It was the worst day ever that made me give up on trying to imitate the Blessed Virgin—and instead, ask her to walk with me through my day.
by Becky Arganbright
Like everyone else, I have my good days and my bad days. And though my diary might say otherwise, I have more good ones than bad ones. They say that God only gives us as much as we can handle, and I believe that to be true—though it seems there are days He tends to fill my cup to the brim.
The other day, I had a bad day. A really bad day. It started with a whopper of a stress headache and then proceeded with a string of arguments among the kids. From there, a terrible fight with mud in a pumpkin patch. And then, the final straw: five pairs of muddy shoes to clean, and muddy water all over the basement floor because someone forgot to turn off the set tub faucet.
It was a bad day and I did not handle it well. At all.
I went to bed and, as always, reviewed my day in prayer. I wondered why God sends us bad days when He knows how very weak we are in nature. I understood that He wanted us to become stronger in spite of them, but I failed challenge after challenge. I never seemed to be strengthened by these terrible days; only weakened and discouraged.
I dreaded the next day, so sure was I that it would be full of the same pitfalls I always fall into. I thought of begging God for a good day but I remembered that it’s not “good days” that get us ready for heaven.
Me and the Blessed Virgin Mary
I had heard of other women using the Blessed Virgin as their model in being a mother. This was a beautiful idea—and yet, impossible. At least, that’s how it felt to me. I had tried many times before to model the Blessed Mother in her humility, but found myself fighting like a bantam hen to get my own way. I would try to be meek—but realize later that, once again, I had screeched and yelled to get myself heard. I would try to be prayerful—but my mind would wander or sometimes I just didn’t feel like praying.
Modeling the Blessed Virgin just didn’t seem to work for me.
What I really needed was someone to walk with me through my day—to mentor me, guide me and protect me from my usual pitfalls. I needed someone nearby to complain to. I needed someone to cheer me on when I felt like throwing my hands up in the air and walking out in exasperation.
Walking through my day with the Blessed Virgin
Suddenly I was hit with inspiration: why not ask the Blessed Virgin to walk through the day with me? We all tend to be on our best behavior when we have guests in the house.
It took some imagination but I imagined the Blessed Virgin right next to me throughout my daily chores and problems.
I imagined her right there with me, reminding me to respond patiently when the kids hollered for their breakfast.
I looked to her for approval while I did my housework, which I normally dread every day.
I asked her opinion on whether or not I should take a break from the computer to push Henry on the swings like he asked. (She said yes.)
I looked to her for patience when Henry did not want to take a nap.
I imagined her kneeling with me while I said my prayers.
I kept her close throughout the day, guiding me around those pitfalls, pointing out temptations that I normally don’t see.
And at the end of the day, I realized that the day was no less difficult in terms of chores and problems, but easier to handle because I asked the Blessed Virgin to walk through my day with me.
I admit that this may sound pretty simple. In fact, some people might argue that the outcome of my day was simply “modeling the Blessed Virgin”after all—which I had previously claimed to be impossible to do!
A matter of perspective
I don’t know if it’s because I tend to be a very literal person that I find the Blessed Virgin so intimidating—or maybe it’s a lack of humility.
What I do know is I needed a change of perspective. Instead of trying to copy Van Gogh’s art, I would need an artist to sit with me to make it even possible. And instead of trying to copy a masterpiece dinner, I would need a chef to show me how to make it.
The Blessed Virgin sets the bar very high for her sinful children—and though many have no problems reaching that bar, there are some that might need a different way to get there.
Whether we imitate her virtues, or simply ask her to walk with us through our day, in the end it doesn’t matter, for the end result is always the same: She brings us a little closer to her Son.