Since this topic is so close to my heart, I thought I would continue on the subject of supporting one another. So here’s Day 2 of “Support Needed!”
My kids have been sick for almost two weeks now. We have battled allergies, colds, rashes, strep throat, wheezing, and now an ear infection. We are tired, grumpy, and pretty discouraged to miss out on church, Bible study, and general fellowship with our friends. I am sure that many of you moms are nodding your head in understanding and sympathy as you sit and rock your own baby, who was up all night with a high fever or congestion!
Some of my mom-friends have been battling stomach bugs; some have had strep at their house; some have just added one (or two!) new babies to their home and are physically exhausted from general lack of sleep; and some have husbands away on business and are struggling with day-to-day living! It’s a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year kind of job; and sometimes it’s hard to find joy when you aren’t getting enough sleep, cleaning up vomit from your own bed (because why, oh why, would they throw up in their own beds?), or just dealing with the general grumpiness that comes with lack of sleep!
That’s why we need to support each other! That’s why we need to check in on one another to make sure that we aren’t losing our minds, that we aren’t wallowing in self-pity, that we aren’t about to run away from home!
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” – I Thess. 5:11
In the past week and a half, I have personally received encouragement from other moms. Last week, one mom brought us supper, which freed me up to hold my sick children instead of having to prepare supper and then clean up afterwards! We missed Bible study today because Ephraim has an ear infection, and his antibiotics haven’t kicked in yet. To my encouragement, another mom brought us lunch, and still another mom from my church asked if she could do anything for us like bringing us a meal!
Now to be honest, I am healthy, and I know that I can prepare meals for my kids. But these acts of kindness are like a balm to my weary mom’s soul! Just to know that we aren’t being forgotten in our absence, that people are praying for us, and that people do care gives me strength to get through another 40 minutes of breathing treatments with a 17-month-old boy, who doesn’t understand why I am holding him down and putting a mask over his face! (And it’s always a blessing to this “experimental” cook to have someone else make the meal!)
Galatians 6:2 commands us to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” You know, those ladies who have checked in with me are dealing with their own trials, stresses, exhaustion, and discouragement. Yet they took some time to remind me of God’s love through their actions.
Jesus Himself made it clear that He wanted us to step out of our comfort zone and help those in need – whether it be financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual. In fact, He tells His disciples, “‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers,you did it to Me’” (Matt. 25:35-40).
I don’t know what you are going through today in your journey of motherhood, but I know that you are not alone! I know there are other moms out there who are going through the exact same trials that you are facing! So what do we do? How do we get through this?
1. Remember Who put you on this journey in the first place! God has promised to never give us more than we can handle and to provide a way for us to escape (I Cor. 10:13).
2. Share your burdens with others. One of the biggest mistakes we moms make is to try to carry the load all by ourselves. There is no shame in letting others know the ways you are struggling right now. How else can we pray for one another or encourage one another if we are unaware that there is even a problem! “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (Jms 5:16b).
3. Serve someone else. The absolute best way to get out of your own self-pity is to find someone else to help! If your kids are sick, and you’re stuck at home, then the most you can do is lift someone up to the Lord in prayer! Or send them a note to let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. If you can leave the house, take them a meal (even if they aren’t the one who is sick!). Or if a meal is out of your budget right now, take them a special treat. Offer to watch their kids for an afternoon. Or take them out for coffee and a chance to talk.
If you are a Christian, then you are working with me to raise soldiers for Christ. And training the “troops” is not a task for the faint of heart! So find another mom to cheer on today; and remember to keep “fighting the good fight!”