Love One Another: Why We Must Rally Around All the Moms All the time.

Love One Another - Why We Must Rally Around All The Moms All The Time

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

I know this.

My soul knows this.

And since I have come out of hiding – hiding from the reality that (maybe) I am not super woman – I have come to believe many, many other souls know this too:

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

You and I probably have a bias toward one way of life or another, we are human – yes! Yet, if we can’t stand with others who are raising precious arrows, how do we grow in our ability to LOVE BIG? How do we impact the next generation if we can’t find it in ourselves to love on the ones raising them? How do we grow in our walk with Christ unless we dig into perfecting the ultimate craft: our God-given ability to love one another as he/she/they is or are?

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

Let me jump off my soapbox for a hot minute and share a little story or two with you.

First I’ll share hers… and then I’ll share mine.

I came across this story headline in December, right after it happened. The title stated,

She left her special-needs son at a hospital, police say. Now moms are rallying behind her.

And before I ever read one bit of the article, I wept. I wept, because her story resonated with my special needs mama heart. Oh, how I have needed a break! Do I trust God that He’s gifted me this child with purpose and intent? Absolutely. I know He is good. I know His plans are good. But I do not know His plans to expose His own greatness.

Perhaps her story is just this…

We give up and God gives grace.

Sigh.

We must rally around all the moms all the time…

I too have experienced moments in which I have needed a long, long break, dear ones. I have been in a darkness similar to Diana Elliot’s darkness (hello, 2015-2017!). Not the same – of course it’s not the same! Every experience is different. But darkness. I know it. I know it well.

Back to her story…

So, Diana left her special needs child at the hospital where he was safe. And do you know what happened?

Instead of passing judgement, MOTHERS RALLIED AROUND HER.

The article states, “Diana gasped” when she turned around in court and saw other single moms rallying to support her.

Why did Diana gasp?

Because most special needs moms are used to inadvertent community neglect.

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

I’ll take this time to do what I have promised this year, and tell you about the beginning of Bliss’s journey…

Our Story

Wrapped up in the joys of my first healthy baby, I did not notice how our Bliss was different at first… I noticed how she cried on every single car ride. I noticed her extreme-extreme-extreme (!!) startle reflex. I noticed how she couldn’t sleep anywhere except on my chest. And I noticed how she was asked to leave part-time daycare… twice…

Jennifer and Bliss

The beginning of it all. This was taken around the time our Bliss began her therapy for sensory processing disorder and OCD (she was not diagnosed yet) in August 2015. The same month this photo was taken. The same month she left a home daycare setting for the second time…

By 2015, while I believe I may have had many a great-mom moment… I was also recognizing some epic hardness. Conflicted spaces lacking acceptance or joy. I lacked joy often. And though I didn’t know it yet, I was already experiencing life as a special needs parent… One such moment (day) in the life looked like this:

My husband was gone for 15 days.

15.

It was spring. And while he traveled first for business and then a family emergency, I cracked. By cracked, dear ones, I mean I really cracked.

Let me be clear that I wasn’t heartless; I was exhausted. Scott was exactly where he needed to be (well, at least the second ER-related trip). But oh my goodness, how I needed him. How I needed someone. We lived (live) in a state with no family… and at the time, I didn’t have any friends here either.

So it was after about 10 days with no breaks that I cracked. A radical shift took place within… a shift from ongoing anxiety to a rage within my belly that I had never known.

With the ferocity of a riptide my mental health plummeted. I went from treading just above water to being submerged beneath it. I was drowning. Drowning. The constant touch. The nonexistent sleep. The car rides complemented by constant crying. The grocery trips full of tears and meltdowns, too. The difficulty even leaving the house. The interruptions of every thought and every activity. The need of this child. The mass destruction that followed my sweet girl from dawn to dusk… I was drowning.

On the day that my mind sunk rapidly beneath the waters surface, Bliss wasn’t even two yet. Yet, she had scaled a brand-new gift for our son leaving it in complete shambles. Every bit of it was torn apart. A gift that was about ten times her size, none-the-less. A fabulous basketball game – the top hovering just inches below our 9-foot ceiling. She scaled it. Did I mention the not-even-two-years-old part? I think I did.

On that day my Roars came out. It was the first time I ever heard them… the deepest, most painful, guttural yells. The kind that make your throat sore. If you have not experienced those yells, oh how I envy you! I really do.

It was those Roars that landed me in recovery for my mental health later that year. I needed help.

I got it and I recovered, by the way. I did. But I am still a special needs parent. A special needs parent who has had many a day when I have questioned life. How could I be in charge of this wee one? How could I possibly help this child cope with life for just one more minute. There have been doors knocked straight through by her rage (part of living with a child with a severe anxiety disorder). I have been attacked while driving. I have had a busted nose and bruised up wrists. I have had a child whisper in my ear 50+ times in one day some of the most awful thoughts I’ve ever heard. Ones that scared her. Ones that scared me.

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

There are many of us walking on the wild side, friends.

We must rally around all the moms all the time.

Today, I have entered a space in life that is utterly complex. I serve moms. I walk alongside moms. I am a mom. And I have seen, heard, held space for JUST SO MUCH. So, while Diana’s story and mine differ because I haven’t dropped my gorgeous child off at a hospital for a break, her story resonates with me. It might just resonate with you, too. This dynamic is hard, hard, hard. And we need one another.

We need one another, and we MUST perfect our God-given craft. For loving one another is the only thing that makes sense in circumstances like these.

Do you agree?

I would love to hear.

Cheering you and your personal wildness on always.

With Love,

J.

Love One Another

A note about this post:

Dear One,

The story I share above about Bliss and I in 2015 was just the beginning of our walk with sensory processing disorder and OCD. It’s been five long years since the day that I was sucked under… and five long years of learning how to love WELL right here. I can promise you this, without a strong foundation of faith… without knowing God’s love for me… I would not be the often exemplary example of love and acceptance that I am in our home and community today. I truly believe that it is only when we know love can we hand it out. How do you get to know love? Get around good people. Online. (That’s where I started because we couldn’t leave the house for a long while as Bliss’s challenges progressed!) In person. At your church. I promise, incredible humans are out there. And you can find them.

Don’t believe me?

Just ask Diana.

For Diana’s story, click here.

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