Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Need for Understanding

Apr. 27, 2006
The Need for Understanding

I long for understanding. I want my husband to know exactly how it feels to listen to two preschoolers argue at decibel levels that would challenge a B-52 bomber, while at the same time making dinner as a screaming toddler clings to you as if you're the hook to her loop! I want my friends to understand my ridiculously crazy schedule and still be my friend even though I can't call or regularly attend girls nights out. I want my younger girlfriends who have a perfect family of four, with children spaced perfectly 3 years apart, to understand what my life is like with a 4,3, and 1 year old, with a mom who is 36 years old, and not the lovely and high-energy 29!

What I've learned in this journey of life, especially after becoming a mother is this: my exact life will never be fully understood by another human being. Never. I shared this with my friend Kelly once as she lamented the fact that her husband was in charge of their new baby all day, and had decided to do the "I'll take him to see grandma" thing that seems so popular with my husband and those of my friends as well. "I just want him to understand what I go through every day. What my life at home with a cranky and discontent baby is really like."

"Dream on, sister," I told her.

No really, I said, "Sweet girl, he'll never understand."

You know how I learned this? From experience. No matter how martyr-like my attitude, no matter how many anecdotes, complaints, or words I use to describe my day to him, my sweet husband who goes off to work everyday will never understand the life of a stay at home, homeschooling, ministry-leading mom. Nor will any of my friends, my children, my mentor, or my own mother for that matter.

I used to get angry about this. I would lament loudly to God in my prayers about this need I had for understanding. My journal during my first few years of motherhood reads like a veritable martyr-manual. "Woe is me. Will this baby ever stop crying. Does anyone, ahem, UNDERSTAND, how hard this is?"

One of my more thoughtful friends, Jen, pointed out to me one day in her very gentle way, that my need for understanding had the potential to be an idol. Potential schmotential, it clearly already was an idol, because an idol is just an exalted thought in your mind. Clearly for me the need for understanding had become more important in some ways than God and what He had to speak to me during these difficult times.

To summarize my learning to this point then, I had become aware that no human being could fully understand my exact life. I had become aware that my need for understanding had become so important in my mind that it had indeed eclipsed my relationship with God. Fast forward two years...

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been meditating on Mark 1 and had come to the point in verse 45 where it says they (the crowds) came at Jesus from every direction. Even in the deserted places. Boom. There it was. Understanding. Finally, someOne who who understood what it was to be pulled in every direction.

Once again, Jesus met me right at the point of my need. Came into my life personally as a God who understands. And knowing that has made me more passionate about Him than ever. He truly is a God who meets all my needs. He is a jealous God, a God who will only allow Himself to truly fill those empty places. In Him, I have all that I need, and indeed He understands.

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