She stood up too fast. She went down faster. Two minutes later that daughter of mine woke to find herself sprawled on a pile of folded laundry, a brass lampshade on her head. Everyone found that funny.
Amanda did too, until the headache from hell began and didn’t stop. Until the sounds of a houseful of busy children spawned a tornado in her head. Until she couldn’t read her texts, or remember what to call the room with a toilet in it—or her husband.
A month later, between therapy appointments, she spends hours in her room daily, like she did as a teenager. Only she can’t read a book. Or use her phone much. Nearby noise aggravates the headaches. Her eyes don’t focus correctly, so no technology either.
Sadly ironic. Every busy mother’s dream: generous slices of solitude daily. Doctor’s orders. And she can’t even enjoy it.
Chiropractic manipulation to reposition misplaced neck bones helps. So does physiotherapy. But progress dawdles—three steps forward, two back. “I just have to push through this, Mom,” she said, when I spoke to her for five minutes on the phone yesterday. Her voice sounded strained. Thin and cheerless, like she seemed when I saw her last, while picking up grandchildren for a sleepover.
For years we’ve talked or texted multiple times weekly. This last quiet month I have missed that girl more than I thought possible. But they live an hour away now, instead of a few steps. I can’t just pop in to check on her.
Concussions don’t only happen to players of contact sports. Sometimes they happen to people like her: a busy mom doing her best to raise and educate six children at home; to support a husband during a big career change. Both followers of Jesus, trying to trust that God has a plan, that he will bring good from this, that this hard season is rich teaching ground. That it will grow spiritual food to nourish their own souls and others’—not only when this is behind them, but while it is present with them.
The business of faithful parenting doesn’t stop when our children leave home. It gets bigger; broadens into a corporation with different, but no less important responsibilities and many more shareholders.
Lifelong investments made by parents into that family business can pay innumerable dividends. One of the biggest is seeing your children wisely handle adversity. Never perfectly—for who does that? But moving forward. Determined to join hands, stay together, remain faithful to Jesus through and beyond life’s storms. Wrestling, pushing, resting when necessary. Accepting God-sent help with grace and gratitude and ignoring Satan’s discouragement tactics.
I’m seeing that. I pray you do too, when your family encounters crisis. But if not, remember that our Father in Heaven has provided two powerful tools—prayer and his Word. He invites us to use them regularly.
Life is hard. But God is good. Even when you wake up with a brass lampshade on your head.