All I’ve ever wanted in life was to become a wife and mother. At 27, I married the love of my life and quickly gave birth to our first son. Since my maternity leave I have been at home, caring for our family full time. Now six years later we are about to welcome our fourth child. We are blessed to live a life we always dreamed of. But, I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. I thought I would lose my mind, my career and myself. To my great surprise, it has been the best thing for all of us. It has stretched me… in a good way. I have come to the end of myself again and again, only to find God’s unending resources within.

But how do you know when you’ve been stretched.. to your breaking point?

When you wake up after a 48 hour coma. When you’ve been on autopilot for too long. After a year of nursing a baby and exercising every weekday, I had come to my physical limit. There wasn’t enough sodium in my body and I nearly died because I was too used to feeling fatigued. Fatigue is a symptom of hyponatremia, which is what I had. I was intubated in the ICU, next to my husband who I’m told had “the face of a widow”. I have no memory of the ambulance, the visitors, the doctors or the prayers that brought me back to life. This week will mark one year since my hospitalization.

So, I have to ask. What good is it to go achieve your dreams but forget yourself in the process? Or anything deeply important? Just like an expectant mother takes care of both herself and the growing baby. You can’t have one without the other. What things are growing within you? God calls us to work hard and go after those things, absolutely. He also calls us to simply grab a snack and take a nap. He knows we are human and that, my friend, is not a weakness, it’s a blessing. 

(Read 1 Kings 19 if you want to hear God tell Elijah to stop, take a nap and eat something. It’s a good story.) 

Trish Herrera