Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weak & Weary

Jennifer collapsed wearily onto the bench.  The sanctuary was shadowy, fragile rays of light trickled through the stained glass windows and altar candles glowed, illuminating the nave.  Each flickering flame was a prayer presented to God and somehow a comfort to Jennifer's tired soul, too.

Her eyes burned, the candles blurred and she buried her head in her hands.

Dear God, it's me, Jennifer.  It's been a long time.  Probably too long.  If You don't remember me, I understand.  But, I'm desperate.  I've walked by this church a hundred times, but for some reason today I had to stop.  Maybe You called me?  Anyway ... I need help.  It's my son.  Ethan.  The past months have been terrible.  I fear he's headed down a path that will only lead to trouble.  He's in a horrible, selfish mood; angry, yelling, demanding.  He hasn't smiled in weeks.  And now I'm not sleeping at night, making everything worse.  What should I do?  I'm completely at a loss.  Please, Lord ... I'm exhausted.  Thank You for hearing me, I guess ... amen.

Jennifer groped in her purse for a tissue and her compact.  Checking her mascara, she glimpsed an old lady push open the heavy doors of the sanctuary and hobble inside.  Jumping to her feet, Jennifer gathered her bag, hoping to slip away, but the elderly parishioner paused at the pew, her weathered face breaking into a smile.

"Adorable.  How old is he?" her voice creaked.

"Eighteen months," Jennifer forced a smile.  Gripping the stroller, she followed the old lady's gaze to her sleeping son.

"A beautiful gift," she said, grandmotherly.  "Mothering is the hardest and most precious responsibility.  God chose you for ..." her kind eyes found Jennifer's.

"Ethan," she offered, "His name is Ethan."

"Love him and pray for him.  God cares for those with young; says so in Isaiah 40:11."  She patted Jennifer's hand reassuringly before shuffling toward the altar.

In the bright light outside, Jennifer felt stronger.  God had heard her.

image courtesy of leo.jeje
(via Flickr Creative Commons)

To all my young moms out there ... the most challenging job in the world and such a privilege, too.  Exhausting beyond measure - but we are not alone in our mothering.  God says so in Isaiah 40:11.

Linking up with Trifecta: 33-333 words inspired by the single word path (course, route, way of life, conduct, or thought).

Linking up with Write at the Merge this week - inspired by the picture above.


  1. Sometimes what you need is only a prayer away. I love how you captured that desperation that only a mother knows, then allowed her some relief. Great work!

  2. I loved that he was only 18 months! That was a great twist for me. I loved that she found relief in her exhausted state and loved that the words she needed to hear came from someone she initially was trying to avoid. Lovely, Morgan.

  3. Such a difficult point to be at, the juncture of sleeplessness and the ever-growing neediness of a child learning to explore the world.

  4. Oh,I thought Ethan was eight-teen-& then was surprised to find that he was a different 18:-)Great insight into the difficulties for a Mom with little kids & possibly with no help/respite.

  5. Dear God. If You don't remember me I understand.

    How many times have I started my prayers this way?

    Your post is lovely and heartwarming. Nicely done!

  6. I started smiling too, when I realized Ethan was only 18 months old. I have a 14-month-old who is making me realize how hard toddlerhood is...a lesson I should have known already considering he's the fourth kid! :)

    Love the woman who did NOT say: "Enjoy it! It goes so fast!"

  7. You caught me up there, I was sure her son was a teen. But I'm closer to your Jennifer than the mother of a teen, and those harrowing early days are still fresh in my memory. As is the sweetness that comes in the still moments. Well done!


Thanks for visiting! Your comments are warm fuzzies! (And con-crit is always welcome, too.)