It wasn't until I was on the road that I realized how desperately I needed this time. I had acknowledged in my head that I was a bit tapped out, physically and emotionally, but my heart had a whole lot more to say on the subject:
You are spread thin.
You have given all you have.
You are running on fumes.
You are headed for a breakdown.
And how did my heart communicate these facts to the rest of me? With crazy crying!
Out of the blue, just as I hit the desert south of town, Sara Groves started singing, "Twice As Good", on the car stereo and it was all over! Big, gulping-for-air Mommy-sobs. Shoulder-shaking, body-wrenching, full-blown weeping. Crying my eyes out and completely unable to control myself. I was so glad I was alone!
Now ... let me say that I would not recommend blubbering and driving at the same time. You run into such problems as feeling the need to set the cruise control at 50 mph ... a safe enough speed in your current sniveling situation, but resulting in piercing stares by the drivers shooting past you. Peering into your car as you sob and sniffle.
If your waterworks are unexpected, you might find that your tissues are in short demand ... resulting in one sodden tissue being unable to hold up to the oh-so-necessary nose blow. Trust me, it's not a pretty picture!
You also run the risk of arriving at your destination looking a bit raw: red eyes, red nose and red streaked cheeks. Nothing says, "I'm ready for fun!" like a bleary eyed guest arriving with smeared glasses and a sniffling nose.
I had not intended to spend the first 40 minutes of my weekend away wailing and weeping, but it was exactly what I needed. I had inadvertently been tucking away a myriad of emotions over the past several weeks. Each on their own, they were simple and manageable, but as they piled up inside, they had begun to churn. Unbeknownst to me, there was a perfect storm brewing in my soul!
As I set my iPod to shuffle through my Sara Grove's albums, her words and God's truths came pouring out of the speakers and into my heart. And those tears that had been stopped up, finally found an escape!
Now before you feel sorry for me, let me assure you that these were not "woe is me" tears or "I'm so blue" tears. They were purely tears of release, renewal and relief. These tears were washing over me (quite literally) with the purpose of freeing me. With each song (and new torrent of tears!) ...
I felt my stress wash away, releasing me from my "should's" and "ought's".
I felt my tension wash way, allowing my shoulders and neck relax.
I felt my anxiety wash away, to be replaced with peace.
I fully believe that I didn't know what I needed, but God did and He took that time when I was quiet and a bit fragile to care for my heart. In Romans 8, we read a lovely picture of the Holy Spirit's privileged ministry to us:
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
As I approached Delta, I felt that intense exhaustion that comes along with a good hard cry. I felt like I had been rung out ... much like the clothes stuck to the side of the washer drum after the spin cycle. I cautiously sniffled, listened to another beautiful song, "Small Piece of You", and didn't break out into a fresh wave of wailing. I breathed deeply and felt only that precious sense of being emptied of heartache and waiting patiently to be filled up again.
In those final 20 minutes, my 48-hours of fun truly began. Mat Kearny and I be-bopped our way to Montrose and when I arrived at the doorstep of my sister's house, my eyes had returned to their normal shade of blue, my nose was no longer sniffling, my shoulders were relaxed and my heart was read to be encouraged.
I trusted God to use that time, my break from being "Mom", as an opportunity to fill me up.
And He did.
But more on that tomorrow!
But more on that tomorrow!
Day 2: My Button is Lame
Day 3: Splendidly Lavish
Day 4: Keeping My Head Above Water
Day 6: Me, Myself & I
Day 7: Food For Though ~ Bacon