Sunday, April 3, 2016

When You're Looking for an Adult... and Realize that It's You


Friends, multiple times this past week I looked for the adult in the room -- you know, sweeping the premises to find the person in charge who could take care of things -- and realized that it was me.

It's always a terribly sobering realization. 

It reminds me of an incident years ago when we hosted a recent college graduate for a few days at our house.  She had a headache one evening and turned into bed early before my children were tucked in for the night.  The next day, she shared an epiphany, "You know, I just realized something.  When you're a parent, you can't just go to bed if you're not feeling well."

I nodded, holding back a smile, as she continued, "I mean, even if you're sick, you still have your kids.  They're still there."

It was like watching her head explode.  In the best possible way, of course.

At any rate, this week I've felt like this young woman: mystified that I, as an adult, must shoulder legitimate responsibilities even when I'm feeling unwell and weary.  This week I haven't wanted suck it up and forge ahead; I've wanted to cover up with a blanket, take a nap, and binge-watch television while eating ungodly quantities of comfort food.

To be really honest, I still feel this way today.  When I look at my adult to-do list, I want to throw in the towel.  Raise a flag of surrender.  Cry uncle.

But perhaps this is beneficial.  This feeling of being overwhelmed, awful as it is, causes me to look for the adult in the room, to search for someone more equipped who can carry me though.  When I don't feel disciplined or even competent, I can't draw from my own merit.  The day has more demands than I have strength.

That's okay to accept.  It draws me to scriptures like this: "Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

What a mysterious contradiction it seems to be: Remembering that I'm a child of God seems to be the key to being a capable and strong adult, especially on days like today when I feel so very far from adulthood.

Image adapted from Mats Lindh.

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