Dear Tired and Lonely Self,
You are in the middle of one of the hardest periods in life–raising two small children. You work all day, then you come home to work some more. It is often a single-parent gig as hobbies take your husband away on evenings and weekends. You won’t admit it to yourself, but you are becoming bitter and angry.
You are on the battlefield and you don’t even know it.
Your ear is tuned to compliments. You are looking for attention. You let your mind play “what if” games that only lead to more danger.
The answer to your heartache is not found outside of your marriage. Your loneliness cannot be remedied by the search for affirmation or affection. While the struggle for purity will remain an inside battle, it is best if you acknowledge the struggle. Be on the defensive. Do not let it take you down.
The battle for your heart is fought in your mind.
You linger in comparison. He will never measure up to the perceived perfection you see in others.
You compromise in thought. Hidden sins of the heart are just deadly as those done with the body.
The weight you carry is not from the burden of caring for little people alone. It is the weight of guilt for sin left unconfessed.
You think your struggle is a secret. God knows. And it shows up in your marriage. The gap between you gets wider the longer you dance like a fool on the front lines.
God called you to righteousness, inside and out. He wants more for you, more for your marriage. He will provide a way out. He will restore what you have broken.
I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
First, turn to Jesus. Approach the throne of grace with confidence. He waits with grace and mercy to help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). You will not be met with condemnation. No stone will be thrown from His hand.
Next, instead of turning away from your husband, turn into him. He cannot know your needs if you do not tell him. You keep your feelings locked up because you think he doesn’t care. You gave him your heart once. Give him a chance with your heart again.
Finally, meet him with the same grace that God gives you. You want to pick him apart until he is perfect. He is just a man, full of both flaws and beauty. Choose to see the beauty. Stop comparing and start enjoying who he is.
The years of raising littles are hard but short. Once they pass, you will sit across from that man with no loud distractions, no one tugging on your arm. Dream about that moment, how wonderful it can be with him–and no other. The battle you fight now will bring you to that victorious moment. A dream come true.
Everyone has something to say to their younger self. To submit your own Letter to Me, contact me for details on guest posts.
“If we crave genuine intimacy, we must learn to seek it only in this kind of grace-filled relationship . . . Can we see into one another and respect, appreciate, and value what is really there, regardless of how that measures up to anyone else? That is what unconditional love and relational intimacy is all about, and this type of intimacy can be discovered only by two people who are seeking sexual and emotional integrity with all their mind, body, heart, and soul.” Shannon Ethridge, Every Woman’s Battle
Suzie Eller hosted a #lifefreeThursday link-up, A Letter to My Younger Self. You can see what other women have written to themselves. It is a truly beautiful collection of hope and healing.