“This too shall pass,” said a woman I knew, who happened to be about 15 years older than me.
“Um, maybe you didn’t hear me?” I remember thinking to myself. “I just told you that my newborn baby will only sleep if someone is holding him.”
I was looking for advice on how to get my firstborn son to sleep. I was looking for advice so that I could sleep. “This too shall pass” seemed like a brush off or something, not advice that I could practically apply to my life.
But, do you know what happened? It did pass. I now look at photographs from those first weeks of my son’s life and hardly remember him as a newborn — and it’s been less than six years since he was born. Now I have three children, the youngest who will be 2 sooner than I know it.
In this journey of motherhood, where I seem to be learning more than my constantly learning and growing children, I have come to find that “this too shall pass” is actually some of the best advice around. The truth is, children seem to be either moving into a new phase or out of an old phase. As I’ve heard before: The only constant is change. It has probably taken having three children to truly see how quickly things change and how soon phases are over in what seems like a blink of an eye.
This is not to say that there isn’t a lot of frustration when we are in the midst of whatever phase is causing us to say, “This too shall pass.” It’s hard to live without enough sleep. It’s tiring to clean up potty accidents. It’s challenging to deal with the same discipline issue over and over again.
However, I am able to handle the frustration much better when I can remember that “this too shall pass.” As a new mom with a baby who didn’t sleep well at first, I couldn’t see past the moment. As a not-so-new mom with a toddler who is not sleeping very well, I can remind myself that she will soon move past this current frustration, and I’ll look back and wonder why I got so worked up about it. (Yeah, I don’t always remember that this phase will pass. I would, of course, have been quite happy if it lasted only a couple days, and not several weeks. 🙂 I’m writing this mostly as advice to myself! Ha ha!)
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) It seems to me that this was Jesus’ way of saying, “this too shall pass.”