“I can’t wait to get through this phase!” I heard myself say—again. On those particularly tough days, I’ve had this thought more times than I can count. I kept praying for the challenges of this phase to end so we could move on to a new one, believing that that new phase must be better.
I remember when my children were young. Two boys with special needs and a daughter who thought she was in charge of everyone, despite being the youngest of the three. (She hasn’t outgrown this yet, if ever!) I was still grieving the loss of my mother, if you want to call it that really. I had no time to grieve. There was so much going on and little time to tend to my own needs. It was a hard place to be for a while there.
There were days I struggled with just keeping my head above water, feeling as if I was drowning in a sea of tantrums, therapies, sibling squabbles, grief, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and the list goes on (How is it possible that SO much can happen in a 24 hour period?!).
I would say to myself, “I can get through this, there’s got to be a light at the end of the tunnel.” I continued on day after day, holding on for dear life, exhausted beyond belief. I learned the meaning of praying without ceasing because it was God who I cried out to all day long. It was God who strengthened me, God who sustained me, God who comforted me, God who refreshed me.
It was also God who spoke to me. In between the hustle and bustle of our days, I heard that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit say to me, “There’s light in the midst of the tunnel if you’ll only look for it.”
In that moment I realized that, despite the challenges and difficulties, there were also small victories, peaceful moments and heart-warming laughter. And I had been wishing them away because the tough parts were, oh, so tough, and I wanted to just get through them.
I stopped dead in my tracks, cried out to the Lord, repenting for my nearsightedness, and asked Him to help me see the light in the midst of the tunnel. Rather than focusing on what my children couldn’t do, I celebrated all they could do. Instead of getting stressed out when they had a meltdown, I helped soothe their hearts and enjoyed a few peaceful moments with them before they were on to the next thing. I began to appreciate “what is” instead of hoping for “what could be.” I learned to live in and enjoy each moment with my children as the light in the tunnel illuminated all that made them special and loved. And I realized that, no matter how long it lasts, life isn’t so dark in the tunnel when you can turn the light on.