I don’t know if you can help or not but I’m looking to find God again and don’t know how. I live a very difficult life looking after a severely disabled son, 12, 24/7 and a special needs daughter 11. My husband works 60 hours a week and I work the 2 days he’s home, so we have continuous care for our son. There is chaos in our home, upset, fighting, almost never peace. I need to find peace for us as a family before we implode.I am angry and upset life is like this, we never ever go out as a couple in the evening, I think the last time was about 5 years ago! I love my family very much and want to incorporate changes to our daily lives to help us accept and move forward in a peaceful manner.We are Greek Orthodox but unable to attend our local church as our son just wouldn’t be able to handle it. My daughter attends a Catholic church, when I attend services there I just feel its all hypocritical nonsense (sorry, just being honest). The mums there are all dressed in their best, made up to the nines and basically shouting ‘look at my perfect family’. I come away feeling so sad.Any advice, any suggestions would be appreciated, I am so tired.Thank you, Jane
A: Dear Jane, First of all, I want to say my heart goes out to you so very much. I can hear the pain in your voice and I wish so much that there was an easy fix to the issues you are facing. But the truth is, there isn’t.
Sometimes life is very hard. Sometimes life is so hard we don’t know if we can bear one more thing. I know how it feels to look around feel as if everyone else has an easier life than I do. And while I don’t have the same issues in my life that you do, I have spent many years in the role as caregiver for elderly family members while raising a large family of my own.
It doesn’t seem fair that so many moms go about their day and enjoy the every day mundane and that the biggest challenge they may face on any given day is how to deal with the terrible twos and what to cook for supper. Why did God give you such a burden to bear?
The truth is that sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we had imagined it would. Sometimes the ugly truth is that we didn’t want the life we are living.
I know you are tired and lonely. And even more than that, God sees your pain and He knows how tired you are.
I don’t know what your day looks like, but I can imagine it’s tough. You and your husband need time to reconnect and to rekindle that lost flame.
You can’t change your circumstances, but you can do some things to help ease the struggle.
Ask for Help
- Do you have family members who could take over some of your burdens once a week or a couple times a month?
- Could you take your son and/ or daughter to a special needs day care?
- Could you ask your church family for help? There may be some older ladies who no longer have children at home who would be happy to help.
Read your Bible
Sometimes when life is hard, it’s hard to feel like God is there. I would suggest that you begin by spending a few minutes reading a short devotion and few lines of Scripture each morning. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you can’t hear God speaking to you. You can be honest with God – He can handle all of your hard feelings.
It’s true, a lot of what goes on in churches can feel very shallow and hypocritical. How would you feel about looking for another home church? Somewhere that you didn’t feel so isolated when attending? I would make that a matter of prayer.
One of the best ways you can work toward healing your own broken heart is to memorize Scripture. This is something you can do even when you aren’t “feeling” especially close to God. But Scripture can bring us great comfort and when you have it hidden in your heart you can call it to mind whenever you need it.
You can download a set of Free Printable Scripture Cards with these verses below.
Here are a few verses to get you started.
“The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and mountains quake and with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:17-19
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7
Books to Read
The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs by Andrew and Rachel Wilson
Simplify Your Home
Simplify your housekeeping as much as possible. I would work on clearing the clutter and living a simple, even minimalist lifestyle at home. The less you own, the less you have to clean. If your home is full of clutter, this could take some time, but in the end it would be worth it. Do a little each day.
Find Joy in Small Things
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Notice the little things that bring you joy – a cup of tea, a lively song, sunshine in your windows.
- Sing songs while you work or listen to peaceful hymns.
- Keep a scrapbook.
Start a Blog
Sometimes when it’s hard to leave your house, it can be hard to find connections with other women. But we need to connect with other people who share something in common with us.
Blogging and sharing your story, your journey, your own struggle online can be very cathartic. I’ve written about How to Start a Blog in 3 Easy Steps here.
Nurture your Marriage
When life is hard it’s so easy to let your marriage suffer. Not because we want it to be that way, but it just seems like one more thing. And we’re already so tired.
- be patient
- say a kind word
- remember to say thank you
- get take out and eat by candle light
- rub your husband’s back – maybe he’ll rub yours too!
- talk about the hurt and be honest and realize that life isn’t perfect but that’s okay
- try to find a way to go on a date
I hope and pray that you can find peace and some relief in your daily life. Let me know if any of these ideas helps and if you have other questions. God bless you!
Free Printable Scripture Cards for the Hurting Heart
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If you are the parent of a special needs child, share any tips you have with us in the comments below!
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