Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Eubanks: Unplugged: S1:E18

This is me being real again, only this one's not funny. I debated whether to post it because it's scary to put the honest truth out there for the world to see, but I was convinced this morning by a friend that there might be others out there who need to hear it. 

October 5th, 2012
I’m doing another Beth Moore Bible study. At the beginning of the study one of the questions asked was, “What do you seek,” or “what do you want,” or “what are you looking for?” Basically all the same question, worded in slightly different ways. My first internal response was “Peace.” My life has felt anything but peaceful for the past 4 years, starting with when we got a particular foster child. My experience with him drew out of me a monster that I never knew existed, and I’ve been fighting it ever since. I have struggled with anger, anxiety and possibly some depression. I have tried medicines (which all had negative side effects for which I’m actually thankful because I don’t want to take medicine anyway). I have tried natural/herbal supplements, which helped quite a bit, but not completely. The food changes I’ve been making over the past 6 months have had the biggest impact. 

One thing I’ve really struggled with in the last few years is an inability to enjoy parenting. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than anything, and we do have some wonderful times together. But I thought parenting was going to be like climbing a mountain – difficult, exhausting, maybe scary, but oh, so awesome. Look at the beauty surrounding the climb! Look at the view from the top! But honestly, the last few years haven’t been so great. I feel more like I’ve been slugging through a sewer. It’s been difficult, exhausting, scary… and so very far from awesome. And it’s no wonder. My youngest spent about a year filling my days with poop in some way or another: taking off a poopy diaper and smearing it all over himself, wiping it on walls in his room, etc. Not every incident was exactly the same, but there was oh, so much poop in my life. And it was absolutely not a mountain climbing experience. If you have children, or have worked in a nursing-home, you know just how deflating it can be, day after day, to clean up somebody else’s poop. “Humbling” is probably the proper word, but “deflating” sounds less spiritual and more real. 

My precious baby boy turned 3 a few days ago. I’m now standing in the man-hole, ready to climb out of this sewer. In addition to peace, and even more so, I am seeking to enjoy raising my children instead of feeling defeated by them. The thought has been wrapping itself around my soul for the past several weeks.
I received a rare word from God today during Bible study. Beth Moore was rattling on about I’m-not-sure-what, but God was speaking to my heart, and I felt compelled to start writing. When I began to write, these are the words that poured off the pen: 

“Don’t worry about the rest of the world, and what they want or what they think. Your job right now is to raise your family. I have given you these children for them, AND FOR YOU. They are everything you need. I will do this for you. Your parenting of them is not the only influence in their lives. Let go of the pressure, be your wonderful self, and do your best. I love you. ~God.”

Yes, God called me wonderful. As I mentioned, I have struggled with anxiety due to the pressure to be perfect at everything the world expects from me. That’s a story for another day, but this word from God spoke to that aspect of my struggle. The focus of my life right now is to raise my children. There are so many wonderful things out there to eat up our time, and I’m not invalidating any of them. But I am to let go of it all – the pressure, the guilt, even the desire – and just raise these precious children that I spent so many years begging God for. God also revealed to me that I am not the savior of these children. Yes, I have been given responsibility to raise them to the best of my ability, but in spite of all my mistakes and imperfections, God’s got it taken care of. And they are FOR ME as much as I am for them.  They are for my enjoyment, as well as my refinement. During my trek through the sewer, God has been right by my side, leading me, teaching me, maturing me. And I believe the next chapter in my life is going to be full of joy. As I exit the sewer, I stand at the foot of a mountain. And there is nothing I love more in nature than mountains.

{Incidentally, in 2010 the 5 of us literally drove through and did some climbing in the Rocky Mountains, and that was an amazing experience.}


  1. Great job, Jeannine! And I think many of us can relate to this on some level. In my experience age three has brought about liberating changes. I pray the same for you...along with less poop. :)

  2. thanks Gilly. 3 was the magic age for my girls too. fingers crossed!