Living with four kids is difficult. They make noise, disrupt schedules, and create messes. Raising four kids is even tougher because you are somehow supposed to shield the rest of the world from that bedlam and create learning experiences out of the havoc. Staying married in the midst of that craziness and facing those expectations is almost too much to hope for. Trying to survive the addition of anything else added to that maelstrom is roughly the equivalent to drowning. Even as I type my one year old cries in my lap and my other kids cause chaos in ways I can’t imagine. My wife is stressed and seeks me as a source of stability. I am designated with the task of stability . . . great.
Stability is not something I claim to have mastered. My list of jobs overflows a single page resume, I pursue multiple hobbies, and prefer not to do things other people want me to do. However, I can claim eight years of marriage, four wonderful kids, and a fresh Masters of Divinity. Yet, I don’t feel at all stable with the exception of my marriage. I often feel weak and powerless. I know that I am a source of authority for my children, and I am my wife’s partner in all of this, but I often feel like I am not an adequate source of stability. I am human after all.
I am afraid every time I wake up and realize I have to take care of all these kids—changing diapers, playing taxi driver, being the ultimate supporter, and constant source of authority and love. It is frightening, frustrating, and exhausting to take on the mantle of Dad and Husband. It is frightening because I can see myself failing, retreating, or breaking down at any minute.
There were times while I was watching the kids alone, and I would fall to my knees and beg God to help me through the stress. That mere act of falling on my knees, crying, and opening my heart up to God is always followed by a sense of relief. The ability to cry on God’s shoulders and give God all that had been weighing me down was enough to allow me to get back up again and face my responsibilities. If not for the grace of God I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have. How is God able to fuel, maintain, and shape my situation? Certainly I cannot maintain this present course all on my own. I see people’s marriages falling apart left and right.
I understand my wife and I both have our issues, but at least we still have each other. I also understand that we would be bored if we didn’t have these blessings in our life. But providing stability, can that really be my role? I guess I could choose not participate, but that’s just not me. I love my family, and much of the time I love them best by being involved.
I have felt empty and afraid, but God stayed with me and I recognized his love for me. I see that same love for my family and I want to be like God. I want to be there for my family. Having a family is like being in the middle of a storm that God controls. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I want to feel the rain, see the lightning, and maybe get struck by it. Clearly God is in control, God is the stability, and I am his Moses.
Back in high school I had a sense of contentment even though I was only getting C’s. At that time I was a new Christian and I had that new Christian faith. I had devoted myself and my future to God and trusted in His plan. I thought his plan for me was to graduate, go to community college, attend seminary, and become a pastor. Little did I know that God had also included me meeting and marrying the love of my life, blessing me with four beautiful children, and attending a different seminary than I had originally planned while at the same time being blessed with some of the most righteous men I could have ever meet to council and befriend me. God pulled me out of my darkness and became the rock for which I cling to and stand upon.