Recently, I labored through one of my most heartrending seasons of motherhood to date. Most of the details are not mine to share, but the ones that are, I will try to be as open with you about as possible, so that you will understand the hurting depths of this Mama’s heart.
I will say this: It was life and death. It was pain and heartbreak. If you are a young mom, or the mother of an adult child, you know that when your child hurts, you almost hurt worse. That is where I found myself this year, as Mom, best friend, sister, daughter, wife, and business owner, a hurting daughter of God.
This winter our family was attacked with betrayal, suicidal thoughts, cancer, unplanned pregnancy, and the fear of birth defects.
A couple of times during this season, the anger inside my heart forced me to go outdoors and look up at the sunshine. I had to find weeds to pull, as I made the conscious decision to move outside of my own mind and into a new place, or anger might take over. (2 Corinthians 10:5 Bringing into captivity every thought, to the obedience of Christ.)
I was doing two things at once. I was praying without ceasing, just like I had been taught to do. But I was also running a movie reel in my mind of how I would solve things if given the chance. How would I solve things if I were God? Oh yes, (news flash) I’m not!
So, I was exhausted! My family was exhausted with me. Should I change that to frustrated, annoyed, impatient with how very unhelpful I was in the middle of this family crisis? I’m not sure. I wasn’t being helpful. That part, I am sure about.
For the first time in my life I sought help from a professional. A Godly woman listened to me and helped me sort through the tangle of wires that have been mixed and crossed and twisted inside for too many years.
If you find yourself going through a season of fire right now, I want to share some very practical ways I was helped. Maybe you feel like I did. Maybe you don’t feel like you can hear from one more girlfriend that it is all going to be okay. You need more than to be heard, you need to be prayed for. I hear you. I understand. You can handle this, but don’t handle it alone.
- Find Help. Ask friends who have gone ahead of you, for the counselors they went to for Godly wisdom. Ask at your church for direction to a professional. Ask your Doctor for a recommendation. Speaking to someone within the boundaries of your faith is a great idea, but not totally necessary. Do what you know will work best for you, and get help sooner than you think you need it.
- Don’t Isolate yourself. Get out. Go outdoors, go to Marshall’s, volunteer, be around people. Talk to friends. You don’t have to talk your problems to feel better. Just talking about others and their lives might feel better than staying inside of your own head.
- Trust in God. I understand that this statement sounds so trite and cliché. For the past 35 years I have taught my children and proclaimed my belief in God. But when the fire burned hotter, I had to really question myself. Did I fully believe all that I had been saying? Where was my faith if my fear was this great? What I learned is that all along God wanted me to hand my family to him and allow him to be in control of the outcome. Sister, this was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I did it.
- Once I surrendered, I spent time with God each morning. I invited him into my day, read his word, prayed, and I surrendered again. After that I rested. Rest is a much harder activity for me than it is for other people. I cannot sit on my couch and watch “The Office.” (I wish I could!). I keep working and doing life, but I resist nonstop worrying and trying to plan my family out of these difficulties.Their names are now on 3×5 note cards, in a box on my dresser, and they belong to Jesus. I have learned to put my most precious investments, my family, into God’s hands, and his bank gives dividends with value that cannot be matched by any amount on earth. How I hope that this has helped your heart.
Standing in church last Sunday, the words to this song began to slowly play as my mind took in their meaning, and I realized that I had come through the fire. I am on the other side of a river that has been parted for me. Tears welled up as I sang with a thankful heart, and I have been singing it since then. There was “another” in the fire, and there is “another” in the fire for you also. And there will be for the next fire, and the next sea that needs splitting. Jesus will never leave. We need to just keep holding onto his hand.
“Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.” Psalms 23:4 TPT
If anyone finds themselves in a place where they need a friend or someone to talk to, please reach out to me.