I’ve talked to several moms lately who needed to hear something. It’s the slogan of a church I love in Vegas. Are you listening, Mama? I’m talking to you. I need you to know something. I know you need to hear it because I do, too.
It’s ok to not be ok.
How different would each of us be if we really, truly believed that? How would your day look? How would your voice and the words you use sound? What else would you do with all the time in your day usually reserved for just trying to be (or at least look) ok? What would your kids learn about you and themselves? How would your marriage change? How would it affect your view of the world around you?
It’s ok to not be ok.
You are a new mom. Your body is only vaguely recognizable as the one you’ve known for 20+ years and you are awoken every few hours by the most awful sounding siren. Not only does the sound wake you, but it then expects you to feed it, change it, hold it, sing, walk, rock or stand on one foot until it can sleep again – at which point now you’re hungry and can’t sleep because you need a snack. It’s ok not to be ok.
So the camping trip didn’t go EXACTLY the way it appeared on Instagram. It’s ok to not be ok.
Being a wife is hard. Period. You have to share both your bathroom and your feelings with another being who apparently prior to knowing you did not respect either. You have to love him when he’s unlovable and care for him when you need care yourself. Sometimes that’s harder than hard. So it’s ok to not be ok.
You are pregnant. Enough said. It’s ok to not be ok.
You want to be pregnant but you’re not. It’s ok to not be ok.
You’ve wanted to be pregnant for 3 years and that lady at work keeps asking what you’re waiting for and when you’re going to have kids and you just want to scream “Right now is when I want to have kids!” It’s ok to not be ok.
Toddlers are exhausting. Utterly, completely and totally exhausting. No, you don’t want to go outside again. No, you would rather not push the swing for the trillionth time. No, you don’t want to get out the paint supplies because you just cleaned the kitchen AGAIN. You don’t have to smile and pretend. It’s ok to not be ok.
You are grieving the loss or pain of a loved one. It hurts. Your world looks different today than it did yesterday. You don’t have to go on like it’s business as usual because it’s not. It’s ok to not be ok.
You now have two kids (or three or more…). Two is different than one. You have to learn to change diapers with a toddler hanging from your back. You have to discipline one person while comforting another. Schedule is now a curse word because everyone is on a different one. It’s ok to not be ok.
You are depressed. I know, I know, you don’t want to call it that. (I didn’t either.) You don’t want to take the medicine. (I didn’t either.) You don’t want to admit the “failure.” (Which isn’t true at all, but we’ll wait ’til you get past the medicine part and then we can address all the wrong stuff your head has tried to convince you.) You don’t want anyone to know that you don’t want to get out of bed. But you don’t. And it’s ok to not be ok.
You are in over your head. You feel like you might be close to drowning. You are overwhelmed. It’s ok to not be ok.
Do you hear me? It’s ok. You are ok.
Will you make this your slogan for the next few days? Will you write it on your mirror, put it in your car and hang it on the fridge? It’s ok to not be ok. That does’t mean it’s ok to stay in the place you’re in. If you need someone to help, it means it’s ok to ask. If you are tired, it means it’s ok to let the laundry pile up and eat take-out food while you take a nap. If you are hurting, it means it’s not going to hurt forever. It’s ok to not be ok.
And it’s ok if people know you’re not ok. It would make them a little more ok to help you. That’s how God designed us – to need each other and to fill needs in each other. It’s ok to not be ok.
It doesn’t mean you failed. It doesn’t mean you are a burden. It doesn’t mean you don’t measure up. It’s ok to not be ok.