Along our unplanned and unwanted journey as Hurting Moms we go through different seasons. And just as each of the four seasons have very distinct characteristics, so do the seasons that we experience when we are in turmoil over our child.
Some of the external signs that Fall is here are that the leaves on the trees are turning color, the air is getting cooler, it gets dark earlier in the evening, and we move our warmer clothes to the front of the closet. I live in California, so we don’t have as many beautiful fall colors as some of you do in other parts of the country and in Canada. But, there is a definite change in the “feeling” I have when Fall arrives. There is a different smell in the air, I feel more tired, and I find myself isolating in my house more often.
In the Fall I find ways to feel cozy and secure like getting out the couch blankets, lighting candles, and making crockpot concoctions such as chili and stew. Those are some of the comfort things that I can do to help me to feel good, even when it’s dark, cold, and dreary outside. In fact, it is those things that make me look forward to Fall, even in when I’m in the midst of pain over one of my kids.
Some of the “Fall” parallels in our lives when we are Hurting Moms can be that we begin to recognize that we are exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Just like the leaves on the trees are changing, we can sense something changing within us. We have a hard time “faking it” when we are with other people, so we stay home and isolate ourselves from others. Each day is a challenge. We go to bed feeling anxious, and if we sleep at all, we wake up fearing what the new day will hold for us. Just like we can’t do anything to stop the impending next season, Winter, from moving in, we have no control over what will happen with our child next and we are consumed with worry.
The good news is that there are things we can do to move away from allowing our own internal Fall season to consume us. We can use this time of change, pain and isolation to seek God. He knows how tired we are. In fact, He knows everything we are feeling, and He cares deeply about us and our kids. I love the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28, where He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Weary and burdened . . . that’s us, isn’t it? But, Jesus wants to give us rest. That is such wonderful news! All we have to do is open up to Him and allow Him to comfort and encourage us.
There is something else we can do to experience the comfort, peace, and rest that God has to offer us. First, we can recognize that we need each other. When we can talk about our deepest fear and pain in a safe place with other moms who understand because they are going through the same season, something amazing happens. We begin to heal as we realize that we are not alone. In a 10- week Hurting Moms group we gain tools that help us navigate this journey. We are given tools that we will continue to use through the different seasons we encounter along the way.
Psalm 33:20 says, “We wait in hope for the Lord, He is our hope and our shield.”
Don’t wait alone! Let’s wait expectantly together!