To say that life has been hard lately would be a gross understatement. With the holidays approaching everything came stampeding into my heart a few days ago. Donnie’s search for a job. What the hell are we going to do for Christmas this year? Can I do another Thanksgiving without any family to share it with? The Ipad with the broken screen that isn’t covered under the insurance plan we’ve been paying for. The duplex that we live in that is falling apart and so tiny. And so on.
None of it seemed overwhelming on its own but for some reason, all of it suddenly seemed like too much. And I kind of threw a tantrum. I was so angry. And tired. “I just want to be financially stable. I don’t want a big Christmas, I just want to buy a Christmas tree without worrying about how much it will cost. Is that too much to ask?!” I found myself yelling at God. I was really so angry. I snapped at my kids. I snapped at Donnie. The more I tried to stay calm, the worse it seemed to get. I lost sleep. I felt tense everywhere and I clenched my jaw for days trying to hold back tears.
This morning when I woke up I was determined to feel better, more calm. I did some yoga and enjoyed some pre-breakfast tickling and laughter with Maggie and Will. I started to feel like I might make it. Then we took a small drive to take care of an errand for the business and the kids were fighting and Lyssa was crying because she lost a card game she was playing on the back seat with Little Donnie and by the time we got home I was all snippy and overwhelmed again.
I got a call from my best sister who has twin babies. One baby came home from the NICU this week and the other is still in the hospital and is very sick. And I’m so far away and my sister needs my support and, “God, why do I have to have such an amazing sister who I can never live by…why?”
And then we ate dinner. Our friend Brian brought us a smoked turkey and we had our Thanksgiving meal today. It was simple but delicious. And I was trying to be thankful through the meal and visiting with Donnie and the kids and Brian and I felt happy and calm started to enter my heart again. After dinner Brian took us to a greenhouse filled with poinsettias. Red. Pink. White. Green. Striped. Spotted. It smelled of the earth. There were twinkling white Christmas lights and the owner gave us a small tour and some background on the plants. I took deep breaths and enjoyed being surrounded by so many living things. Then Maggie and Will started running around and soon Donnie had to take them out to the car because they wouldn’t stop running and a few minutes later, beautiful poinsettias in hand, when the rest of us got to the car, Maggie was still throwing a huge fit and hitting and kicking. Her emotions were so big. I just kept telling myself that her emotions were so big that she didn’t know what to do with them. But I was a little angry. “Why can’t she just not run? Seriously, we just wanted to enjoy the warm green house and smell of the earth and do it as a family. Can’t I just catch a break?! For the love!!!”
And then, as we were driving home, Maggie yelled that she was just going to sit in the road and let a car run her over. And I was immediately sobered. My anger was gone. Because Maggie, my dear sweet blonde 5 year old, was feeling so awful that in her little kid brain she wanted to die, and my heart broke for her. And I wasn’t angry anymore, I just wanted to know what to say to her to help her calm her troubled heart. Donnie responded first assuring her that we loved her and that her saying that made us very sad. A few minutes later Maggie was sleeping.
But I wasn’t. I was thinking. I was thinking of a Father and Mother in Heaven looking down on me and saying those very things. God had been watching my tantrum for days. He’d allowed me to be angry and yell and tell Him how disappointed I was. He’d realized that my emotions had become too big for my little human heart and that I just needed to get them out. To feel them. And then, at the exact moment when I’d been thinking how much easier it would be to not have any of these worries or anxieties, how much easier it would be to just disappear , He’d looked down and told me “Meggan, I love you so much, and when you think those things it makes Me very sad.”
And then I just felt peace. We pulled into the driveway, unloaded the sleeping kids, and I curled up in my bed for a few minutes with a nice soft blanket over me. I listened to the kids playing with each other and eating pie. I sat in my bed with Lyssa and we read together and laughed big belly laughs about one of the stories in the novel I’ve been reading her for a few weeks.
I don’t think my tantrum days are over. haha. I’m certain they aren’t. But I do know something really important now. It’s okay. It’s okay to be angry and sad and disappointed and it’s even okay to be a bit snippy and cry and scream and be mad at God. He can take it. If I, with my limited knowledge and imperfect parenting, can love Maggie through a tantrum and ache for her when she feels overwhelmed, then God does those very things for me, because He is a much better parent than I am.