Sitting in church last week, still shaking from the record cold temperatures outside, snow melting in small, dirty puddles around my boots, I sat poised, carefully hiding the cracked heart threatening to break and gush at any moment. Me, my husband, our three teens and a kid, my sister-in-law, her husband and their three kids all sat lined up more or less neatly in our row of chairs. Since my sister-in-law’s kids are all under five she would probably agree with the less.
On this frigid morning, we had ventured out to my sister-in-law’s small church on the edge of town. We were in town for the New Year and we like to visit around and see where our people live and do life. This is no small feat considering we have thirteen siblings between us.
Worship began and my heart began to silently weep and that silent weeping quickly turned to tears threatening to destroy my carefully poised demeanor. The suffocating loneliness I had been feeling for months came to the forefront and I felt keenly aware of the feeling of slipping into an abyss. For monthsI had been telling my husband, John, I just felt forgotten. Not forgotten by him, but forgotten by life. It felt as if life was going on without me and I stood frozen in time.
This new season of life, with all of it’s unexpected exciting moments, has brought with it a personal season of unrest. My husband’s rapidly growing business, the time required for our kids’ stage of life, and many of my friends going back to work has left me feeling suspended between surrounding lives. I know it’s a season, but it is hard. Relationship cracks are wide and I am lonely. The cracks aren’t because of rifts, but changing seasons. At the same time, I am trying to embrace the season I am in because I know our kids are standing on the edge of the nest, looking at the big world beyond. Mothering is my heartbeat, my mission, and my sacrifice. Our talks are now filled with future, dreams, and what life looks like away from home. The little one is already recognizing that our family will soon have a seismic shift when the oldest graduates next year. My heart feels the tremor already.
Sitting there with tears streaming down my face in my in between place, I composed myself and sat through the message. Suddenly, as I sat in that little church, the pastor said, “God gave me a word this week for someone who would be here.” In my heart, I heard, “This is for you.” The pastor continued, “God says that there is someone here who is a stay at home mom and motherhood has been your ministry. You have put dreams on hold to mother and those dreams are still there. God wants you to know that you are not forgotten and He has not forgotten.”
Not forgotten. Remembered. God wanted me to know I am remembered by Him. There is no in between place with God. No abyss where I am where He is not. There are no cracks to fall between with Him because He is in every crack. He is there reminding me who I am and Whose I am. Now when I hear, “Forgotten.” My heart whispers, “Remembered.”
So it is for you. Your forgotten place may be big. It may be different than mine. Maybe yours isn’t a season, but more the narrative of your life that is loud. Maybe your marriage has left you more lonely than loved. Maybe you are longing to be married, but aren’t yet. Maybe you love being single, but there are days when you feel alone. Maybe you have been separated from a loved one because of death or distance. Maybe you have had a relationship explosion that has left you broken. Maybe sickness or loss has left you on a unique and lonely road. Maybe you don’t even know why you feel the way you do.
Remembered. You are remembered and known by Him. You are remembered by a Father whose love is so grand and so large it covers the deepest places of your heart. There is not a place in any of us that He can’t get to. When we have Him, there is not a place we can find ourselves where He is not. I am not forgotten and neither are you. We are remembered.