You know those times when you are just so emotionally wrenched and you can't really think straight? That's me today. It's not exactly that it was a bad day, just a day that was very powerful, I think that's the best way to describe it. God definitely got my attention today.
When I came home from work, I was in a really grouchy, tired mood. It's almost the winter break and the kids at school are nuts and I am tired. We are up to our ears in prep for Christmas - rehearsals for the Christmas concert/service at church and rehearsals at school for the concerts next week and the fact that Dh is out three evenings for concerts at his school. All this busyness has gotten to me and when you add in the fact that the weather has been so strangely English (too warm, too cloudy, too foggy, no sun), I am feeling very overwhelmed and TIRED.
On Wednesdays, I have that funny little prayer group I have mentioned before. It's a bizarrely eclectic group of people and yet it's been really enriching for me. As I drove there tonight, after dropping the kids off at Awana, I was kind of hoping for the chance to vent to someone a bit about how I was just worn out. I was not expecting what happened. It was supposed to be a casual, pre-Christmas visit. One of the women asked a question of two of the older women (they aren't old by any stretch but they have children in their 20's and they probably have ten years or more on the rest of us) about the difference between having daughters and sons. Well, for one of the women, that broke open the floodgates about some horribly upsetting parenting challenges she was having with her young adult children. It ended up with her in tears, the rest of us crying and we prayed over her for about 15 minutes. I cannot describe the power of that time. It was overwhelming to be party to her pain (she really does have some challenging issues to deal with) and not to have the right words to say and yet to feel that there was power in showing her that she is not alone. I have never cried like that in a prayer situation and now, I just feel absolutely exhausted but also strangely invigorated. It really felt as if this prayer group was meant for this purpose - moms not being alone in their parenting struggles and being able to help to hold each other up. I pray for this mother that she finds some peace and I pray that we are able to be there for her.
I don't know that this is an Advent message but I truly do feel that God was reminding me, yet again, that we are not alone, that one of the greatest gifts of being a Christian is that we do not walk alone and that there is such power and blessing in feeling as if you are helping someone else.