Yesterday was the first Friday in 2 years, 2 months and 2 weeks that I have not gone to visit Rachel without a reason that was good enough for my heart. But my mind and body were so utterly exhausted that when the kids started to fall apart on the way out the door and I lost my temper, I decided I needed to stay home.
I layed on the couch for 1 1/2 hours trying to fall asleep and I couldn't. My mind races constantly. My heart yearns to do more. But my body is done. Completely done. I was having a serious physical reaction to my stress level and it isn't good for my baby.
From homeschool, to work, to sleep deprivation.... from nonprofit lingo, to taxes, to the IRS, to 32 page applications and planning large scale events. From being pregnant, to having 4 kids at home with me all day long, to missing Rachel like she died yesterday. So many demands and too little help. I officially caved.
I've begged God to show me what I need to do. I've spent hours reading and watching videos on how to "lead a tribe"... how to direct a nonprofit.... how to make my vision a reality.... how to do this. I've researched and asked around. I've googled, I've prayed, I've cried. I've given up and started over about ten times. And I just keep asking Him... Is it just hard because it is worth it and you want me to keep pushing through? Or are you trying to tell me it is time to let it go?
It's honestly a question that I have not wanted an answer to. Because neither of them are things I want to do.
Every time I mention the idea of giving up, I get tons of responses... "Don't give up, you help so many people." I appreciate that encouragement... but usually when that happens, I feel revived. This time, there is something different happening in my heart. This time I am not so sure. This time I am broken. This time I am desperate for relief.
The funny thing about facebook is that you can get into full conversations with people and they have no idea that you are sobbing and can hardly breathe on the other end of the wave..... last night I had a few very dishonest conversations... I seemed perfectly fine, I'm sure. But I was falling apart. I decided to write a friend of mine an email - just a quick one to say one little thing - and it turned into a long, very emotionally charged email. My tears fell faster, my fingers moved across the keys like they haven't in a very long time and I poured my messy self onto the page.
I've very obviously cut down on blogging. My readers have started to dwindle (unless the word "ultrasound" is in the title in which case everyone decides it's time to "pop-in"). And I honestly feel like a bunch of the things going on right now are not things that I can blog.... but even if they were, I don't have the time because I'm too busy with all these other things. But this is where my ministry really started. This is where Rachel's story has made the biggest difference. And it only needs me and my computer and my open heart. It's risky, and it has brought me some hate mail, but I've never felt like there was ever more negative than good that was coming from it.
Things have snowballed. I never wanted to direct a 5K. That plan was not mine and originally it was to help raise money for Rachel's Playground and when we couldn't hold it soon enough to help with that, I came up with this bright idea that I would do it anyway and donate to another place in her memory. In order to do it, I had to be a nonprofit and in order to have it in Dover, we had to be registered with the Charitable Trusts Division... and one things led to another and now I have this organization I'm trying to run and I don't have a clue how to do it. In the past, I've joked about how I fake my way through everything and God makes it come out good. But I'm out of energy for that and the more serious this gets, the heavier it gets on my shoulders.
I can't do it alone, and unfortunately, even having God on my side doesn't make up for the extra hands that are necessary to do all that I have to do. He can guide me through all my decisions, but He doesn't keep my mind from turning to mush and my eyes from burning in exhaustion after hours of trying to decipher IRS rules, nonprofit guidelines, or website design. He doesn't shorten the 30 minute wait time or the horrible elevator music the IRS plays when you call - or the fact that if they give you the wrong answer, you're still responsible. He has yet to make a phone call or running errands easy to do with kids in tow. And as of now, my third year in, He has yet to bring me any relief from carrying all the burden alone. There are lots of part time helpers who help as it fits into their lives - and I'm thankful for every bit I get... but all the weight ultimately falls on me. Everyone else can walk away and go about their lives and say "I hope you figure it out"... everyone but me. And it's taking its toll. I suffer, my husband suffers, my kids suffer... .and Rachel doesn't care. She is dead.
So who am I doing it for? For the hurting mom, the dying or dead baby, the grieving family.... yes. But what about THIS hurting mom, dead baby and grieving family? Why does it feel somehow wrong to say I need someone else to not just tell me this is important, but to show me and make it their priority too?
I feel like this is where my "I can do it" personality really proves to be a downfall because even when I straight out say I'm at the end of my rope and I quit, nobody takes me seriously... or at least not enough to respond to me with a helping hand. Everyone is just used to me taking care of things and making it happen. Or maybe they are just fine with me quitting cause it really doesn't matter that much to them in the first place. Regardless, I'm completely spent. Something needs to change.
What am I to do? I have no idea.
Something keeps ringing in my mind... in that email I sent my friend last night, I wrote things that I knew, but I didn't realize were so close to the surface in my heart. I wrote:
I just wish she wasn't dead. I don't want to do any of this stuff, but for some reason, I can't stop. And now I'm crying.... because the truth is that I don't want to do any of this. I want to quit. To have a normal life with my little girl still alive. I hate nonprofits. I hate tax exempt. I hate races. I hate fundraisers. I hate asking for donations in MEMORY of my baby. I just want her. And I'm so sick of people acting like this is some sort of great thing I've got going on here and like like I'm putting them out by needing help. My baby is in the ground. I don't want any of this. I'd rather not need their help. I hate it. but for some reason, I can't stop. And I even hate that. I just want a normal life and it's never gonna happen for me again.I sobbed while writing the email and I continued to sob for well over an hour after the email. And I mean SOB. I completely fell apart. Because I have never not wanted to do what I do for Rachel. It's always been really hard and way too time consuming, but I've never wanted to actually walk away. And the sad part is I can't tell if I really want to or if it is just because of the difficulty I have finding support. But when do I say enough is enough, I gave it my best and now I need to just accept that I can't do it alone? When do I wave my white flag?
I climbed into bed after midnight with a red puffy face and sat up hoping my nose would clear so I could sleep. Matt made me a piece of toast and handed me Rachel's blanket. I didn't say it, but in my mind, my heart was screaming "All I've got is a blanket.... a blanket....just a blanket..." I hate this. I clung to it just yearning to feel her in it again. But it is empty. I felt angry... but behind that anger is really just a broken, desperate heart that aches every day for heaven. "I miss her so much, it never lets up" I told Matt. It never lets up. She's always right there on my mind, her name on the tip of my tongue.
I woke up this morning with an hour to get my red puffy faced self and all my kids up and ready and to work. I rolled over and said to Matt "I need to change something, I missing it all. I'm missing my living children growing up in front of me and it's not fair to anyone."
I feel like I just want a simpler life again. I can never go back to the blissful ignorance I once had, but I have this little daydream.... One where I wake up in the morning and stay home and teach my kids, bring them on day trips and help them experience life. One where I'm not so divided in my time and energy. One where I don't miss their lives while I'm busy trying to minister to others all by myself. I don't want my job anymore, I don't want the race anymore, I don't want a nonprofit anymore. I want my first ministry, my children here - and my first Love, my precious Lord.... and it seems there are only two options... I can either make some changes so that this is all manageable, or I am going to have to let it go. And I don't know how to do either.
I'm so sad. I am so helpless. I'm so heartbroken. I am needy, insufficient, incapable, totally dependant.
I need You God.