Be prepared. I am about to get honest. Exceptionally-completely-ugly-honest.
The first reason is this: In James 1:2, 17, it states: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds...[for] every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.[NIV]" I believe there is a reason - or a purpose, behind every poop explosion, every middle-of-the-night-wake-up, every day where I'm brought to the end of myself. I may not understand the purpose specifically - but I know there is one. Many days that is all I need to keep the laundry, dishes, correcting, teaching, cleaning, and cooking, going. (Unfortunately, patience is NOT on that list!)
My second reason for seeking the "silver lining" is much more personal.
I have had some very dark days. Days where I felt I couldn't even open my eyes to see the cloud...let alone the silver lining. Those days were the months following the birth of Jumping Bean. Many people try to dismiss post-partum depression.... They will say - Oh! It is just in your head. Get over it. What is your problem? Just get out of bed and DO something. I am ashamed to say I was once one of those people. Someone who just thought people were being lazy or attention hunting. Someone who would NEVER feel what those people claimed to feel.
Then we moved - to our 4th state - in 4 years - in my 3rd trimester with Jumping Bean. And she was born...this perfect little pink mass of screaming skin. She yelled and screamed and cried and writhed for almost 4 months. For 16 hours a day. And I knew very few people. I was caring for String Bean...they are 25 months apart...My Love was working....and I was sinking.
I didn't want to get out of bed. I resented my beans. Especially my Jumping Bean. I cried...constantly. I was overwhelmed and disconnected and scared of what was happening to me. I remember turning a movie on for String Bean, putting a screaming Jumping Bean in her crib, going into the bathroom, turning on the fan, climbing in the shower - in my clothes - and sobbing...because that was the only place I could go where I couldn't hear her screaming.
It was like being at a pool party and drowning...everyone around you can see you...but you can't cry out for help because all your energy is focused on surviving.
My Love knew something was wrong...terribly wrong...but he didn't know how to help. Finally, he started leaving me with a "to-do list" for each day. The first few days, the only thing on the list was "take a shower." Slowly, steadily, he was able to draw me back to the home...to the family...to life. But it wasn't easy. It wasn't quick. It wasn't fun.
We contemplated medication...counseling...therapy...daycare...vacations....which definitely can help! But we chose (together) to try a different route before we sought other help. For 2 months I was not myself. Oh, I could turn "me" on and fake it for an hour or two around other people. I could come up with positive things to say to our families when they called to check on us. But the real me was aching. And I needed help to heal. Thankfully, between the power of prayer and a loving husband...God was able to draw me to where I am now.
I'm sure some would say what I've described above were not "dark days." To be honest, compared with many people's lives, they weren't. But for me - for my life - I was on the edge. I was on the edge of a place I never want to go to again.
There is funny and happy all around....even then it was there....sometimes it is just much harder to see. My life is not perfect...together...or pain-free...but it is wonderful. Because there is a sunny side.