I had a couple rough weeks.
They were a little darker than I’d like to admit.
Oh, nothing monumentally tragic was occurring. Just, a toddler who refused to nap and an infant who would only sleep attached to me. Then, there is the fact that the aforementioned toddler seems to have no desire to obey. AT. ALL. I was at a breaking point. I was reacting poorly to the difficulties, which only made me feel guilty and added to my frustrations. I found myself locked in the bathroom, sitting on the floor, one night. I stared into space; I couldn’t even cry. I just don’t know what to do, I thought.
I was focusing too much on what was “seen”.
I saw my daughter disobeying over and over and my words of encouragement and admonishment falling on deaf ears.
I saw my duties and tasks being ignored as nap times were passed up.
I saw my tired three-month-old’s red eyes as she stared at me, crying and begging for sleep.
I saw all of my failures and shortcomings and all of the negative things.
I saw the right now, the daily, the moment by moment hard stuff of life.
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthinans 4: 16 – 18 NIV
Our women’s Bible Study at church this week focused on “lies women believe about their circumstances.” These verses were referenced and, oh, how I needed to hear them!
This scripture really challenged me in three big ways.
1. I felt like I was wasting away. But, God will renew me day by day. This encouraged me to try harder to meet with Him EACH morning, BEFORE the duties of life bombard me. It reminded me that “His grace is sufficient”.
2. These troubles I am facing are LIGHT and MOMENTARY. I need that perspective. I want to ENDURE them well and USE them for God’s glory.
3. I need to stop focusing on what is “seen” and focus on the UNSEEN. The ETERNAL.
My daughter may be disobeying, but each challenge and each teachable moment is preparing her heart to understand the truths of eternity.
My baby may not be sleeping, but she loves her mama and my care for her is fulfilling my calling as a mother. A calling that I know is from the Lord.
Those dishes that need washing, bless my husband when they are put away and clean.
All these little challenges and difficulties are opportunities for me to be shaped, for me to focus on Christ.
And, you know what? Today, when my daughter began a shrieking fit for no apparent reason, I was calm. When I put her in the crib for a timeout and then the baby began crying at the same time while I attempted to use the bathroom (the nerve, I know), I laughed. After all, it was momentary. That timeout might elicit screams that could wake the dead, but it might also teach my daughter to behave better. It might have an eternal impact
It reminded me of this verse:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25 NIV
Oh, that that would be me.