We’ve had a string of more bad days than good lately it seems which all culminated in our middle son’s appendix rupturing.
I shared with friends how it seemed that some of it might be a sort of spiritual attack since it felt like everything just kept piling on with no break (with particular intensity when we did things like start novenas together or plan times for self care).
After our son’s surgery (more on that in another post), it’s been hitting me how much a lot of the stressful moments were likely heavier because of my attitude.
I don’t discount spiritual attack for a minute. There’s a hidden battle raging for our souls as God’s beloved children, no doubt. But I think of saints like Joan of Arc and the great missionaries, how even through what I’d consider the worst bad days of a lifetime, they were at peace and I dare say even joy filled.
This is a humbling realization. That although I can say “yes, this is objectively a time of some suffering in our family with little sleep, surgeries, and long days and nights”, how that reality plays out in my mind and heart is largely up to me. Do I turn to God immediately like the saints, or do I become introspective and collapse inward?
One side of the coin is obviously taking care of my physical body. If I’m having a bad day I need to make sure I’m making healthy choices to keep stress low. This one seems second nature. (Tired? Go to bed earlier. Hangry all the time? Get more protein.)
I’ve found taking care of my soul is not always as automatic. Here are questions I’ve started asking myself this week to keep me in check. (And then rising up accordingly).
WHEN HAVING A BAD DAY, ASK…
1. Have I made the sign of the cross today, slowly, deliberately, and prayerfully, remembering the power of the prayer?
2. When was the last time I looked upon a crucifix and gave Jesus a silent look of love and surrender?
3. Do I stop negative tracks of thinking by praying a Hail Mary?
4. Did I pray first thing in the morning? Last thing before bed?
5. Have I thanked God amidst the struggle (either for the hardship at hand or some other blessing He’s given me)?
Just 5 questions. Five actions to turn back to God during hard times. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Here’s to smoother (or at least more grace filled) days ahead.