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Views and opinions: Take comfort knowing that troubles are near-universal


Sitting at a basketball game last night, I had the chance to catch up with another mom who I used to sit and shiver with at early-spring baseball games. She has three boys, I have three boys and we have that “boy-mom” thing in common.

We talked about our kids and reminisced about the battle scars our sons acquired when they were younger. And as she told a story, I had to laugh and say, “Oh my word, I thought I was the only one!”

She talked about how her oldest son hit a tree while riding on a sled behind a snowmobile. He injured his arm and after her boy-mom assessment, she gave the same diagnosis she always gave: “It’ll be alright.” Two days later it was worse and looking like a real doctor might be a good idea, but she shuddered, saying, “If I take you in now, they are going to call social services on me and take you away!”

We squealed in hysteria because we both knew we had been in that situation so many times before. A slice on the leg that needed stitches got a Band-Aid, a bump on the head got ice and a fever was always treated with over-the-counter meds and a sick bed on the couch.

I wasn’t the only one who was afraid of being called a bad mom, and there is tremendous relief knowing I wasn’t alone.

Why do we always think we are the only ones who struggle in certain situations? We somehow think the rest of the world is on autopilot with plenty of money in the bank, perfect family harmony, achieving goals by the dozens and enjoying life to the fullest.

We think we are the only ones with peeling wallpaper in our old farmhouse bathroom, a feed bill that can’t be paid this month, health insurance that is overpriced and useless, a spouse who is unhappy, kids who are failing and employees who never show up. The workload is unending, the sleep is never enough and unless something happens with the milk price, drastic measures will have to be taken on the farm.

When that baby was born so many years ago, I’m sure those two young parents felt alone. Sitting in a barn, knowing they were going to have a baby, can you just imagine the desolation and rejection they must have felt? When that Messiah was born, they went from teenagers to adulthood in the blink of an eye.

But what happened next helped them gird up the truth and gave them the encouragement they needed to keep moving forward. Shepherds came in from the fields and royalty came from faraway lands, all to see this promised Savior.

These two teenagers with a brand-new baby were showered with love by total strangers. And that must have given them the nudge to keep on going, regardless of the sneers and scoffs they must have endured along the way.

What do you need to keep going? Knowing you have people who love you? Knowing that the God who set the sun in the sky and keeps the Earth turning on its axis at just the right speed is crazy about you, even if you’re not particularly fond of Him?

How about knowing that no matter what, you can’t be good enough for Him and you can’t be bad enough for Him – He loves you right where you are and wants to spend eternity with you? Just like those two young parents weren’t alone, neither are you, and that’s all we need to celebrate this Christmas.

Merry Christmas.


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.W