Can I just share how much Heavenly Father helped me this week? I’ll try to share just enough specifics to illustrate my point, but not so many as to bore (hopefully!).
Last week…was a rough week.
Being sleep deprived from being up with a baby, and parenting a 2 ½ year old can be quite difficult for anyone. Lately I had personally been struggling with mood swings, anxiety and honestly a lot of anger. Not a fun place to be. I felt overwhelmed with all the challenges and discouraged about my parenting. I wasn’t finding relief. I knew something was wrong but didn’t know how to fix it.
Sunday night I vented to my parents about how discouraged I was and how many things were going wrong with parenting Elena. They were sympathetic as always and gave ideas of how to do things differently. They also sent up some prayers for me which I know helped.
Monday I finally at least got relief. Since Jeff was home for the holiday, and since he’s awesome, he gave me multiple lengthy breaks from Elena. That at least helped restore my sanity.
I had prayed many times over the past weeks to help me resist being angry and feel more love. This weekend I added prayers to help me figure out my parenting style, because what I was doing was not working, and it was making me frustrated, thus causing the anger I think.
I don’t remember the specific moment or prayer that turned things around, but I know that Tuesday I felt changed. I felt the patience I had tried so many times to achieve. I felt relief from my anxiety. I had inspiration about subtle changes I could make in my parenting that were very effective. I came to peace with things that were holding me up. I felt hope for better sleep because the baby is doing better at night. And I have finally started to iron out our weekly schedule that will involve more social time for Elena and more breaks for me. That’s a formula for a happier mom and happier family!
Maybe the details don’t matter, though if you want to talk parenting, I’d be happy to share what I learned. I just want to share how amazing it is that we can receive personal help to our specific challenges from Heavenly Father. He is so merciful, and Christ’s atonement is so real and accessible to us on a daily basis.
I appreciate that God didn’t just expect me to muster the will power to resist the strong anger I was feeling every day. I feel that God helps me get at the root of my problems, and for me it was digging up the underlying frustration I was feeling and seeing what I could do about it. I wasn’t frustrated at Elena, I was frustrated with myself, and the place we had come to because of my choices.
The fact that I feel better now doesn’t mean I feel back to who I was before. That’s the cool thing about trials. When our circumstances are making us uncomfortable, it forces us to look inside ourselves to see if there is something we can change. It’s painful. And sometimes when I pray for help I have barely enough faith to believe that I can change. But God is a God of miracles, and when we seek Him, He changes us! I am not back to my old self, I am a new person, with new ideas about parenting and life!
The Bible Dictionary says repentance is “a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world.” That’s how I feel! And I’m grateful.