When I was a young Catholic mother, surrounded by a crew of little people, I was overwhelmed by the pressure to raise children who were not only faithful Catholics but polite, well-mannered, intelligent, well-read and socialized. I faced unrelenting chores day in and day out, with little or no time to even think of meeting my own needs. It was a good day if I managed to brush my teeth and wash my face hours after dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I felt sorry for myself.
A Mother in Self-Pity
Then one night, as I stood at the kitchen sink, with pain lancing my chest, I started to cry, sobbing silently as I tackled a mound of dirty dishes.
Exhaustion weighed heavy and my arms felt like a stone.
It was 11:00 PM at night. I should have been in bed …
My little ones woke up every morning so early.
I felt alone, disconnected from any support system —
In my mind’s eye, I could see a knife piercing my heart.
There was a name carved into the handle of that knife.
I strained my inner eye, expecting to see my husband’s name carved into the wood because it seemed like he did not support me as a mother of a large family.
I felt like he was in the wrong and I was the good one
Always trying my best to fulfill all my duties as a Christian mother.
Yet, I could not see my husband’s name carved on the handle.
I was determined to see my husband as the cause of my pain.
So, I tried to manipulate the letters, but I could not force them to spell his name.
The etched letters clearly spelled my own name.
The letters clearly said, Melanie.
My eyes opened wide and I literally gasped in shock as God managed to pierce through my self-righteousness in an instant.
His Truth pierced right to my core self,
Dissolving the knife and my sharp pain with it into an insubstantial mist.
I saw clearly
I was the architect of my own misery.
I was simply a dramatic self-made victim,
Acting like a pitiful scapegoat.
An inner switch flipped.
God’s truth set me free to see reality.
Misery slipped off like a useless rag.
God Taught Me How to Be a Mother
The mountain of work I had been carrying on my shoulders was suddenly thrown into the sea by a mustard seed of common sense
There was no mountain except in my self-pitying delusions of martyred grandeur.
Then, I was filled with self-depreciating laughter, which cut through my stress.
The Spirit of Truth and Joy had finally cut through my self-pity.
Christ is the only sacrifice who can save from me.
If I am humble enough to realize I cannot exist as an island, then I accept that I cannot do it all on my own.
I can only live in joy as a child of God when I am wholly dependent on Him for everything.
I can only be an effective Catholic mother when I live as a child of God.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau
Image Copyright: Pixabay(2017), CCO Public Domain
This article was originally published at CatholicMom.com and is shared here with permission.