Remember the Bad Days--they won't last forever

This past week, I was visited by a stomach virus, and as I lay in bed, I had a few thoughts that I decided  I would share especially with young mothers.  Now considering that these thoughts came to me during my fight with a stomach bug, one might think that they wouldn't be unusually profound, but hopefully they will bring some encouragement to someone today.

Recently, I read Deuteronomy chapter 8 in my devotions, and a particular truth stood out to me.  Moses is giving advice and warnings to the people of Israel in chapters 6 through 8.  He is also reminding them of their great journey through the wilderness and all the great things that God did for them as well as all the difficult things that He brought them through.  He reminded them of the miracles that God performed for them in providing food and water and protection for them.  He also reminded them of the dangers they faced as well as the difficulties they encountered.  Then he encouraged them to never forget God as they continue their lives.  One might even say it was family story night as they recalled their lives together.

As I lay in bed in bed trying to sleep away the sickness, my husband came in and took the baby monitor so I couldn't hear the baby when she woke up, and my older children got the younger ones dressed and took them to the park.  I was able to recover fairly quickly as I had uninterrupted recovery time in my quiet room. As I lay there, I remembered that it wasn't always this way. 

My mind went back to the long, often discouraging days of young motherhood.  If I were to look back and find my darkest days in life, many of them would be found in those early days of motherhood.   Although I have many wonderful and cherished memories of when my first children were young, I also remember the difficult days.  I remember days when I struggled for weeks and months on end with an condition that took years to get properly diagnosed.  During those days, I had little help.  I lived far from my mother.  Rick had a job that kept him away from home.  On those days when I really struggled with my health, the baby still needed cared for and naps were often just not a possibility.  I know from experience that little, energetic children don't slow down just because mom needs to!  They don't make their own meals when mom's having a rough day, and they still need drinks every three and a half minutes it seems...

Yes, I remember those days when I enjoyed that season of life and the little ones that God graciously gave me, but the actual working out of those days in my life were often difficult and dark days because I often was weary and not feeling well. 

God encourages us to remember those days as well as the good times.  Why?  I think He wants us to thank Him for the grace and strength that He gave during those times, but He also wants us to remember those around us who are currently going through the same challenges. 

This morning, I want to encourage those of my friends who struggle--perhaps with very little help or encouragement.  Things will get better.  Those little ones who needed a drink every three and a half minutes will lightly tap on your door with a cold drink.  The ones who couldn't fathom why you didn't want to go to the park will bless you with extra care as you recover. 

This past Mother's Day, my children bought me a garden fountain which I thoroughly enjoy.  It is situated outside our bedroom door where I can hear its noise as I go to sleep at night.  It more than makes up for all the sleepless nights I endured, and all the naps I missed during those darker days.  It's not worth it because of the beauty of the fountain, but because of their love that it reminds me of every time I see it. 

If you are having a rough day, be encouraged that dark days don't last forever.  In order to appreciate the light at the end of the dark tunnel, one has to be in the dark for a while.  If you can always see a little ray of light while you are going through a dark tunnel, you can't appreciate  the light.  But if you walk in the dark for days and days trusting that someday the light will reappear, you know the joy of seeing just that one tiny spot of light.  Hopefully this little post today will be a tiny ray of light for your day!