I just want you to know something. What you are going through is hard. Don’t let yourself believe the lie that it isn’t hard just because someone else’s life is [in your eyes] harder. We all have struggles and burdens. We have all come through different things that have refined us; made us who we are. God has given you the strength to get through those, and He alone will give you the strength to get through this. But hear me when I say, what you are going through is hard.
So what do we do when it’s just plain hard?
I find at times like this, it’s best to be honest.
First, be honest with yourself.
Be honest with yourself about the fact that you can’t do it all. And when you try to do it all and do it on your own, in your own strength everyone gets cheated. You get cheated out of enjoying your life and your family and the things that make you happy. Your family gets cheated out of you. And God gets cheated out of working through you [which is really you getting cheated out of the opportunity for Him to work through you.]
Which leads me to my next point…
Be honest with other people.
The other day a friend [acquaintance really] came up to Caleb and me at church. I expected the usual “Hey, how’s it going? Oh, great! Have a nice week!” conversation. But instead, he was very honest about a struggle that he and his family were dealing with. Then instead of just asking “How are you guys doing?” he got very specific [and personal.] “Have you guys gone on a date recently?” And when the answer was, in fact, “nope.” He proceeded to offer to watch both girls for us so that we could have some time just the two of us! Wow!! His honesty about what he was struggling through gave us the freedom [and comfort] to be honest about what we’re going through.
It’s so easy to let others believe that we have it all together; life is all unicorns and rainbows as my friend Renee is fond of saying. It’s not. No one’s is.
So be honest with other people about the hard in your life. It will give them space to be honest about the hard in their life.
Since I’m encouraging honesty: This morning was one of those mornings that I wanted to give up and run away.
crying screaming, V was pulling DVDs out of the cabinet [that we were so sure she would never figure out how to open], and Bella was barking up a storm outside. Usually, I would just yell at her, make her come inside. But it rained last night, which means our back yard mud pit has standing water in it.
I was so frustrated and feeling pulled in so many directions that I wanted just wanted to be done.
[The Lord gave me the strength to get through those moments, and now I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of all three of them asleep. ::happy sigh!::]
Third and most importantly, be honest with God.
Just because He knows what’s going on in your life, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t long to hear you spill your heart [and tears] to Him. Jeremiah 29:12 says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Did you catch that? He wants to listen to you. Not discipline you. Not yell at you. Not tell you what you’re doing wrong. And definitely not ignore you.
God wants to listen to you. And, as one of my favorite professors was fond of saying, God has big shoulders. He can handle whatever you have to say to Him.
And if the hard thing you are going through right now [like me] happens to be dealing with an infant, check out what Lisa-Jo has to say in her post about encouraging new moms. Or if you know a new mom, check it out for some tips on how to encourage her. My favorites were:
6. Tell her she’s a hero.
11. Share details of what you love about her baby.
17. Make sure she’s in 1 out of 1,000 pictures she’s taking.
21. Be honest about how hard motherhood can be. [Partial inspiration for this post? Yep!]
46. Anytime she is disappointed by her new figure remind her that she grew a human being – that’s a miracle and turns out miracles need room to grow.
62. Admit motherhood is one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.
69. Tell her there is no such thing as “doing it all.” And especially no such thing as “doing it all perfectly.”