There are times when life as we know it stops. These are important times, defining times. We meet God and we are wrecked. But not in a bad way–not at all. We simply cannot continue to live the way we did before we knew about such grace, such love, such peace. We are changed and it’s not just for the better, it’s for forever and it’s for Monday mornings and when we’re stuck in traffic and when we don’t know which job to take; it’s for the details–all of them– and after it happens, our friends notice our faces are changed because it’s hard to carry that much around in a heart without your face showing it, too.
I was married before in what feels like a different life, but it wasn’t. It was this one, and it was me. My husband made the kind of choices that leave you not only with nothing left to rebuild, but nobody with whom to do it. So I moved on, wrecked. I walked on ashes only seeing the ashes–not knowing that ashes are a special kind of ground, a sneaky kind of ground. They slowly change under your feet until you’re standing on a jumping board that landed you here. And God, you love here. And now the ashes are always a part of here, so you cannot even hate them, though you still remember the hot, damning shame they brought and the black color they turned your feet. But feet can be washed, it turns out, and there’s some kind of vibrant, wild joy and gratitude found in redemption.
And this, my friends, is a post about motherhood, about how I’m wrecked all over again in that same beautiful way that Charlie was after he discovered the golden ticket and knew life would never be the same. He didn’t know that the Chocolate Factory was a hard place, too, full of tests that, were we simply to give into our most base selves, we would fail.
And I’m not the first mama to comment on how the highs are worth the lows, but I’ll agree with all the other beautiful souls who said it, because they are. And maybe not everyone feels this way, but there are lots of mundane moments that accompany motherhood (I mean, at least, I’ve never seen that particular phrase on any barn-wood signs).
But! It’s cumulative. Just how God wrecked me and changed the way I approach Monday mornings and traffic and impossible decisions–adding a measure of grace that is transcendent, clarifying, and peace-giving–motherhood wrecked–no wrecks me again and again–and changes the tenth trip to Claire’s (I don’t love Claire’s guys; ALL that junk!) and the mall (the mall has a way of stealing your soul and tricking you into forgetting to dream beyond a sale at the Gap)–it makes going to these places for the tenth time this week into simply, real acts of love. Because I have a little girl who finds joy at Claire’s. Who cannot put enough tiaras and Christmas elf hats on her head. And God, if acts of love aren’t weighty and valuable, I don’t know what is.