Sitting in the sunshine watching our kiddos dig in the dirt, my friend shares about struggling with anxiety, that heart-pounding, clenching, can’t breathe, suffocating stress. As the words bubble out of her, I nod, murmuring, “Me, too.” She sighs, “Really? So it’s not just me?”
At a restaurant with another adoptive mom, over a steaming plate of chicken tikka masala, I choke out my deepest fear about parenting, the underlying knife hovering by my heart as we struggle with attachment and forging this adoption bond after brokenness. “The thing I fear the most is what if she rejects God as she rejects me?” She whispered, “Me, too. I worry about that, too.”
In his room crumpled on the carpet, my son sobbed to me, “Sometimes I just get so mad and I make bad choices, Mommy!” “Me, too, sweetheart. Me, too.” He blinked back tears and looked up at me. I watched as despair drained from his face and something like hope crinkled the side of his mouth.
On the phone with a friend worrying that the daily toil of marriage is too exhausting, “Sometimes I feel like I want to give up and stop working so hard.” “Me, too.”
Me, too. These may be the 2 most powerful words in a relationship.
Nothing brings a bigger sigh of relief than knowing that someone understands, that we’re not crazy, that we’re not beyond hope.
I often feel just a little bit messier than everyone else, just a little less together, like everyone is a bit shinier than I am, a tad closer to nailing it. When one of these shiny people enters into my overly-honest ramblings and offers “Me, too,” I realize we’re all just people, whether our clothes are ironed and our beds are made, or we live on the wrinkly side of life.
I love these friends, the ones who enter in, who choose to accept my invitation to honest relationship. Here’s my hurt, here’s my fear, here’s my kitchen with the oatmeal bowl from yesterday. Are you ready to show me yours?
Please don’t wash my bowl. Don’t fix my fear. But please, if you can, share a “Me, too.”
I want to be a “Me, too” friend. I want to be a “Me, too” mom and wife. A safe place where people can share their fears and struggles and find refuge and empathy, rather than pity or shame.
Maybe our issues are a little bit different, but we can enter into the sacred space of shared feelings and pain.
We’re on the same team. You’re not alone. We both struggle, and we can struggle together.
Are you praying for something and scared that God might not answer the way you want Him to? Me, too.
Are you worried you’re messing up your kids? Me, too.
Are you still in your jammies as you read this? Me, too.
I’ve been tracking with the If:Equip journey, reading through the book of John with women all over the planet, and a few days ago we read John 8, when the crowd brings the woman “caught” in adultery to Jesus to stone her and He says, “He who is without sin throw the first stone.” One by one, as they each dropped their stones on the ground and walked away, they were really saying, “Me, too. I’m a sinner, too.” Me, too. Me, too. Me, too.
There’s commonality in the ways that we fear and there’s commonality in the ways that we fail, and when we partner in the pain, it gives way to sharing in the joy as well.
I chose the photo up top because of the bright colors and because of the hand holding. My father-in-law took it on the day of Evie’s baby dedication at church two years ago. Bright colors make me happy, and when I really want to celebrate, I just keep adding colors, so we were a family of peacocks bedecked in turquoise, orange, purple, and yellow. Back then, she was nervous to be here in new surroundings, always moving, always checking everything out, never resting, never at peace. Her big brother, Elliott, an introvert with a long, slow road to comfort in any new situation, understood this. He held her hand a lot during those first few months home. I can just picture him saying, “Me, too.”
From the pit of despair to the pinnacle of triumph, I am so glad we have each other on this difficult, dazzling, unexpected ride.