Recently one of my children was struggling with a difficult situation. It was a frustrating time when the problem seemed to get bigger and no answer was to be found. And the more my child struggled, the more frustrated I became – not with my child but with the problem itself and my inability to fix it, because mommas are fixers. It’s what we do.
From the time babies born mommas fix their problems, meet their needs and nurture their spirits. And then gradually, over time we teach them how to solve their own problems and overcome frustrations (or at least we better try if we don’t want them living in our basements at age 30…).
My children now 23 and almost 19 pretty much handle every day issues on their own. I’ve become more of a sounding board than a problem solver, and that’s a hard transition for a momma who’s a fixer. (Just ask them – I’m sure they’d agree!)
So when this particular problem surfaced I wanted to fix it. But after a few days of being frustrated and knowing the whole time I couldn’t, I sent my child a text that went something like this:
Good Morning. We all go through painful, frustrating times in life. It isn’t if they’ll come, it’s when. And when they do, how will we respond? Satan wants to punch you while you are down and take you out. Don’t let him. Seek God with all your heart. Trust in God and pray constantly and He will see you through this. As hard as it is, be a light to those around you even though you may feel like you are in darkness. Go read John 16:33 and trust in His word. You have a calling on your life and you are a leader. I’m praying for you today and every day. Love you!
And then I felt that tender but firm smack on the back of my own head (thanks, Jesus) after I read those words because I needed to do take my own advice. I know our move to this new city and state is God’s will for our lives. And 99% of the time I’m rolling right along with peace in my heart and overflowing thankfulness for this new opportunity. But yes, that 1% of homesickness and sadness does come from time to time, which is normal (I hope) after building a life and raising our family for 17 years in one place. (Literally – we never moved in 17 years!)
Oh how true John 10:10 is – “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.” If he can steal our peace, kill our joy and destroy our lives he’ll do it any way he can. And as a professed Christian momma, how will I respond when something hard comes my way?
I start by reading and internalizing John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Armed with the truth that Jesus as overcome EVERYTHING in the world (loneliness, rejection, criticism, hatred, etc.) and as a Christian I have the power of Jesus, I try my best to go out and be a light for others. How? I give myself a big kick in the rear for starters. Then I try to be an encourager, a bright force of Jesus in what can be a murky place for someone else. I take a friend to lunch or I call my parents. I might text my child or just smile and chat with the cashier at Harris Teeter.
People’s struggles are real. Make someone else’s struggle a little easier to bear and watch how yours becomes the same.