Better Today Than Yesterday

Better Today Than Yesterday

A couple months ago, I almost ran away from home.

I’m kidding (mostly, kind of, sort of).  But sometimes, mom life JUST. DON’T. PLAY.  

I was walking through an especially hard season with one of my littles.  Day by day it got worse, not better. I prayed, I cried, I screamed, I yelled, I sought counsel, I sat in silence.  I tried all the things… ALL. OF. THE. THINGS.

“This too shall pass.”

“God knows what he needs, just ask.”

“It won’t be like this forever.”

“I’m sorry, I know it’s hard.”

While well-meaning, the advice of others did nothing to change the fact that this was devastatingly hard and nothing worked.  Nothing budged. Nothing changed.

It was, at the lowest points, debilitating.  It drove me to the point of panic and anxiety that I couldn’t fathom was possible.  I loved this child to the death, but I was fully aware that he might drive me to it.  What on earth could I have done to make him so difficult to manage? Where did I go wrong?

And then one day, out of nowhere, something changed.  It was like driving in a fog, and then suddenly the fog disappeared.  I can’t pinpoint it. I can’t tell you what shifted or what method worked or why things changed, but they did.  We turned a corner, and while certainly not perfect, things were better. They were manageable. Finally, after a long time, it felt like I could  breathe again.  

It has taken me a long time to sit down and write this because I think the true lesson in it all was for me.  Isn’t it always?  This season of crippling difficulty in which I tried so hard to teach all of the lessons really held the most value for me.  

You see, it would have been easy in those first days of change to say, “Well, we’ll see how long this lasts.”  “Things are better now, fingers crossed!” “Thank God for today, let’s hope it’s not just a phase.”  

When we first begin to see the light, these are the things we are tempted to say.  This is the mindset we’ve been taught to adopt. Skepticism first, skepticism always.  But skepticism does not provide the foundation for change that we need to see a lasting impact.  

We must be better today than yesterday, eyes focused ahead on what is possible rather than behind on what has passed.

I have found that encouraging the positive change, as if the negative never happened, has been the most beneficial for continuing the positive change.  Has every day with my little been perfect? No. But there is little value in reminding him of who he used to be or waiting for the other shoe to drop at any moment.  

We are embarking not only on a new year, but a whole new decade.  Many of us will start the year with resolutions to be better in one aspect or another.  But in truth, if we were really, truly honest with ourselves, we make those resolutions with skepticism.  We make them fully believing that our past selves aren’t capable of carrying this change out. We make them with an awareness of the watchful eyes of those around us waiting for us to fail.  We make them wondering within ourselves how long they’ll take to fizzle.  

But what if this is the year that we come out of the fog?  What if this is the year that we walked forward in confidence?  What is this is the year we choose to not only start fresh, but to build a new foundation for the next decade of our lives with a simple assurance that we will be better today than yesterday?  

This confidence and drive and determination is rooted in the idea that there is a safe place to land.  On the bad days, I don’t assume that we have completely regressed with my child back to where we were a few months ago.  Rather, I hug him tight, I remind him of who he is, and I assure him that tomorrow is a new day.  

Maybe you need that reassurance too.  Maybe you’ve been caught too long under presumptuous eyes that have convinced you that you were destined to fail all along.  Come home.  Remember who you are, and WHOSE you are and let the God of the heavens who designed every fiber of your being remind you of the good plans He has for you– breathe deep today, and be better today than yesterday…      

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