staying God-centered when he’s gone

Apr 30, 2012

Just when I was getting my feet under me, he said the dreaded words, “I’m going on a week-long business trip to London.” Like a punch in the gut, the wind knocked out of me.

We were just starting to get beyond survival. We were just starting to laugh again. His announcement pushed me back down. Months of sleep deprivation add up. I can barely meet all the needs when he IS in town.

He hadn’t yet left but my mind was already discouraged, projecting how I would “make it”. How could I physically do everything required of 4 young boys and maintain the house without him? 

He feeds them breakfast so that I can spend time with my Father & begin the day on top. He prays for each one of us before heading out the door. He lifts our spirits at the end of the day when we have had enough of one another. He dresses boys in pajamas, brushes teeth, reads them books & prays before tucking them in to bed each night. He encourages my weary heart. He provides direction when I’m unsure if I’m on the right path.

He is my better half. When he’s gone, his absence is a gaping hole.

The boys need to be wrestled. I need to be hugged. Perspective needs to be adjusted. Intensity needs to be lightened. God intended for him to provide balance. Without him the scale tips too far…

The weary mom becomes more weary. The rowdy boys energy grows. The intensity builds.

It is in these times I realize how heavily I depend on him to meet my needs. Yet I should be depending on the only One who can provide all I’ve ever needed.

Lately I have struggled to be “God-centered”. Feeling like there is so very little of “me” left, I am unwilling to replace “me” with “He”. Instead I’m clinging to that tiny piece of me.

30 minutes more of sleep wins over time in His Word. Conversations turn to my complaints…exhaustion, weight gain, disobedient children…instead of words of gratitude and encouragement. Thoughts are consumed with “woe is me” instead of “How great is He”.

So when my husband is gone, the need to be “God-centered” is even greater but the challenge to make time to humble myself is next to impossible. Few hours exist in which I am alone. All three children talk to me at once while the newborn cries in pain.

How do I relentlessly replace “me” with “He” when I’m on my own but never alone?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Perhaps my pride…the self-centeredness…that little piece of “me” that I’m clinging to is a heavier burden than I realize. Yes, four young boys is physically and emotionally exhausting. But my high expectations and ideals increase the difficulty.

When Christ says, “take my yoke upon you and learn from me”…he describes his yoke as “gentle & humble”. Christ was the ultimate example of God-centered. His burden was given to Him by God. If God gives us the burden (or cross to bear), He will equip us to carry it.

How do I stay God-centered when I am alone? I only carry what God has given me. I don’t take on the extra burdens my pride brings. Instead of worrying about my needs being met I will meet with One who can meet all my needs. Instead of making sure you “like” my status update, I will make sure to spend time on my face absorbing His unending approval.

My husband is a wonderful gift. He truly is essential to our family. But I can’t fall to pieces when he is gone. Ultimately God is my strength. My refuge. Strong tower. Yet His burden is light. His yoke is easy…only requirement is to let go of “me.”

**p.s. Today would be a good day to thank your husbands for all they do for your family.  Maybe an extra kiss too. 😉

Linking up with:


  1. Stacey29lincoln (@stacey29lincoln)

    Yes. Been there. It is so hard. Did I mention that my first post that started “Weary Mom” happened when my husband was in another country? 🙂 Oh girl, hang on! God will meet you right there, I promise!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks friend for identifying with my challenge. Very interesting about Weary Mom. Love that picture of God meeting me right here.

  2. kate clarke

    I had years of young kids, husband not home until 11pm, doing split shift on looking after kids when i was working. You get through it and you learn to lean on friends, as family are all too far away to help. After 20 years of marriage, things are easier with kids welfare, but when the moods kick in with the teen I really wish he were home earlier. I don’t envy you coping with four kids when they turn teenage

  3. Stefanie

    Great post, Heather! I’ve been there, too. The difference, I only have ONE boy. I love your honesty and transparency. I love your heart for HIM and your love for others. I just love you, sweet friend!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      You are an awesome mom to that sweet boy! looking forward to lunch!

  4. Stevie

    Keep your head high and know that you are a blessing to ladies you don’t even know, women you have never met and may not meet this side of Heaven. You are”God Centered” even when you are weary and weak and I appreciate the humbleness in this post.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thank you stevie for your words of encouragement.

  5. Ashley

    Beautiful post. Ben was gone 10 days in a row in April and just mentioned another possible trip next week and my emotions completely matched yours (except my baby isn’t so new anymore so we’re getting a little more sleep around here!) Thank you for being so real, raw, and transparent while at the same time providing truth and solutions that glorify God – because my complaining sure doesn’t! Attempting to cling to Him and stay in His Word right beside you friend!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      I knew you would understand friend. thank you for your constant encouragement.

  6. Emily

    Wow. It’s amazing how I resonate with you. Feeling low on so many things, completely weakened by exhaustion and discouragement at times (with 4 young boys, and 1 baby who doesn’t sleep well). And yes, especially when my husband is on call and not around much. Sometimes all I can pray is “Jesus, help me!” Yet, he does faithfully meet me right there. He shows that He has never left me and He is my strength. He restores my Joy as I seek to refocus myself back to HIs great love and mercy. I will pray for you. Thank you for this post.

    • Heather MacFadyen

      We can do this Emily!! Such a short time of our lives. When 15 minutes feels like hours, I’m trying to focus on that fact. It will be over before I know it. Praying strength for you as well.

  7. Jamie

    I have BEEN there…and AM there. literally…just with 3 boys, not 4. I know that drop of the heart so well with the annoucement of the next big travel schedule. I love how you are remembering what a blessing Bruce is….rather than being angry he’s going away. Such a good reminder for me…thank you:) I’ll most definitely be praying for you. Moment by praying moment my friend.

  8. Janel

    I am so happy to hear Bruce is such a wonderful dad! made me tear up:) You can do it through Christ, Heather! I find that if my attitude is right, it acutally is sometimes easier when Jason is not here…just because I am not so “distracted” talking to him and doing things for him also! I am more focussed on what I need to do.


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