Remember that old game we learned in elementary school about whispering a secret? The teacher would put us all in a circle and whisper a sentence into one child’s ear. They would then whisper it into the next child’s ear and so on around the circle. By the time it made it to the last person, the sentence had morphed into something entirely different.” Mary goes to town on Monday” became “Merry go rounds, clowns, and money” or “Suzie brings her cat to class” became “soon zebras and hercules were last”.
It was a hilarious way to prove the point that gossip never ends the way it starts. Someone changes a word, a sentence, a description and soon an entirely new story is circulating. No matter how hard we tried, we could never keep the sentence exactly the same. Even when we knew what the game was all about. I was reminded of this game today when I realized the stories going around about how sweetheart and I ended up with the babies.
We women are the worst when it comes to the details of a story. If we don’t know the entire situation, we will fudge a little on the details to make it sounds better. If it makes the dysfunction of our own situation fade, so much the better. If we can point to our own kids and say “phew, at least that’s not happening to our family” we feel like we can breath a little easier. Worse than anything, if we can tell someone else what we think we know, even if we don’t know anything at all, we can and we will.
Well here is the sad truth of the situation. We, as grandmothers parenting our grandchildren, often don’t know what went wrong. We know what the end result is. We know that our lives have been turned upside down. We know that our husbands struggle with the fact that we have no time for each other anymore. We know that we have to give up Bible study groups, yoga, bike riding to La Madelines for strawberries. We know that if we hear one more person say “oh God must love you so much that He would give you this to go through” we will throw up.
We are a woman who thought she was done raising children. A woman who struggles to get enough sleep. A woman whose shoulders ache from walking the floor with a crying baby. A woman whose dinner menu has gone from steak and a glass of wine to peanut butter and jelly washed down with the last of the milk. A woman who feels guilty enough about the circumstances surrounding having to raise her grandchildren. A woman whose heart aches from the fear that it was something she did wrong that caused all of this.
Dearest Father God, we come before you as broken daughters and sons. We pray that the words that come from our mouths are words of affirmation, words of support, words of prayer. We know that something has gone wrong somewhere but we also know that You have promised us that You will never leave us if we walk in complete faith. We know that we need Your mercy and grace as we bring these precious children up to be all that they can be. Keep reminding us of those words that Jesus spoke to his disciples when He told them in Matthew 19:26 “….humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.” The journey that lies before us in raising our grandchildren seems more than we can bear. Yet You have lifted us up when we have been on our face before and we trust that You will walk with us through this valley we are in. Let us find like minded women who can walk with us as well. More than that Lord, let us ask. Let us be mindful of the fact that no one can help us if they don’t see our need. Let us not hide the reality of how hard this new calling from You is. Let us find women who will hold us up when our knees are weak, pray with us when our faith is faltering, and will bring us lasagna when we can’t stomach another peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In the name of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, Amen
copyright2012 Michelle Welch, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
scriptures from NLT Bible