If you’re a parent, is there anything sweeter than seeing your kids flourishing? It’s so great to watch them when they’re in their sweet spot—joyous and doing well. Is there much in life that’s better than that? I’m having a hard time coming up with many things that bring me more joy and fulfillment than watching my kids experience joy and fulfillment.
And as much as we would love to figure out a way for ourselves and our kids to live in that place permanently, we all know that just isn’t how life goes. We all go through hard times ourselves and have watched our kids go through their own hard times. Some of the hard times may have been caused by decisions that were made or that were left unmade, but some of the hard times have definitely been the result of life just sometimes being difficult and things going wrong. If you’re currently watching your kids go through some tough times, I want to offer you some encouragement that might not initially look all that encouraging.
This isn’t always true, but quite often, it’s because of the tough times, challenges, and pain that we can truly appreciate the beautiful moments. Think about it. Aren’t many of your own victories and your kids’ biggest wins the result of some of your toughest challenges? It’s sort of like the days after you sleep wrong and realize you’ve taken a kink-free back and neck for granted all of your life! The hard and painful moments have a way of shining a spotlight on the great and victorious moments that surround them.
And when it comes to my kids, there have been some really down days: days when I couldn’t imagine a way through it, much less imagine that things could possibly ever be good again on the other side. But we’re on the other side of some of those very painful moments now, and I find myself even more grateful for family togetherness than I was before we went through some of these hard things. We’ve had some good moments on the other side of pain, and those good ones are even sweeter because I know what we have made it through to get there.
Often, we can get discouraged and despondent when things aren’t going well. When we face tough times, it is tempting to just give into that feeling of hopelessness and sorrow. And I’m not saying that those moments aren’t painful because they absolutely are. I’m not saying that you should live in denial of what you or your kids are actually going through. But I want to remind you that even though those tough times are dark days to live through, they can sometimes bring about the good days later on. I want to encourage you to press on today because I believe that joyous days are ahead!