Sunday, September 20, 2015

"It's Okay, Mom."

"DO TO oTHers
as YOU wouLD Have THEM
DO TO YOU."
(the Words of Jesus in Luke 6:31)

At a six-year-old girl's Birthday party last weekend, to which my little 2-year-old was invited by the guest of honor as her honorary little sister, we made bead necklaces. Just as the Birthday girl finished, and before she'd tied a knot in her necklace, her mother picked it up to show everyone how beautiful it was. Then her mother's hand stopped working (due to chronic nerve problems in her back) and she dropped the precious necklace, scattering the beads and undoing all her daughter's hard work.

The party just kind of stopped. The grown-ups tried not to notice the tears of regret and embarrassment that filled the mother's eyes as she repeated to her little girl over and over again, "I'm sorry, I am so, so sorry, honey, it was an accident, I didn't mean to, I'll fix it, Mom will fix it..." Then we heard this sweet Birthday girl say to her mom very softly, as if in private,

"It's oKaY, MOM.
I wanTeD THE BeaDs ON there A diFFerenT WAY anYwaY."

Then I think all our hearts stopped, just for a moment. As I bit back my own tears, my first thought was, "This kid's a better person than I am." My second was a prayer that I might be able to raise my own little girl to be half the person her big sister is. When I got home that day, I considered my disease's effects on my own family. I have two fears that seem to contradict each other when it comes to how my illness affects my relationship with my daughter. When Josie wants me to come along to get groceries or go out to eat or go swimming or something else but I can't leave my bed that day, I'm scared that:
1) she's going to be terribly disappointed & cry.
2) she's not going to be terribly disappointed or cry.
No mom wants their child to be sad for even a moment, even though we're painfully aware from day one--from second one which starts with their tears--we can't control that. We definitely don't want to be the cause of that pain, and we will do ANYTHING to avoid causing it. But on the other hand, do I want my kid's perception of me to be one of hopelessness so she won't cry, but she won't get her hopes up that I'll go along somewhere or do something with her either? Do I want her to get so used to me being housebound that she won't even bother to ask me to go along anymore? So she won't even notice my answer of, "I can't today."?

No. That's why I'm fighting with every resource available to me to feel better even if I can't get better. If I had my choice, I'd choose the reaction of compassion and understanding the chronically ill mother above got from her amazing six-year-old daughter when she accidentally broke the necklace her daughter just made:

"It's okay, Mom. It happens."

"It's okay, Mom. It's no big deal."

"It's okay, Mom. I don't blame you."

"It's okay, Mom. You didn't let me down."

"It's okay, Mom. No one always gets their own way."


"It's okay, Mom. I hope you can come with us the next time."


"It's okay, Mom. I make the best of things when they don't go my way."


"It's oKaY, MOM. stiLL LOVE You eXactLY THE saMe."
 
In other words, I want my kid to treat me (and others) like Christ would because this is what we get from Christ. This is what our kids get from Christ: everlasting, unchanging, purely unconditional LOVE. Compassion, understanding, & mercy unto death, His death and ours. No judgment. No disappointment. No hurt feelings. Just breathtakingly beautiful unearned, undeserved and 100% complete forgiveness. Did I expect to meet Christ at a six-year-old's Birthday party? No. But I did. So, let's praise this Birthday girl, she who is so Christlike, and strive to raise our own children to be the same, and let's worship He who is Christ and give thanks for His love wherever we might find it.
*
Click HERE to find a church near you & help your children learn
to show that real love by having them experience it first.
*
Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from 1 Corinthians 13:7-8a
"LOVE bears ALL THINGS,
believes ALL THINGS,
hopes ALL THINGS,
endures ALL THINGS.
LOVE never ends."