Empty

So I’ve been MIA for a while. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. I do. I have thoughts on becoming a transracial family and what race now means to me. I have thoughts about mothering. I have many, many thoughts on adoption. But I’m battling with exhaustion. Things are better than when we first came home, for sure. But I still feel like I’m in the trenches.

I am physically exhausted because Ephrem still struggles a lot with sleep. On a good night, we are up 1-2 times with him. On a not-so-good night, it’s every 45-75 minutes. The not-so-good nights are more frequent than the good nights. I wish I knew how to help him sleep better because we are all soooo sleep deprived (us more than him, I think), but for now, our course of action is just to keep doing what we are doing.

But it’s more than being worn out as a new mom.

Here’s my private confession (that I’m making to anyone who reads this, I guess): more than the physical exhaustion, I am spiritually exhausted. I am empty. I am dry. I am emotionally drained and now unsure how to refill.

Motherhood has been the most beautiful, most meaningful ministry I have ever done. Pouring love and speaking life into that almost 13 month old little boy is an amazing, treasured gift. But this ministry is one that takes every ounce of strength, patience, and endurance I have. I sit back in awe of the mothers who are doing motherhood well, and who are able to still minister to others. I knows some of my struggle relates to insecurity as a new mom. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m doing things “right.” Motherhood is a high-pressure role because it feels like everyone is watching, everyone has an opinion, and the cultural expectations are high. (Thank you, Dr. Freud.) Add to that the pressure of attachment. This in itself is exhausting.

So right now I find myself empty. Honestly, some of this is the challenge of finding the dedicate time I need to spend time in God’s word – quite a feat with a little one who wakes up at 5:30am. And naptime fails because it’s the only chance to get everything else done and/or recover from not sleeping the night before. Still, I’m trying to read a brief devotion to get something, but even with that, I feel like I haven’t heard God’s voice speak to my heart in far too long. I am in the desert place.

Until I hear This voice again, I will “cling to His garment.” Psalm 40 will be my prayer:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.

How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.

If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
(Psalm 40:1-5)

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5 thoughts on “Empty

  1. I must comment♥……..bless you in the trenches, Carla….bless you because even when you don’t feel “full” your life is a blessing and a beacon and helping fill others…. Who am I but almost a stranger and you have really impacted my life even beyond the fact that we are in the throws of this adoption journey.

    Bless you for your honesty…..you aren’t alone and I will surely pray for you and yours.

  2. You are definately not alone Carla. I am watching your journey from afar but I too feel the emptiness in my own spiritual life. I praise Him praying for His Holy Spirit to rain down on me. Wondering why He feels so distant. We all have seasons in our lives where we feel like we are going it alone but we know that He will never leave us.
    My unsolicited advice as a mother would be to not worry about what everyone else thinks. We all do motherhood differently and one method doesn’t work for everyone. You have a special, God sent little boy. Just love him. My kids are almost 11 and 17. I know that I have made mistakes and continue to make them but everything that I do is because I love them and I want the best for them. Blessings to you Carla and may God fill your cup to overflowing!

  3. You know I’m no expert on motherhood. Haha! But I do know you cannot compare yourself to others. Besides, you are starting your motherhood journey in a different place and way than most mothers do. He may be almost 13 months, but you’ve only had him with you for a few of them. You’re doing fine. God sees your heart, and so do many others, and you are an inspiration. Download some podcasts to listen to (even if only in the background) while you do your supermom thing. I know you’re teaching your son about God. These things count and the Holy Spirit will help you absorb what you need from it.

  4. HI Carla, I, too, am watching your journey from afar, and pray for you. Believe me, every mom feels like there is never enough time, and wonders if she’s doing it right. I used to constantly ask God to fill in the gaps that I felt I wasn’t, and to protect my children and shield their hearts from hurt, and their eyes and ears from what they might see and hear when I couldn’t be there. From the perspective of a mother with grown children who worked full-time and went through a divorce, I can say HALLELUJAH, my kids are wonderful human beings, hard-working, caring, love God, and He did, indeed, fill in the gaps. Don’t worry too much! Take time for yourself! Have Christian music on in the house, while you’re doing other things, it really helps to maintain my relationship with God, and to keep Him in my mind, up front, where He belongs! You’re doing it right, because you care enough to wonder!

  5. Pingback: Hope (again) | Beyond Inspired

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