The Hardship Lesson

You can’t tell a single mother there is something positive when she struggles to pay her light bill. That mother doesn’t see her hardship as a life lesson yet, knowing there’s only $38.00 to budget for a week’s worth of groceries. That mother can’t see the wisdom in those struggles, not yet anyway.

That was me too, when I was raising our family (six to feed, myself and five kids), and it was hard. I was knee deep in challenges and hardship and I struggled every day to get through, forget trying to make ends meet, they never did.

I can only write about this, because I went through it. I still remember what it felt like to choose something over another: housing over car repairs, lights over water, food over clothes. It was never smooth, but making those choices, living that life, made me a smarter, stronger, more resilient woman. I was giving my children tools in life that at the time, I had no idea the impact that would carry, but it did.

My struggles, my hardships, became our sails across the rough peaks of life. Digging deep where inner strength lives, my faith, my hope, my courage to move forward.

My kids are grown now and most have become parents. They have gone through their own life changes. Whether it’s been a personal challenge, a family matter, a job decision, a loss of something important, I see their strength. It’s in every decision they make, everything they do. I see their love for their children, their tenacity to go through the tough times, and their resiliency to bounce back, and land on their feet.

Don’t get me wrong, not everybody needs hardship to live a good life. Not everyone needs to be raised by a single mom to turn out “right.” Not every hardship shows itself as a blessing, but ours did.

Every day is a gift, and every choice is intentioned to make life better, but we don’t always know that or see that at the time. It comes later in life, when you see your gratitude for the little things, when you see the value of hard work in your children, when you observe their smiles as they watch their own children play, when you hear your grown kids tell you, “Life might have been hard for us, but you taught us so much about good work ethics, to believe in yourself, and the love for family.”

Hardships are a blessing in disguise, but it only shows you that when you are ready to see it’s true meaning. God Bless all the Hard Working Mothers!

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