Breakdown or Breakthrough?

“And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

“Byeee Gunna!” my 3 year old cheerfully waved from the backseat of our Expedition as Gunnar got out for school. I sat there stunned as my eyes welled up because it had been months since Gentry had willingly and happily said goodbye to his brother. Every day is a battle; whether it’s about getting dressed, getting a diaper, throwing toys, throwing tantrums, throwing food (lots of throwing…); we struggle so much just to get out the dang door, y’all.

Gunnar’s teacher had seen and heard about our struggles and obviously recognized why we were late nearly every day. She empathized with me and brainstormed with me to try and find ways to get through our mornings easier. She came up with a wonderful idea of having a special treasure box just for Gentry at the school so that he would have something to look forward to.


Maybe without even knowing it, she embodied 1 Thessalonians 5:11. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” She could have “let me have it” about how important it was to be on time. She could have added to my stress. But, she didn't and I am oh, so grateful she chose to show me grace when it would have been warranted to give me grief about the situation.


What this teacher didn't know is that my anxiety had reached debilitating levels, and I found myself unable to even think straight after months of these grueling daily routines that seemed to never end. I became afraid to take my son anywhere in public for fear of what was going to set him off. How frustrated my little boy must have been feeling, too; unable to articulate and put into words what he needed from me? I was in a season of despair and desperately needed respite. So, I asked the Lord to show me what my son desired from me so that we could have joyful days again. If Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, " I know Jesus would have an answer. I just wasn't fully prepared for what it would be.


Out of habit, I found myself on Facebook frequently, and one day I realized it was making my anxiety worse. I had felt so alone in all of this mess like no one truly understood what what my family was going through with a challenging child. I took a social media fast and buried myself in books and prayer, focusing on what I could do differently to help my son. Thankfully, I was able to figure out little changes here and there that helped him regulate significantly. I fasted, and I prayed, and I asked for the Lord’s favor over him. My husband saw these changes, too.


My frustration I saw only as a reason to break down, God saw this season as a breakthrough. We have a ways to go, but he’s made progress, and I am praising God and believing for more to come.


“My flesh and my heart may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26.


Your fellow Able Mom,

Nicole Gibson











Lord, show me how to love my children in the way that they need to be loved. They are all so different and have different needs at different times, and it can feel at times overwhelming to keep up. Give me the wisdom and the fortitude to be what they need when they need it most. Thank you for loving me well so that I too can love well. Amen.

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