and had me think of two,dear friends in my past who encouraged me and help me see myself as God sees me. I miss that kind of friend, and my prayer is that God would bless me once more with that special friend to laugh with, cry with and pray with. Thank you for your writings, I am blessed.
    Helen

  13. My daughter Christine is in the Blurry Life currently, so overwhelmed and I try to encourage her that it will get better, that the dishes can wait and she can go play with the boys. She needs sleep, she needs to laugh and remember that she is important and what she’s doing is important and has great value.
    A friend who had kids later in life is also in the Blurry Life, she often feels overwhelmed and judges herself b/c the laundry’s not done, and so on, and yet she’s a great mother and her kids are well adjusted talented children.
    Father, creator of all things, l lift my daughter Christine and my friend Cindy and ask that by your Holy Spirit you refresh them as only you can and remind them that their identity is in you and that you see the work they’re doing, the sacrifices they give and bless them as only you can, remind them how loved they are and that being a mom, training up the little ones, is your plan, that they’re doing exactly what you want them to be doing and that they’re not forgotten. Bless them Lord.

  14. Angela says:

    Than you Gwen for writing this, I’m currently feeling this blurry moment now. It’s completely scaring and really need prayer. I’m at a place in my life where my son’s are young adults and I’m alone and fighting a lot of emotions of being successful. Please pray for me! Thank you I hope to meet you one day. Blessings to you

  15. Juanita says:

    I have felt this way since I quit work to take care of my aging frail dad. I am all he has, and family must come first.

    But, I sometimes feel inadequate. I feel like I’m not helping my husband. But, I do. I have dinner waiting. I wash and iron his shirts. Make sure everything is tidy, so he can come in and relax every evening. I quess I allow Satan to take my joy when I should be grateful God has blessed us so I can do this for my dad.

  16. Joan says:

    I am worth more than many sparrows,thank you God for this reminder.i really needed this,thanks Gwen for availing yourself for God to use you for the blessing of others.God richly bless you.

  17. Sara Flanagan says:

    Thanks for your devotion today Gwen. I have been in those shoes several times and God has pulled me out. I’m sort of feeling some of the same feelings now. I am in real estate but my real passion is writing. I would love to write a book about our wonderful God and I keep asking God to bless that decision but I’ve received no word from Him yet. Sometimes I wish he would just speak outloud to me so I can know what he would have me do to serve Him. I feel I am floundering, not sure which direction to take. The only thing I know for sure is that God loves me unconditionally and for that I want to tell others what his love and peace can do for them. Please pray that God will speak to me and lead me in the right direction.
    Thanks, Sara

  18. Jody says:

    Thank you I really need to hear this today. I struggle with trusting people. ….hurts from past experiences with people who I believed I could trust have left me with no friends.

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