She was screaming, so loud and so incessantly. She wouldn't listen. She wouldn't nap. And I was panicking. I was melting down. Voices in my head were telling me that I was a failure as a mother. I wasn't doing something right. Voices were telling me that someone was to blame. Anger, frustration, and desire to just quit welled up inside of me. In that moment, I didn't want to be mother. I wanted to back out. I wanted to say that I was done.
Have you ever been in such a place? Has family, work, relationships, life, every gotten you down? My strong willed child truly stretches me. There are moments when I'm not sure I can stretch any further.
I honestly didn't know being a parent would be this hard. The world painted a rosy picture for me. Mothering a toddler has not been easy.
Some days are honestly just rainy days. Days I wish I could just curl up with a book and not have the responsibilities of motherhood in front of me.
Don't get me wrong, I love my babies. I have truly been changed by them. But sometimes, life finds me at the end. The end of my strength, the end of my stamina. I'm sleep-deprived, overwhelmed, and discontent. Not a pretty place to be in. The rain is falling, the tears are coming, and my head is believing the lies all around me.
Laura Story, a Christian musician, has a song on the radio right now called "Blessings."
'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
Sometimes, we, ourselves, are our worst enemies. We doubt our abilities as parents, co-workers, spouses, friends. We see all of the mistakes, all the ways we don't measure up. We wish we could quit on the hardest of days, when the babies are screaming, the house is a mess, when people aren't getting along. But what if those very moments are when God works the most? What if the temper tantrums were chances for God to teach me a lesson on patience and my daughter one on respect. What if I looked back someday, thankful for those moments when my babies were young. What if these very moments shaped the rest of my daughters life. Wouldn't I work all the harder to succeed?
Because they do. These years matter so very much.
These years, hard as they are, are formative years. My daughter is changing, growing, and learning how to interact with the world around her. Sure, I feel like giving up someday, but that is exactly when God is ready to step in and take His rightful place. He's ready to teach me some lessons on unconditional love, humility and parenting. He's ready to take these rainy moments and shine His light into the darkest of places.
Yes, some days are just rainy, but, looking back, I may just see God shining the brightest in those moments.
As Laura Story sings, those rainiest moments are only God's mercies in disguise. This reminder that God is at work makes me want to press forward and greet each moment with anticipation and love. The stretching moments are often painful, but I long to be more like my Savior. I long to be a better wife, mother, friend. At the heart, I truly don't want to quit this race. Some moments just get me down. The Apostle Paul had such a great perspective on this:
'But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, HCSB).
It is in our very weaknesses that God shines the most. This road we're on can be rather twisty and rainy, can't it? Looking back, where have you seen God at work? What things do you need to give over to His care today? Share below, I'd love to pray for you.
Before I know it these toddler days will be behind me? What am I learning as I walk this road today? What mercies are standing right in front of me?