I have this friend, and she's pretty awesome.
She's the mom of six kids. When I lived in California we hung out and raised wild boys. We shared lots of laughter, lots of food and good times. Her two oldest boys are the same age as mine, and we've shared many long-distance tears and laughs as they have stepped into manhood.
And this year she will be gifted with a little surprise, a 7th little one who will be joining the brood. She is struggling with feelings of discouragement, fatigue, stress. It's funny how even SuperMom can get tired and feel unsure of herself. She wonders if she is strong enough to start over and if her faith has made an impact on her children. I assure you she is and it has.
I had another dear friend in California who had 3 girls. We spent many long afternoons at her home on an airforce base bonding over pizza and crafts and just being together. Right now she is raising her grandson. Her husband works at the White House, and she spends many lonely nights without her man, raising a blonde, robust little guy who is full of life and hope and joy. I know that some days she is discouraged, fatigued, stressed out. I know sometimes she questions how God can use her. I assure you - He does.
And me? Well I'm standing on the edge of an empty nest (why do I hate that term so much?) and sometimes I feel discouraged, fatigued, stressed. I'm unsure of myself and wonder if and how and when God can use me. And I think of my old friends, so far away, in such different places, and I thank God for them. I know these women, and I know at the end of the day they are passionate about the things of God. They trust Him, they know Him and they will continue to follow Him regardless of how they're feeling.
I'm praying for them this morning. Praying that God will give them peace and joy and boundless energy. Praying that He will continue to use them in the lives of others as He has used them in mine. And thanking Him for friends that remind me of this: Life is never what you expect it to be. God rarely responds how you ask Him to. But He is good. And a life given to Him is a life worth living, a story worth telling.