For many years I bought the lie that desiring “me time” was wrong, sinful & selfish. Those were things I didn’t want to be. I remember reading an article entitled the “Me time myth” way back around the arrival of my second child’s birth. And I bought it….every single condemning word.
I now have 8 children and I can tell you that it has only been recently that I have been free from this lie.
I can now see believing this lie robbed me. It robbed me of relationships, my health, my personal worship and prayer times, my talents, my joy. But rather it replaced all those lost tings with exhaustion, self-doubt, hurt, inadequatacy, self righteousness and bitterness. I was being a good mom and wife, self sacrificing, pouring myself out daily, serving -always serving, but it was never enough. And I was empty.
I think many moms in circles like mine fall prey to this lie. As Christian moms it seems that’s what we do. We neglect ourselves in the name of the Christ. But we are so completely deceived.
Over the years I have felt so empty at times I was numb to the world around me. Not too long ago I found myself there again. Out of utter desperation I longed for something deeper. I have always loved music. It seems the thing that expresses my innermost thoughts. I find music soothing and connecting. Since becoming a Christian, my heart longs for intense intimate worship times. I normally find refreshment during worship. But, as a mom, I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself so I bet you can figure how often I get to spend time in deep adorning worship. But here I was again, empty…. desperate….and hungry for renewal. So I fought the guilt of taking an evening of “me time” to go to church by myself.
This might sound stange that I go to church by myself sometimes, but I do, and I really love that quite time by myself. We go as a family on Sunday but our church doesn’t offer a midweek service. My husband and I are different in many areas, what our relationship with Christ looks like is no exception. And that’s okay. Our foundations are the same but our expressions of faith are complimentary yet different. I can only describe it as my husband is a strong and steady man in all things. This is one reason I love him, he grounds me and keeps me focused. He’s old hymns, fully committed, deeply thoughtful and reserved, yet if asked will move to action. He’s the backbone and rock of our family. I’m the one who volunteers for everything, I get hurt easily, more of a visionary, a mover and shaker, I take on too much and when it comes to worship I’m the hands lifted on my knees type. We joke that God brought us together to balance each other out. And honestly, I feel awkward sometimes because very few people know this about me. The church we attend, more or less falls along my husbands comfort level and many times I have an internal battle every Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, the church we attend is soild. The saints who attend are amazing people who love the Lord. But for me to go somewhere I can be who I am in the aspect of outward worship is freeing and precious to me. I’m so greatful my husband honors and understands this part of who I am as a fellow believer.
It was there God met me when I slipped away those few hours. I sat in the back of the sactuary, broken over my neglect of my relationship with Christ, empty and tired. I felt peace as I worshipped. Not just in song but in surrender. The message cut right to my heart. Gods word has a way of doing that. I left renewed. My heart was filled with his mercy and grace. But I was also convicted.
Over the next few days God showed me, through his word and in prayer that I do need “me time”. The airline safety announcement kept coming to mind. Put the oxygen on yourself before your child or fellow passenger. God kept telling me put my relationship with Him first. Not to worry about all the million things I need to get done daily, put him first. He also showed me I have gifts and talents he gave me that I have far toolong forgotten or neglected. Gifts he gave me to bring Him glory. I need renewal too. I can’t keep pouring out when I’m empty and there is nothing left. He also showed me I need to take things off my commitment list, so I can be refreshed and joyful.
He showed me the lie I believed so deeply, that seemed so right, was so wrong.
So it was within “me-time” with tears dropping , hands lifted, and outpouring worship that I was freed once again by my ever faithful Savior.