Motherhood is not a season of life. It’s a war. A full-on assault against everything you used to be, want to be, and thought you might someday turn out to be. It’s an on-the-job-training combat situation for which no amount of advice or warning could possibly prepare you. Most days, it feels like all these tiny wee people are trying to kill you. You can see it in their clear eyes – they want you dead-tired, lying on the floor, defenses down, waving their diaper as a white flag. And though you will crawl yourself beneath the sheets each night begging for a few hours of respite, they will wake you before dawn, hitting the battlefield afresh with nothing but your total and complete annihilation on their minds.
Day after never-ending day, hour upon soul-sucking hour, year over year, they will wear you down. And trust me, in the end they will win. One day, you will indeed die. Sure, old and wrinkly probably, but you’ll be dead nonetheless. And your now-grown babies will be like: #Winning! But, as they say, you won’t care. You’ll finally be able to “sleep when you’re dead”. Or so I’m desperately clinging to.
Don’t get me wrong. I love these crazy barnacles, but they are E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G. And that’s on our best days. It’s perhaps why I find the passage in Ezekiel about the dry bones so exhilarating:
The hand of the Lord was on me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
Then He said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’
Ezekiel 37: 1-14 (NIV)
Sweet Mamas, take refuge in these words with me. The Lord will restore your weary bones, He will hold you together, He will arm you anew for the next arduous day, He will breathe life into your soul and sustain you! Yes, by only God’s grace will you survive! And when your wee ones are grown, they will number a vast army unto the Lord and you will inherit the promises.
Oh, that we might take delight in the Lord, for He takes great delight in us. And so do those ankle-biting monsters wiping snot on our 3-days worn t-shirt. One day, we’ll be able to shower whenever we want, and pee all alone, and wear heels again. Until then, revel your dry bones in the words of the Sovereign Lord bringing you back to life!