Suffering can often make us feel weak. The tears come more easily and our hearts seem vulnerable to even more pain. Whether it’s a break in a relationship like a divorce, a loss of a career, a physical illness, or the loss of someone you love with all your heart, suffering affects us as women and as moms.
The other hard reality is that suffering hits all of us. Rain falls on every head. No one is immune. There is no escaping it. So, how do we handle suffering and continue being “mom” to these little people around us?
I’ve asked myself this question so much. We lost our youngest son to congenital heart disease two years ago. One of my biggest concerns has been the effects on our oldest son. He turned two just a few weeks before his little brother passed away. He was too young to understand the gravity of everything but since then, he has become a big four-year-old with a mom whose tears fall easily and often. At times, I can feel that my grief has made me a lesser mom. Suffering can deafen our ears to the world around us as we turn inward for survival and self-care. Right after part of my heart went to heaven, it was as if I was underwater listening to the world around me with muffled ears. My world moved slowly and I grew tired quickly. Grief was heavy and it took a toll on me.
But, I’m coming to a new place where I see all this brokenness and suffering as something beautiful in my soul. I still hurt deeply and I likely always will. My prayer is that as my son sees the tears, he will also see resilience, vulnerability, strength, and love. I know he is absorbing those things as he is watching me navigate a world without his little brother. He is seeing a mom who is hurting but who is also living authentically.
The broken places of your heart have intense power in the lives of your children. Don’t let the little lies that go through your head tell you otherwise. Let your children see you when you are vulnerable and hurting. It will mean more when they see you take that next step towards living and loving. You are leaving a legacy of living real life in a broken world. They will be better equipped to walk through suffering when it comes. They will know from experience their mom made it through. That means that they can as well.
Awesome job, SmartMama!