I am Not Alone
By Whitney Capps

I sat at my computer and typed, deleted and then re-typed the same email at least three times. Did I sound too desperate, too needy? Surely things weren’t this bad. Maybe I just needed a little perspective. So I stopped and looked around.

Toys of a million varieties, parts and pieces were scattered across the playroom floor. My three-year-old and two-year-old were still in their pajamas. It was nearly 10:30, and I hadn’t yet changed Dylan’s diaper. They’d been watching television far longer than any good mother would let them. The newborn was crying. I’d stuck him in the swing because I just needed a break. I hadn’t showered in two days. At least I think it had been two days. I was in a time warp, so who could be sure? I knew I hadn’t changed clothes in as many days. My t-shirt and sweatpants were stained with the boys’ various bodily fluids.

Who was I kidding? Things really were this bad.

So I turned back to the computer screen and typed out as honest an assessment of the situation as I could. I needed help, and I knew just who to reach out to. I hit “Send” before I had the chance to let my pride veto my desperate cry for help. I wasn’t going to pretend anymore. I needed encouragement. I needed to know I wasn’t alone.

“Girlfriends, I am struggling. Life with three little boys under four is hard. Ryder is such an easy baby that I feel really guilty even voicing my weariness. And Cooper and Dylan are just little boys. I don’t really expect anything to be other than what it is right now. It’s just that right now is rather taxing. I know every stage of motherhood is.

My life is no more difficult than yours – you superwomen who do this daily with excellence and have been for years. That’s why I have started and stopped this email three times. I feel so self-indulgent to talk about how parched my soul is. I feel like I’m drowning in diapers, potty-training and breast milk. It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt this spent. This is new to me.”

In a matter of minutes my inbox started filling with messages from some of the best friends a girl could have. I had asked them to pray for me, to tell me I was going to be okay, to tell me these days would pass. These amazing women came through in a big way, sharing some of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard and offering the kindest commiseration a new mom could want. I felt connected, accepted and loved.

For the next day or so these dear friends and sisters sent quick prayers and words of encouragement. With each one I read a new mommy-mojo went coursing through my veins. Using their words as my new mini-mantras, I changed diapers, wiped noses and unloaded the dishwasher repeating:

“I am not alone.”

“God’s grace is sufficient.”

“Do the next thing.”

Why hadn’t I done this sooner? What was I so afraid of?

I’ll tell you. I didn’t want them to think less of me. Would they see the real me, and still love me? My pride shouted “No!,” but my heart trembled “Yes.”

In the moments before I sent that email I felt utterly alone. In the days that followed, I realized the sisterhood of fellowship I had gained was totally worth the embarrassment of admitting my fears and failures. As it turned out, these dear women didn’t love me less for sharing; they loved me more.

Through their kind words, I learned not to love myself more, but to love Jesus more. I didn’t have more confidence as a mom. I didn’t feel better about myself. And I didn’t suddenly get to take a shower every day. I realized I am absolutely inadequate. I am sincerely overwhelmed. But I am not alone.

My dear friends did the best thing possible: they helped me focus not on myself but on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith.

As they promised to walk this journey with me, I discovered there’s safety in numbers. In the quiet of my head and heart, sometimes the voice of fear and condemnation drowns out the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit. With a resounding chorus, these girlfriends shouted truth so loud it couldn’t be ignored. It was just what I needed.

And they didn’t care that I hadn’t brushed my teeth.

Whitney Capps lives just outside Atlanta with her four favorite fellas, ages 31, 4, 2 and six months. While her house is full of testosterone, she is prissy enough to balance out the bedlam. She joined the Proverbs 31 Speaker Team in January of 2008. Learn more about Whitney by visiting her blog at www.whitneycapps.blogspot.com. In July she is featuring a series called, "Mommy Meltdowns and Moments." Here you'll find encouragement and stories from the trenches with Whitney and other Proverbs 31 speakers.

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