Last year about this time I found myself in a hard place. Mommy burn-out had taken root in my heart and it had started to fester. Constantly being needed by someone, feeling like I never had a break, cooking meals, home-schooling, cleaning—all of it had become overwhelming and I was done. My heart was no longer in it. I had lost sight of my mission in motherhood. All that I could think about was how tired I was.

Around September of that same year the Lord in His infinite mercy allowed a sickness to pervade my body. The sickness took away my ability to be the mom my boys had known. I was in so much pain I couldn’t read to them, sing to them, play with them and right before my diagnosis, just getting out of bed was difficult.

After speaking with several different doctors we kept running into dead ends. No one could pinpoint exactly what was going on with my body. I was given a myriad of medications but nothing was helping. My condition worsened. It progressed to the point that I couldn’t even walk up the stairs in our home or pick up my youngest son. I was losing weight so quickly that I was only a few pounds away from being considered underweight.

As my health continued to be on a rapid free fall it became apparent that I needed to be hospitalized. If we didn’t get a handle on my health, my organs were going to start shutting down. Once in the hospital I finally received the correct diagnosis and proper treatment. The minute treatment started I could feel my energy coming back and the pain that had been a constant for the last several months began to fade into the darkness from which it came.

Although I was diagnosed with a chronic disease that I will have to manage for the rest of my life, I was finally feeling better. While in the hospital, as the Lord was healing my body, he was also changing my heart.

How an Unexpected Diagnosis Inspired Me to Be a Better Mother

My prayers began to change and with tears cascading down my gaunt, pale face I begged the Lord to continue to heal me so I could be the mom I used to be. I missed my boys; my heart ached for them. I missed playing with them, reading to them, going for walks with them, snuggling with them, holding their hands, listening to their stories, laughing with them, doing life with them and yes I even missed doing their laundry. The things I once looked at as chores or items on a to-do list were now privileges that I didn’t want to take for granted.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Once home I still needed to rest in bed for a few days but that didn’t stop me from inviting the boys into my bed so I could read to them, snuggle with them and hear of their many adventures. I had a fresh outlook on motherhood and I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

The same illness that took so much from me also gave me more than I could have ever imagined.

It rescued me from myself. I had lost the art of leaning into the hard mommy days and instead I was fighting against them. Fighting an internal battle of what happiness in motherhood looks like is exhausting and robs you of all joy.

If you find yourself in the same place I was in last year don’t wait until it’s too late. Pray for the Lord to change your heart! Pray that you will find joy in the mundane. Pray that you won’t lose sight of your mission in motherhood.

Regardless of your circumstances, you can be the mom that God has called you to be.