A Peculiar Answer to a Kitchen-Sink Prayer

They talk about “in the trenches” of motherhood… well, ten years ago I was dug in deep. My boys were ages two and three. Full-time mothering had pushed me to the end of myself, body, soul and spirit. Jake, my second-born,  had a way of putting me over the edge Every. Single. Day. 

Those years were a blur, but there is one moment I remember clearly. It returns to me often, leaving me undone every time, for its power is applicable to any kind of trench. 

It was an ordinary day in the middle of a thousand ordinary days. I was washing dishes and making lunch while listening for the boys playing in their room. So pretty good chance I burned the grilled cheeses and didn’t finish the dishes and several messes were made. Tears were flowing as my soul cried out for hope. If the tears had enough energy to use words, they’d have sounded something like this: 

God, this is really hard. The monotony, the constant demands, the interrupted sleep, the endless behavioral struggles and bodily fluids I have to deal with every hour. I’m so tired. I’m over it. I feel so alone. I feel I have lost myself, never to be recovered. And it seems like You’ve lost me, too, God. Aren’t you near? I try to believe you will give me everything I need for this difficult season, but I am NOT seeing it right now. Please help me. Don’t you know how much I need you? 

Jake began running laps through the house per usual, chanting something over and over as toddlers do. I turned off the water to catch the phrase – he came up with the funniest nonsense. As I tuned in, it sounded like he was saying:

I hear you! And I love you!

I must be hearing that wrong, I thought. He’s a little breathless. I walked down the hall to listen more closely, and it was clear as could be:

I hear you, and I love you! 

I hear you, and I love you! 

I hear you, and I love you! 

I hear you, and I love you! 

Over and over, louder every time until he was shouting with glee at the top of his lungs and I knew that God was shouting it straight to me. I stood there letting the words penetrate my teary cheeks, my soapy hands, my lonely heart. God was speaking directly to me through the mouth of my babe, now belly-laughing in my arms.

Rachel, I hear you, and I love you! I am right here. I am with you, and I will never leave you. I know what you need. It’s ok. You are mine. I am for you and I will never stop loving you. You’re going to make it, because I hear you, and I love you! 

I think we’ve all prayed this kind of kitchen-sink prayer at one point or another. Perhaps you prayed it today. If so, please make my story your own. Stop for a moment and turn off the faucet. Listen for an unlikely voice yelling with delight, filling your house with the truth God wants you to know:

I hear you, and I love you! 

It’s true, friend: He hears you. All your prayers, even the ones beyond words. He’s right here listening. He is not deaf. He has not left you alone. God hears you.

And it’s true, friend: He loves you. He knows what you need. His love for you is high and wide and deep and constant. He loves you because He IS love, and He made you, and you belong to Him. God really loves you.

 

Photo by DAWN HIGHAM on Unsplash

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