When the Next Step is just too Hard

Embarrassede fmale hiding her feet

Being a mom is hard. Sometimes we glide through it with ease, while other times it becomes a struggle. A mental battle of the wills to push through.

Through the years mothering my children, I’ve began to notice something about myself: when the going gets tough—and I mean really, really, tough—there’s a chance you won’t find me.

I’ll be hiding from you and everyone else that might serve as an opinion in my life.

Yes, I’ll still be taking the best care of my children. Yes, I’ll still be seen around town doing errands. But, beyond that—I’ll be in “that place”. The one that no one knows about. The one that feels safe and ready to accept me.

Don’t we all have “that place” in our lives? Maybe it’s your home and you go inside and make excuses as to why you don’t really need to come out. Or maybe it’s your car and you drive on and on until your gas light screams that you are getting to a final destination whether you like it or not. Or maybe you have a place in nature that calms you and reminds you for just a moment that you are more than a mom.

For me, it’s a chair in my home.

A safe place where I feel secure. I depend on it waiting on me. And when life is overwhelming, and confusing, and just doesn’t make sense at all, you’ll likely find me there.

It’s also where I tend to get stuck.

Because sometimes retreating into our safety is a nice break. A place to recharge so we can hit the world again.

But other times we go there with no plan to come out. We don’t talk to anyone. We take care of the bare minimum responsibilities. We don’t participate in life beyond the immediate.

Because the fear of hurting or being hurt more is scarier than the fear of being alone. And so we consciously choose to be alone.

The next step seems too painful to take. We can see it, just inches ahead, and know that it’s going to be the thing that has the power to pull us back under. And after fighting to get out of our recent pit, we cling to our safe place now. Shuddering at the thought of edging anywhere close to the next step again.

But, sweet friend, you weren’t called to hide from difficulties in this life, or as a mother. If the little bundles of energy filling up your laundry baskets and eating all of your hidden cookies aren’t enough of a reminder, let this be:

“Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 3:25-26

That thing in your life you think is falling apart is still under the will of God.

That situation you think is hopeless is still under the control of God.

That person you feel is out to get you is still under the authority of God.

Your God.

The God who fights for you.

The God who will never leave you or forsake you.

The God who encourages you to take heart, and have courage, and try again. Because he can’t heal what refuses to move. And there’s nothing more he wants in life than a healthy daughter pushing toward the life he’s called her to.

Are you ready?


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  1. My next step is hard. I have been separated for a while and have wanted to do everything to save my marriage and not disappoint God. My husband asked me for a divorce and I was in shock. So, we have gone from talking everyday to nothing at all. I know it is time to move on since I have had time to think. It is hard and I am leaning on God more and more!

  2. So sorry to hear this, Jennifer. I’ve been there and completely understand. I don’t think anyone ever expects to be in our position. Praying for you. Connect with me on fb at The Christian Single Mom, if you ever need an ear to listen. I talk to other single moms through messenger there all the time. <3

  3. Thank you for your prayers! It means a lot! I will definitely connect with you on Facebook!

  4. The line between Christian compassion and plain anger at being betrayed gets blurred almost daily, and requires a daily surrender to God and His provisions. It’s so hard to honestly come to grips with the fact that this person you spent your life with and have children with is capable of such bad behavior and judgement….that you just have to let go. and keep letting go, and pray for Grace.

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