My phone sits on our kitchen counter, buzzing. The dark red laminate counter that I’ve always tolerated frames my iPhone: an underestimated rectangle of information, connection, and distraction, bordering addiction. For any kinds of drug addiction , people can contact WhiteSands rehab near me and get the best solution. I make a mental note to add kitchen countertops to the very end of a long list in my mind of things to do, with those things that I merely wish were different, at the end.
Today, at the beginning of the list are things like: laundry, get sandwich bags, clean toilets, return library books, and write. The thing is, most days I can’t seem to get beyond the beginning of the list where the daily, never-ending tasks stay. Some days, I don’t even get through those, and my family takes turns all week fetching clean clothes from the dryer and picking outfits out based on which items have the least number of wrinkles. I hear people say mothers are superheroes, but today, I can’t even remember where I put my coffee cup.
By the time I finish thinking through my list, the phone stops buzzing. I add call sister back to today’s mental list and scratch off kitchen countertops from the bottom because in the end, it’s not a necessity, and I’m too overwhelmed to believe we could ever get there. I scroll Instagram and see someone’s renovated kitchen and someone else leading their own business dream with lipstick on and toddlers dressed like trendy teens in tow, while my own toddler calls from the bathroom for help wiping and I realize that one of my sons still isn’t dressed for school.
These thoughts enter my mind: I am the only one. Everyone else is getting it all done and living their best life dream-chasing in unwrinkled clothes. My gifts and dreams are at risk of being lost in the wash like notes and dollar bills we forget we had in our pockets.
I was told that motherhood would be lonely. It made sense in the early days of the first few years, and more recently, the early days the first-year post adoption brought us. But beyond baby blues and post adoption blues, when I hear mothers tooting their horns about whatever camps they fall in, from feeding styles to opinions on vaccinations to whether they are working moms or stay-at-home moms, or whether or not they hashtag their kids, I wonder if anyone else feels like they don’t fit. I was sure I’d figure out where I fit by now. Instead, even after a decade of parenting, of choices made by necessity, I am more like Harry Potter under the sorting hat, not fitting neatly into one school house.
It’s not just in motherhood or being a parent to little ones. It’s womanhood itself that often feels more like a lonely weight than a wonder.
There are division lines everywhere I look. I feel the temptations towards comparison, othering, fear, clinging to camps and labels, assimilating, isolating, and idolizing each other. I see the end game and how these temptations will lead us, one-by-one, to defeat.
Last week I watched Infinity War with my husband, and there’s a scene from the movie that I can’t get out of my head while I look for my cup of lukewarm coffee and tend to the laundry pile. It struck something deep in me.
The Avengers are in Wakanda, battling an army bigger than they’ve ever fought before, and there’s one scene where Wanda, one of the Avengers, is fighting this evil creature, Proxima Midnight, in a ditch by herself. Proxima overpowers Wanda, and as she does so, she says, “You are all alone, and you will die alone.” Then a second later, another woman says, “She’s not alone,” and Natasha (Black Widow) and Okoye show up on either side of the dueling women, ready to defend their friend. Together, the three women — Wanda, Natasha and Okoye — each equipped with different strengths, powers, experiences, first languages and skin colors, defeat their enemy.
Daughters of Eve, we were created by God to be strength, made by the only hand that’s held the oceans in its hollow and spread the stars out across the night sky while naming each of them. We are the embodied answer to the lie of loneliness, and we were not made to draw lines between ourselves.
Courage comes uncovered in our individual vulnerability, but our fiercest strength and victory against darkness lies in our collective fight as diverse but unified daughters.
I call my sister back and tell her that I am drowning in laundry. I text my friend Sandy about how I can’t find my coffee and tell her that I feel like I am doing everything wrong with my kids. I vox my Kimchi-Sisterhood friends and tell them how weary I feel being one of the only a woman of color at my local grocery store and my home church. I ask God why we are still living here.
The Holy Spirit reminds me to take a deep breath before telling my son to get dressed for the 456th time. Solidarity is offered. Empathy for a situation with one of my kids is communicated. Reminders not to give up and to know it matters if I do are spoken. These voices step in and fight with me. They speak truth straight to the darkness over me, saying, “She’s not alone, and she never will be.”Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
I think we have the same scrolling-but-never-finished list . . .
Thank you, Tasha, for this anthem to the sisterhood!
I am glad to know that you are familiar with the same kind of to-do list, Michele!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
There’s just something about other women and having a “tribe”. Whether it’s a large tribe (a mom’s group) or a small perseverance posse of a few good friends. I’m so thankful that I found MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) when I moved halfway across the country, in the winter, with an infant. Another woman can read the look on your face as you enter the door, wiping spit up off your collar and you realize your socks don’t match. She will lunge forward and say, “Here, let me hold the baby while you get a cup off coffee and clean your shirt.” I used to think that anyone else could do my life better than me. Actually, God knew what He was doing when He formed the earth. He also hand-picked me to be the mother of my children and to do the life I’m doing. God doesn’t make mistakes. Sisters unite. We need each other. We’ve got this….
Yes, exactly, Bev. I love how you called it a “perseverance posse.” The community God has given me throughout so many seasons has been life-changing and irreplaceable. And, I am glad you are here impacting this online sisterhood community in such faithful, courage-giving ways.
VALERIE BRUCE says
Motherhood is one of the most important jobs any one can have. God personally handpicks who is to get this wonderful task, as not everyone has the right qualifications. Mothers are never alone God is always by our side 24/7, just as we are by our childrens side 24/7. All mothers need to stick together side by side and be the best you can be at the most blessed job any woman could ever be A MOTHER…
Tasha Burgoyne says
Thanks for your thoughts, Valerie. I am glad you are connected here.
VALERIE BRUCE says
I need to thank all of you. You are what helped me get connected. Now i will never get disconnected again. As God will never disconnect us, and hes never too busy for us.
Jeri L Carlstedt says
Jet-lagged after a wonderful adventure overseas with my youngest daughter (16) , I came to the computer to unwillingly ‘catch up on my life and responsibilities’. I don’t want to be back, I don’t want to do life here; I’m in a difference season than you, but as a single mom of 4, I still feel the weight of ‘alone-ness’ and responsibility. My to-do list wakes me up in the middle of the night as well as the the heart clutching anxiety that I feel about not doing it all (discipleship, my job, parenting) well enough, right enough, or complete enough. Instead of going to my bank’s online site, I opened your post. THANK YOU for your openness and vulnerability. The reminder that we have each other and that we are not alone in this life (trying to do it all AND please God with all of our hearts) brought tears to my eyes. We DO need each-other; God made us for community. I just need to work harder to find my ‘tribe’ because feeling alone in church is the worst of all. Be strong and courageous and keep fighting for everything that is important to you. Thank you for taking the time to encourage the rest of us.
Jeri, I am so glad you connected here and I am grateful for your words. You aren’t alone, either. I am praying for you to find community, see the people that God has already placed around you and for patience as you wait for him to provide.
Thank YOU Jeri – for your honesty. I am a single mom as well – and not from the area I live in … so always feel an outsider .
I also pray God will guide us both to our ‘tribes ‘ !
Kaley Ehret says
“She’s not alone, and she never will be.” May this be our anthem cry!
Amen! Thanks, Kaley.
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
Tasha,thank you for this post. I don’t have a little one anymore,she is a senior in college,but similar thoughts who’s around in my head. I have compared myself to other moms since I was diagnosed with RSD 17 yrs ago. Especially when the pain got worse and I had to use a cane or walker. I couldn’t do what other moms were doing. And this year she started her senior year in college (yikes!) and a pain flare forced me to stop home and not drop her off with my husband as I did last 3 years. I felt again I couldn’t go and make her bed for her like other moms can do. But reading your post today renewed and inspired me. I also loved that scene in Wakanda. I almost cheered out loud in the theater! So, I want to thank you again. Now I need to find my coffee cup and reading glasses
I am so glad you resonated with that scene in the movie as well. I teared up and wanted to cheer from my couch. Thank you for your vulnerability here, Kathleen. The temptation to compare and mentally list where our “shoulds” are lacking can be present in any season of life or parenting, but our collective honesty helps us fight back. God knew we would need each other. I am encouraged by you and I am so glad you here in this space.
Kathleen Burkinshaw says
Thank you so much,Tasha. Your words are like a hug to me.
Dearest Tasha..I love and adore your raw honesty – the way you paint all of the happenings but don’t extract uncomfortable truth to make things perfect. As you mentioned calling back your sister on your list, in my mind I said: “call her now” – and I was actually so pleased that you actually were “calling” her – because so many choose, prefer and connect in the stale and sterile text way that connects by words but does not infuse our hearts. I believe our voices are so important and imperative (just the sound) to connect hearts.
I love how you said you were encouraging your son for the 4 hundredth and something time! How about we just keep reminding ourselves for the 4hundredth and something time all day and everyday about how much God loves us and He is embracing and cheering us on into every victory we will be able to consider or accomplish “in Him”.
This comment resonated:
“Courage comes uncovered in our individual vulnerability, but our fiercest strength and victory against darkness lies in our collective fight as diverse but unified daughters.”
As a unified daughter and “sister in Christ”, from across technological boundaries, I hope you will receive my echo of encouragement to you: be strong and surround yourself with nearby and “hear”by others. Be the light that shines and radiates with other women in your life. You are already victorious because Christ is the Conqueror and we are daughters of the King. “ The Lord Himself will fight for us – we need only to be still.” (Exodus) May the One who Conquered it all give you sublime comfort as You conquer the laundry and the many mishmash to-do items. May He be Your comfort and guide and surround you with women who will be your comrades to inspire, encourage, uplift and embrace you in the moments of vulnerability and weakness. May you recall that Christ is and was and will always be your Victorious Conqueror for all your life thoughts and circumstances- large and small, weird and wild. He is able and is your “Almighty ABILITY” in any and all vulnerABILITY.
Keep shining on and radiating “fierce strength and victory against darkness”…letting Love be your lead that keeps whispering to our hearts that His “Light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall never overcome it.”
I have asked the Spirit of God to give you a generous warm embrace from a fellow woman who longs to have the courageous strength and company of women who live to encourage.
I hope you have experienced this embrace from me and all reading this post today.
I pray that the Lord will give you and all women reading here glorious glimpses and appearances of different women in our life journey – women to chat with and to join hands and hearts with as we press on.
Happy last days of summer and Happy 1st day of September!
Janine, wow, and thank you for those words and your heartfelt prayer. What a gift of encouragement you have and I am sure God is using in a big way to give strength and courage to any women you come in contact with. That’s a gift and I am so glad for it here in this space.
Thank you, Tasha. Thank you for being honest about your struggles. I can relate even though I am now a grandmother to babes, teens, and college age…19 grands, 6 children. But, I still feel lonely at times and thankful for incourage and many such electronic sharing as it never existed in my early years abroad. Still living abroad and God has given us a challenge in our retirement years to stay the course and minister here. Sisterhood and walking with my Lord and memorizing His words to me are definite encouragers! Putting my name into those promises He speaks, help me keep going forward. Stay the course, this is not our home and though I might reach home before you, I will pray God shapes your day, with His Grace for your doubts, and gives you love and encouragement! Take courage, and be fearless!
Janette, those words mean so much. I have lived abroad as well, and I know there’s a whole different kind of loneliness that can accompany that. Thank you for your faithfulness to be where you are and in making a home in a place that wasn’t originally your first home. Thank you for your prayers and for being here – it matters.
Thank you so much for this! It really hit home as to how I’m feeling after being a stay home mama for 14 years! I don’t know what to do with myself now that they’re in Middle & High School.
Shay, I hope you know you aren’t alone and feel it in tangible ways from our Abba, Father, today. I am so glad you are here and that we are connected in this space.
You do not mention ever calling out to Jesus or reading God’s Word for strength or affirmation of His ever present help in living out this life He has given us while on this earthly journey… and wondered why you are choosing instead to read evil magic and witchcraft books like Harry Potter? No wonder Jesus’ voice of guidance, peace and love is not being heard. Woman friends are good to bounce things off and encouage or be encouraged, but it is not lasting. God’s Holy Spirit living inside of you and God’s Word are when listened to and daily read, are forever to refresh your soul.
Thank your for sharing your thoughts, Gail. Like you, I am so grateful for God’s ever-present help and for the power for His word and the gift of being able to go to him in prayer at any moment anywhere. He is my ultimate strength and nothing comes close the strength he provides in the midst of my weaknesses. I am also thankful for the way he has always responded to my cries for help by providing the gift of His Holy Spirit, speaking to me as I read His Word, giving community, and by all of the other ways He so creatively loves us.
You do not mention ever calling out to Jesus or reading God’s Word for strength or affirmation of His ever present help in living out this life He has given us while on this earthly journey… and wondered why you are choosing instead to read evil magic and witchcraft books like Harry Potter? No wonder Jesus’ voice of guidance, peace and love is not being heard. Woman friends are good to bounce things off and encouage or be encouraged, but it is not lasting. God’s Holy Spirit living inside of you and God’s Word are , when listened to and daily read, and are forever to refresh your soul.
Donna Torrado says
First let me say – you are not alone. I am a woman of a certain age and I struggle with not being enough for my adult children, my husband, my job, etc. I feel lonely and many times invisible. BUT GOD! He has a way of reminding us that if we don’t reach out we keep yourself alone. It also reminds me that: “we have not because we ask not.”
Thank you, Donna. Amen. It makes me tear up as I think about God’s loving pursuit of each of us as we walk through so many different seasons and circumstances in life.
Well said! The first weeks of school have amplified my loneliness and feelings of inadequacy. My tribe is spread throughout the US but they help keep me going.
Thanks, Tammy! God has a way of providing so uniquely and I love imagining how he’s provided you with a sisterhood that spans across the country.
We can all relate but we would not know if we did not say it out loud. You did. And beautifully so. So you aren’t alone and that’s why they did quilting bees on the prairies and coffees around the table on the Calif coast. Do come. I’ll reheat both our cups and we will know again we aren’t meant to do anything alone. Sue
Tasha Burgoyne says
Sue, thank you for saying those kind words. I would take you up on that invitation in a heartbeat. That sounds perfect!
Jenny K says
Thanks for putting to words the struggle of feeling alone. This is so appreciated. I just started the book “Give yourself a break” by Kim Fredrickson. Loneliness is so hard to shake and just paralyzes everything. So when I feel overwhelmed with this, I say to myself “I’m doing my best job to form friendships. I’m trying to encourage others when I see opportunities. I’ve prayed for the big decisions in my life and believe that God had sovereignly brought me to where I am now. It’s ok that some days are lonely. I’m doing my best.” I’m sure there is a list of advice someone could give me or action items I could do, but starting just with kindness to myself helps so much.
Tasha Burgoyne says
I couldn’t agree more about being kind to ourselves. We start there when we know we are loved and that love from Hod changes everything. Thank you for sharing a bit of your own journey, Jenny. I am glad you are here.
Wow, this is spot on for how I feel. I’m thanking God for you and your honest words today. I am not alone.
Standing with you, Katrina
Tasha Burgoyne says
You are not alone, Katrina. Thank you for commenting here and joining us in this space.
Beth Williams says
This: “Our fiercest strength and victory against darkness lies in our togetherness.” So very true! God made us to be in community. Your community can be big or small no matter. Sometimes to have community you must be brave & go first. Take that first step & talk to others. Tell them how life truly is for you. Also You just may be that community for someone. Ecclesiastes 4:12 states: Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. We need each other desperately. I’m blessed to have a few groups of women I meet with monthly. We talk about life & pray for each other. Life can get hard & feel lonely at times. I don’t look at social media that much. Most people’s lives are not that “put together”. Everyone has their faults & foibles. God made us differently for a reason. He knew only you could live the life He’s given you.
Tasha Burgoyne says
Thank you for sharing, Beth, and amen to your words on community. So glad you are here.
Becky Keife says
Oh, Tasha, this had me nodding along, almost in tears, and covered in Spirit chills all at the same time. I feel like I don’t even have adequate words for this little comment to express how beautiful and vulnerable your words are and how powerful the truth you lead us to. I’m with you and proud of you and wishing that there weren’t so many states between us because I’d love to come over and help you find your mug. xx
Tasha Burgoyne says
I would love to have you here-for help with the mug, but more for the company! I am so glad the words resonated with you, Becky and I am grateful for a kindred heart in this. Thank you for the encouragement.
Melissa Ens says
Amen, Tasha! I’m in a weird season, too. I can’t figure out how to identify myself and haven’t found “my tribe” yet. I love the Avengers imagery and I love how you reached out to your people. It reminds me I’m only as alone as I let myself be. Awkward as it may be, if we don’t reach out, how will anyone know how we’re feeling? Thank you.
Tasha Burgoyne says
It’s so true. So many of the best things begin awkwardly. Thank you for sharing a bit about where you are at right now. I am glad you are here, Melissa!
Rebecca Jones says
There aren’t caped crusaders running around t ozap laundry and juice spills, so we have our own gift, the Holy Spirit.
Tasha Burgoyne says
And what an incredible gift the Holy Spirit is. Thanks, Rebecca!
Mary Carver says
Tasha! I loved that scene in Avengers! It was the one that stuck with me most (even more than the crazy ending), and I even wrote about it in an email newsletter (https://mailchi.mp/marycarver/summer-movie-preview-what-to-watch-what-to-skip, if you’re interested). I’m so glad to hear someone else talk about it because it was SUCH an amazing picture of how much stronger we are together and how much it matters that we are not alone. Thank you for sharing this reminder!
Oh, I can’t wait to read what you wrote about it, Mary!! It was pretty amazing.
Kerry McKaig says
Thank you Tasha! As an empty nester, I’m lonely too! Most women are lonely and we hide under our busyness. Thank the Lord for MOPS (when my boys were little) and Bible Study Fellowship and of course the Holy Spirit that encourage my introverted personality to get involved and be part of a “tribe”.
It’s amazing how many of us experience loneliness and how we are tempted to hide it. We have access to so much strength when we come together. I am glad you found so many ways to connect with other women throughout the stages in your life so far. Thanks for being here!
STEPHANIE SHIMANEK says
I am only getting to reading this 2 days late- battling lice in our house and not even sure where we got it. I have washed and rewashed laundry, combed and re-combed hair and am about to scream! I moved 3 years ago and I am still the outsider- but I try to remember each and everyday that we are not alone. I have made baby steps with 2 ladies at church and I have to focus on the forward momentum instead of what I don’t have. God loves me, my husband loves me and my kids love me (maybe not right now with all the scalp scraping). I try to be thankful for what I have everyday and focus on that. I am not perfect, I rarely get lipstick on, my to-do list is a mile long and I fall short, but God chose me and loves me and that is enough.
Oh my goodness, Stephanie, I am so sorry. I’ve heard that battling lice is no joke and that puts the task of laundry on a whole new level. I hope for relief and rest from that for you and your family comes quickly. Your focus on gratitude, being loved by God and taking small steps forward towards others is brave and beautiful. I am glad you are connected here, too.
Great information. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve bookmarked it for later!
karyn j says
thank you tasha! i love what you’ve written and i love your ability to admit AND share your raw feelings that most of us often hide and suffer with all alone. i love that you’ve said what so many of us can’t, for fearing of others seeing that we are…human. as another woman of color thank you for acknowledging that it can be difficult when you don’t look like every one else.
although we all feel alone and lonely at times, know that you aren’t alone. i love this post! thank you for sharing!
Karyn, thank you so much for these words. They mean a lot to me, and I am very grateful that you are connected here! We need each other and we need to hear one another’s voices, so thank you so much for bringing yours to this table.
I can only express a word of thanks! Nothing else. Because your topic is nice, you can add knowledge. Thank you very much for sharing this information.Great information. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve bookmarked it for later!