When we are faced with difficult times we can muster the courage to push through or we can fall apart. Though it may not seem so at the time, it really is a choice that we make to take the path of resilience. Today my strong, resilient friend Gina Baladaty shares with us how she has gotten through her most difficult days:
How Saying “Amen” Got Me Through Tough Times
When Jessica ok’d me to write for her blog, I was excited because the name of her blog has always sounded like my life! In fact, very recently I found my “marbles” – and not a moment too soon, as I was I was hit with a series of bad news shortly after.
This has not been the easiest year for my family. My husband was laid off in April. My kids have disabilities, so change is particularly challenging for them. This school year brought massive changes in staff and classes for both kids. Amelia didn’t want to interact with the other kids, was very aggressive towards her new aide, and didn’t even want to get on the bus. Zoe missed her old aide and did not cope well with the new demands.
The longer the year went on, the more they struggled. I was stumped – wasn’t I doing everything I could? Therapy, homeopathy, diets, aides, inclusion – how could I make my kids behave better?
I began to stress out. I struggled with sleep and suffered anxiety, both of which are rare for me. What more could I do? What else could I change? More food restrictions? Additional therapy? At this point, my marbles were literally GONE and anxiety was quickly becoming my best friend.
Meanwhile, at church, we studied the meaning of “Amen.” This little word said at the end of Christian prayers is something most people don’t think about, but it literally translates to “So Be It.” Or, to put it another way, “Let it be.” The word is really a way to give up control.
This study inspired me to stop believing I could control every situation, or indeed, any situation, in life. I always thought being “mom” meant I had to be the one to fix it all. “I” had to solve the problems in the classroom. “I” had to be the one that helped Amelia make friends. “I” had to cure every misbehavior they had.
But I was already doing as much as I could for those problems. And that’s the thing, when you’re doing your very best and nothing is getting better, it’s time to let go and let God. I had to trust in the diet, after seeing extremely negative behaviors just hours after re-introducing soy. I had to trust that the staff at school knew what they were doing, after calling in an advocate and multiple meetings. I had to trust my gut that more time in therapy was would only bring more stress to my family, and let my kids relax when they got home. I had to just say “amen” to all the problems in our lives.
After a week or two, real change started happening. Amelia became less aggressive and starting interacting with her peers more. She stopped acting out towards me, and started getting on the bus without grief. She was even kind and helpful around the house! Zoe was given a new tool and started communicating more and participating with her classmates. She started to get potty trained at school and has started to speak in sentences.
Oh me, oh my, could this be the result of letting go of “control”? I believe it was. I started sleeping again. My worry and stress began to disappear. With more difficulties, came more solutions from me instead of worry. And when those didn’t work, I’d say “amen,” and move on to suggest new ones. But more often then not, they did work.
Just last week, more bad news hit. My husband was laid off and may not qualify for unemployment. A family friend died. Then our furnace motor broke and we had to replace it at our own expense as the temperatures plummeted below freezing. I looked at it all and said, “Amen.”
I should have lost my marbles again, but I remembered that there are just some things that you can’t fix, no matter what you do. I keep my faith and trust in God, Who has always been there and always has worked things out for us. I can’t get my husband a job, I can’t bring our friend back, and I can’t fix a furnace. But I can let go and let it be. To that I say, amen!
Gina Badalaty is the owner of Mom-Blog.com, and has been helping moms children with disabilities since 2003. She writes about gluten free cooking, nontoxic living, iPad apps, faith, family and blogging techniques. She is working on her first novel and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, 2 gorgeous daughters, and a cat that thinks he’s a dog. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.