And No One Knew
Today's guest post is by Elizabeth Hamilton, fellow blogger whose writing I enjoy.
You can read more of her writing at https://www.leavingalegacyministries.org/blog
It had been a stressful experience.
I had done the prep work for summer vacation Bible schools before, so it shouldn’t have been hard. But this time was different. I now had two young children who had changed my world. I threw myself into putting my lessons together and making the visuals while keeping track of my two children who were both under three. I had been hyper-focusing on my preparations when I came back to reality and realized that Samuel was on the loose! He had been in the bathroom, playing in the toilet water. Then he went into the kitchen and made a mess. Earlier, I fed everyone a snack of cottage cheese and left the container on the countertop. While I was occupied, Samuel took huge spoonsful of cottage cheese and thumped them on our Chihuahua Levi, decorating his back. Then he scraped some of it from the dog and put it back in the container.
I stood in the room with wide eyes, looking at the floor, dog, and countertop mixed with dog hair and cottage cheese.
(Please pardon the quality of this photo. This actual picture of Samuel was taken before the days of crystal-clear cell phone shots.)
I really respect those Michael Pearl followers who always know the correct childrearing response. But sometimes MY response has been like a deer in headlights. I felt like I was unable to punish my child over a technicality. See, I had never told him not to decorate the dog with cottage cheese. So how could I punish him?
I was in my thirties before I had children, and there was no going back. But I must have had a moment of insanity, because as I stood in the kitchen looking at the cottage-cheese mess, the first words out of my mouth were, “Ok. Ok. I’ve changed my mind. I’ve changed my mind. My name is not Mama!”
Really, I was trying to get out of motherhood at that moment, and Samuel missed the whole point. He got tickled, like we were playing a fun, new game. “Hee hee,” he laughed. “Who are you? Brother Todd?” (the name church people called my husband)
Of course, I cleaned up the mess and went on being a mother! Other people might make the whole thing look easy. They might have twelve children while completing their master’s degree and working two full-time jobs. (Maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.)
Other people could work from home, but I was struggling with getting my vacation Bible school materials together while my preschool children were into everything I did.
I started to feel like I was in one of those dreams where you are running away from a bad guy, but you can hardly move!
For days I struggled, but no one knew. It was during one of my times in vacation Bible school prep that I cried out to God, “I need help!”
Suddenly a car pulled into my driveway, and a cheery voice was at the door. “We’re here!” Grandma Vera called out. “We’re here to get the children and take them with us. Grandpa’s waiting in the car.”
I loaded Samuel and Abigail into Grandma Vera and Grandpa Lewis Henry’s car. My children were delighted. Grandma Vera and Grandpa Lewis were delighted. And I was delighted.
This precious older couple in my church weren’t really our grandma and grandpa by blood, but we had adopted them. My husband’s parents and grandmother, at that time, were living two hours away, and my family lived three states away. You might say it was coincidence that when I prayed, the Henrys showed up. I say God sent them. No one else knew where I was emotionally, but God did. And as a father pitieth His children, so the Lord pitieth them that love Him.
There have been moments in the past twenty-five years when I have had needs. Times when I was not doing well spiritually, and felt I was on the way out.
And no one knew.
No one knew how badly I was struggling in different situations. I remember asking God, “Would you please put me on someone’s heart for prayer?” I was desperate and hoped that someone somewhere was praying.
I want to follow the Spirit. Today as I am praying, I want to linger where God leads. He knows who may be hiding behind a smile. He knows my loved ones who may feel they are on the way out, and no one knows. He knows whose driveway to send me.
Oh my brother when I’m weak Would you stand in stead for me And pray a fortress round me strong that can’t be moved? And I promise you today as I bow my knees and pray I’ll do my best to build a wall of prayer for you. Sometimes a wall of grace Sometimes a wall of faith, Other times it’s sweet mercy that I need. But the one for which I long, It makes all the others strong I need a wall of prayer surrounding me. Kyla Rowland My Abby Publishing LLC/ McKameys Publishing Company, BMI (Used with permission)
Elizabeth Hamilton writes: " Samuel is now 19 and is a thoughtful, loving young man. He does cement work and is a college freshman at at our local community college. I’m proud that he was just given the honor of student of the month there at ICC, but I’m even prouder that he still calls me Mama."
Ever been in the place this mom found herself in? We would enjoy reading your comments below.