Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

Misery really does love company

Hard times are best weathered when they are shared

My daughter recently got her braces off. She was most excited to be able to chew gum again. In fact, not being able to chew gum was the one thing she dwelled on when she was going to get her braces put on. She felt mopey that for 12 to 18 months she wouldn’t be able to have gum.

So, I told her that I would join her in not chewing gum. At the time I had a temporary crown and knew I couldn’t have it either. I also knew I’d get my permanent crown and be chewing gum eligible before she would, but I promised her I would wait for her.

And so the day she got her braces off, my husband had her favorite gum ready and we both enjoyed a piece together.

While temporarily not being able to have chewing gum isn’t the worst thing in the world (even for a kid), having someone dwell with you in hard times is priceless.

When I think back to hard times in my own life, I have most appreciated friends or loved ones who were there with me in the misery. Knowing someone is beside you in the depths can make them easier to go through — even just temporarily.

Sometimes what we need most is for someone to come alongside us in our misery and just sit with us, even for a short time. We need reminders that we aren’t alone.

The reverse needs to be true as well. I think about my friends and hard times they’ve been through. Maybe what they need is us to come sit with them. Maybe they need us to sit with a sick loved one so they can have a break. Maybe they need us to bring them a meal so they can regroup. Maybe they need us to send them an uplifting card. Hurting people need solidarity. I know they need our prayers, because even when we can’t be with them, God definitely can.

We do have a Friend Who is always with us. I have felt closest to God at some of the very lowest moments of my life. And at other moments when He has felt far away, I find that I’m the one moving away from Him. He doesn’t move away from me. God remains present through every single moment and brings light into all parts of the darkness.

Who do you need to encourage today? Who do you need to pray for? Who do you need to join in not chewing gum? What do you need to do to remember God’s presence in your own struggles?

Misery really does love company in that when we are miserable, we feel better to know that we aren’t totally alone. Recognizing those times make the sweet times all that much better when we can celebrate with joy a hard season coming to an end!

God’s presence in the dark

Finding God when life is scary

A few months back, I shared this on Facebook. I decided to share it on the blog as well thanks to the overwhelming response I got from it.

Last night, my 8-year-old daughter came into my room at 2 a.m. I knew something was afoot, because she is my good sleeper. She had had a bad dream and needed some comfort. Of course, I obliged. We chatted and snuggled a bit. I prayed for her silently and eventually sent her back to bed.

Within 10 minutes, she was back and needed me to be in her room with her. Previously I’ve sat on her bed and put my hand on her back to soothe her, but now she has a loft bed and that’s not possible. So instead, I pulled her desk chair to the middle of the room and took a seat. I prayed for her again and told her about it this time. We talked very briefly about how to stop thinking about her dream. Within 15 minutes, she was settled in enough to fall back asleep. My presence in her room made her relax and let her worry go.

As I sat there quietly, trying to stay awake, I thought about what a demonstration it was. What she didn’t know was that in between her visits to my room, my prayers continued for her and for her 5-year-old brother. Earlier that day, her brother got into water over his head and was unable to keep his head above water. Thanks to some quick action from my dad and husband, he was saved, but I’ve read about secondary drowning. And I was anxious. He had absolutely no sign of it. And he was totally fine for hours. This had happened before lunchtime even. But still, I worried. It’s what we moms do. However, as I prayed I gave my worry to God. I felt peace that He was in charge, so I could rest.

That’s exactly what my daughter needed. She needed to know someone was in charge, someone was right there for her so that she could rest. Oh how many times I need that! And my Heavenly Father is always there if I only think to talk to Him. Because sometimes I just worry on my own. Sometimes I don’t think to talk to Him about it. Sometimes I battle my anxiety on my own. It never goes well.

I headed back to bed (after double-checking that both kids were sound asleep — and my son was breathing) and fell fast asleep after once again giving my worry to God. The thing is with the way my daughter’s bed is raised and where I was able to sit, there was no way she could see me, but she knew I was there and just my presence was enough. I can’t see God, but I can feel Him. And His presence is always enough if I just open myself up to Him.

Whatever you have going on right now, know that God is there. He will sit up all night in your bedroom in a small desk chair because He loves you so completely and fully. He will take your worries and fears and give you His peace. He may not fix everything the way you want, but He will be there through it all and is willing to hold you close if only you cling to Him. I can think of no greater love and no greater reassurance.

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