Empathy and Equilibrium

My littlest boy is seven years old today and I’m like, “what.”

I can truthfully say that Truman’s birth was the actual beginning of the most trying and refining period of my life. I honestly don’t even know if anything I have yet to experience will come close to the deeply difficult, yet transforming experience that was the half dozen years when I had all my young children under one roof.

It was so hard.

Once in college, I had an education professor who was then in the season of her life where I am now. She was teaching college classes and raising two young boys. In class one day, she said something to the effect of, “You think you are busy now. And you are. You are in school and that makes life busy. But you will one day become infinitely busier. It will make this time in your lives seem like a cake walk.” I’m pretty sure I curled my lip in disgust when I heard this, because gosh dang it, I WAS BUSY. Who did she think she was?

But she was right.

Life ratcheted up the intensity steadily through the years until that moment early in the morning one November 3rd when Truman came into the world prematurely. The increasing pressure did not let up. Not ever.

Not until sometime in the last six months–as I came to terms with my dad’s eternal progress on the other side of the veil & Jack’s living situation changing in miraculous ways–and I reached homeostasis.

It may be fleeting, but I am holding this sense of equilibrium gently and carefully within myself.

In the last week, I’ve talked to two friends who are facing a new diagnosis and a premature/scary baby delivery, respectively. They both reached out to me and I felt this huge sense of gratitude that I had been through it before. I simply knew what it felt like. I could offer them my experience as a bridge to a future day when things will be less terrifying, and even peaceful.

I hope that doesn’t sound smug. I don’t feel smug; I feel empathetic. And grateful that the Savior led me through the supreme mess of my parenting life into a place which often feels balanced.

I know it’s not fashionable to talk about Jesus being the reason for finding happiness in the weird complexities of life, but that’s the reality I have lived. I don’t believe he’s there for me. The last seven years have shown me that he IS unequivocally there for me.

My friend Marla and I were recently texting about some things, and about the counter-intuitive feeling of peace she has in the middle of so much uncertainty. She said, “I don’t think it is positive thinking. I think it is my testimony of God and His ability to take care of me.”

It was like she had struck a gong somewhere in my midsection. I thrummed with the resonance of her words.

Life can be impossibly hard. It will be impossibly hard. My Heavenly Parents get it. They weep with me.

The good news of my life has been that Jesus gets it because he’s lived it.

My miracle is that his whole purpose is to see me in my trials and see me through them.

  2 comments for “Empathy and Equilibrium

  1. allysha
    November 3, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    You have done really hard things, and I love you for it. For being honest about it, for trying, for knowing your weakness, for turning to Jesus.

  2. Jennie
    November 4, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Seven!? Oh, cute Truman. The other week I laughed (probably a little too maniacally) when a student said they will never be busier than junior year of high school. Just you wait, I thought. But that’s the beauty and a bit of a cruel but triumphant joke life plays on us, I suppose.

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