Everybody has a home team: the friends you call when you lock yourself out of your house once again and ask for the copy of keys you’ve given them or the person you talk to when something terrible happens. It’s these people who know what’s wrong with you and love you anyway. These are the ones who will tell you to breathe deep when you insanely snap at your child and these are the people who tell you the bathing suit you’re about to purchase is cellulite suicide. Yes, these are the people who know the medications you’re taking and help you fish snakes out of your beloved closet.
These are your people, your no-matter-what-posse. If you’ve had the same posse for years, BLESS you–if you’re like me–just barely stumbling through the hole you knocked down for friends to enter, this post is for you.
You can’t possibly do life without a home team.
And if you want to be a brave mom–you need a home team.
If you want a home team, you need to get past the phrase, “There’s no crying in baseball,” and embrace the steady stream of tears, imbalanced hormones, and allow your friends to not only gather around your beautiful kitchen table but also grant access to the basement where the REAL you is revealed.
Basement Dwelling isn’t Really Living
There in the inner recesses of your home are cobwebs, stained couches from too many buttery hands on movie night, a wine stain in the corner from one of those rare alone-as-couple moments. Not to mention messes upon messes like dirty windows still in need of curtains, loads of stain filled laundry–not to mention the load you’ve been fluffing for days on end because you plan to fold it soon.
But the basement is where the real you resides. It doesn’t take courage to let emotions stream, fears to surface, and the fact you whine while being on your treadmill because you want to be that perfect size. Basement dwelling was home for me because I found it too crowded upstairs. We would entertain guests upstairs, inviting them over for one of Chris’ amazing gourmet dinners, we would talk about the comfortable surface things: kids, marriage, work, faith. Then I would smile, thank them for coming over and before re-entering the basement–peeling off the fake me with my dress clothes.
Here in the basement is where I raged against God over the phone of losing my baby. I could tell you about the months of fertility treatments, bed rest, and the strain it put on my marriage. I could tell you about the fears from comparing myself to other moms while finding myself coming up short–knowing my insides weren’t shiny like her outsides. I could tell you about the tears and anger that flowed freely over the diagnosis of special needs for two of my children. I could tell you about the questions and worries as I identified with many of the reasons why a friend committed suicide. I could tell you about the thousands of sleepless nights as the same string of failures rolloadecked through my mind, show casing each career, friendship, and ministry failure–one by one; all here in the inner recesses of my basement dwelling soul.
And because I didn’t think anyone could be as wounded as me or understand, I dared not let anyone enter.
But I was not meant to be a basement dweller, living life alone and barely scratching the surface and neither were you.
I learned to stop pretending the day God said to me through Mark, “It’s time to make you well.” He used women whom I had been leading in a Bible study open a hole in my “roof” and lay me down at the feet of Jesus. As a mom–woman, the most courageous thing I ever did was strip myself of “the fake,” laying out all of me at my friend’s feet, asking Jesus make me well.
These days, I don’t bother to check my hair or pick up the dirty plates or socks laying around before answering the door. I give everything I’ve got to my home team–the real me, raw, sometimes struggling, sometimes not– knowing seasons will shift trials to another’s shoulders. In order to brave the crowds and sometimes the darkness in my basement, I will always need a home team.
My home team gets my energy and time because I know at some point I will once again ask for their help to lay me at Jesus’ feet to be made well.