Day 220: Strong

I can’t even tell you the number of well meaning people who have told me how strong I am this past seven months.

You’re amazing.

I don’t know how you do it, getting through every day. You’re so strong.

You’re stronger than I ever could be.

I’m proud of you. Stay strong.

Like I have a choice.

Like not getting up and getting through the day is an option.

Like I’m not hiding in the van, driving in circles, crying my eyes out on the regular.

Like I don’t turn into a puddle every time my kids fight or scream, “I hate you!” at me because they also have big feelings and I’m their safe place and while they don’t really hate me, they hate hurting and I’m their best outlet.

Like I don’t break down at least five times a week.

Like I can actually finish a single thing I start lately. Like it hasn’t taken me three months to paint one wall in my bathroom. Because I. just. can’t.

Like I don’t hide out, curled in a ball in the bottom of the shower, so my kids can’t hear my sobs.

Like my hair isn’t falling out.

Like I can get through a single day without wishing things were different.

Like I haven’t downloaded so many stupid “merge three” apps on my phone and spent hours escaping from this life by crushing candy and merging dragons.

Like I’m not overeating.

Like I don’t miss Vance more than I ever thought possible.

Like this is the life I dreamed of. Widowed and single parenting in my forties. Livin’ the dream right there, folks.

Like any strength that I might possibly have is my own. Like I’m not just barely holding on to Jesus these days.

Strong.

I’m so tired of hearing people use that word to describe me. It’s not accurate. Strong, I am not.

I am weak.

So weak. So desperately clinging to hope and God and the promises in the Word. So desperately repeating to myself, “In my weakness, he is made strong.” Singing out loud, under my breath and in my head, “You’re gonna be okay. Hold on. Don’t let go.

So please don’t tell me I’m strong. I’m simply surviving.

4 thoughts on “Day 220: Strong

  1. I hope you’ll forgive me if I’ve ever used that adjective to describe you, dearest Kelsy. It’s just so hard to know what to say that could possibly make any of this disaster better for you. Just know I love you and would give all I have to take this from you. 😢

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    1. I know my tone probably sounds angry in this post. I kinda am. But mostly I’m just sad. And tired. And trying so hard to be honest about how I feel but also trying so hard not to wallow in self pity. I sure do love you and treasure your friendship.

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  2. I understand what you’re saying, but…
    I do use that word to describe you, and I don’t apologize for it. Yes, you may do all of those things, but you still get out and do what needs to be done. Being strong doesn’t mean you don’t have times (maybe even the majority of times?) of weakness. It doesn’t mean you can’t lean on God, your family, and your friends. It doesn’t mean you are happy about the circumstances of your life. The fact that I’ve seen you with a smile on your face any time in the last 6 months means “you’re strong”. The fact that you haven’t completely become a hermit means “you’re strong”. The fact that the love for your kids means that you go do things for them even when you’d rather stay in bed means “you’re strong”. Sometimes just surviving is being strong.

    When we say that, we’re saying we admire you for finding some source of strength in the midst of that. We’re admitting our own weakness. Love you, Sis!

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    1. Thank you. I suppose I know that on one level. On another it just feels so fake to let anyone think I’m “strong” at all. This week I’ve felt particularly weak. I don’t why. Hormones? Teenagers? Thinking about the future and getting a job and when and doing what and where? Too much stress got to me this week.
      Thanks for being awesome. I love you.

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