The other day at my local shopping centre, my children were playing on a ride while I was secretly eating chocolate.

I looked up and saw a lady walking towards us wearing a dark hoodie, her face sullen and hard, and her twin children running ahead towards the ride. I smiled at her and told my children to get off the ride so her children could get on.

As her children were climbing onto the ride, I asked her questions about her twins and we started chatting about how she had to move south to be with her mother as the father of the children wasn’t a nice man.

She shared how hard it had been and I remarked, “We’ve all had moments rocking back and forth in the corner crying.”

She smiled and said, “That was me last night. It was all too much. You’ve done it too?”

I reassured her that at some point in time I think all mothers have done that and screamed into their pillow. She smiled again, removed her hoodie and said that was her as well, and that she was really struggling being a single mum with twins, but she had to leave the father of her children as he “isn’t good at all”.

I saw in her eyes the pain, mum guilt and the question, Am I really enough for this? And so I told her, “It’s so hard being a mum and I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. You’re doing such an amazing job. And what children need more than a mum and a dad who is bad news, is a mother who loves them no matter what. And I can see that you’re that because your children are beautiful and happy. Look at them playing so nicely together. You’re doing an amazing job.”

With tears in her eyes, she commented on how kind I was and that I was an angel. She thanked me for my words and said, “You don’t know how much that means to me. Thank you so much for being so kind to me. You’re a stranger, yet you said just what I needed. Thank you.”

I smiled and reassured her that she was doing her best, and to always remember that.

Our words and our actions of love break down barriers, heal wounds and connect us. When we see that God loves every single one of us and that we are all special in His eyes, we remove judgement, speak love, show love, encourage one another and become a light in someone’s darkness.

The next time you see a mother who might be struggling or look like they’re having a rough time, speak love, show love and be love. We can change the world for the better—one encouraging word at a time.

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