I needed an instruction manual for this one. One of those step by step troubleshooting guides that tell you exactly what steps to take and what to do next if the first thing doesn't work. But, that isn't the way it works and I have fumbled around in the darkness trying to do it on my own.
But this lesson isn't just mine ... it belongs to an 11 year old girl whose heart was broken by circumstances that none of us could control or explain away. In the midst of my own emotional response to the original problem, I still desperately want for her to come away from her hurt a stronger person. Isn't that what life is all about anyway ... moving forward with grace and dignity even when all we want to do is curl up in a ball and cry or, worse yet, attack the source of our anger.
The difficulty in our current situation is that she has every right ~ within human understanding ~ to be angry and hurt. This isn't a case of a child not getting her way and throwing a fit. I cannot look my child in the eye this time and explain to her that this is all just a misunderstanding. Oh, how I wish I could. Even more, I wish I could fix it for her, but that doesn't appear to be possible.
After all the talk at home, and with a few close friends, and several attempts to pray through the situation, I took it to the people who always help me to gain perspective...and who have absolutely no prior knowledge of what was going on...my Sunday school class. I had no intention of talking to them about this, but our lesson today was from James 3 ... we spent most of the class talking about wisdom.
And that is just what I need ... wisdom to help my child work through this, wisdom to handle my own emotions in such a way that I don't become bitter toward the people involved. Wisdom that I haven't been able to come up with in the last couple of days.
But, as one of the class members pointed out, the answer was just one page back from the verses we were reading today ...
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
There is just one problem. To do this, I must be willing to give up my own anger and my own hurt and help my daughter to do the same. No matter how justified it feels right now, it isn't from God and it isn't what He wants for our lives. And, just to confirm what the class was saying to me, the scripture reading for this morning was from Psalm 84, but the man reading concluded with a few verses from Philippians 4 that just felt like a beacon shining on my spirit in answer to my lack of wisdom.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
God isn't indifferent to the hurt my child is feeling because she is His child first and foremost. He knows that though this thing isn't life threatening, it is shaping her spirit and in this His desire should be my desire, that she walk through this situation and the many others that will arise in her life, knowing one thing ... she is never alone and her one goal should be to reflect His love, no matter what.
Maybe, just maybe, I have access to the instruction manual after all ... I just have to be willing to heed its words of wisdom ...
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