Friday, May 31, 2013

Thorn in Her Side

The other day there was one of those perfect teachable moments, where the clouds part, the sun shines directly down, and you hear that "Ahhhhh!" chorus in your head making clear that as a parent you'd better seize this opportunity.
Jo came to me tearing up, with thorns stuck to her socks and the legs of her jeans.  She exclaimed, "Why me?  Why does everything bad always happen to me?  All I was doing was trying to sit in this field and watch."  With a tender hand and a loving hug,  we discussed why trials come our way, how bad things happen to both the good and the bad alike.  We talked about rising above our struggles and making the outcome count.  We even delved into counting our blessings, not focusing on the negative, and how we can become aware of other's "thorns" and offer encouragement.  Once I removed the final sticker, she breathed a sigh of relief and contentment, wiped away the tears, and with a smile and a hug, she turned to run and play with her siblings while I gave myself a prideful pat on the back with another mission accomplished.
My eyes nearly bulged out of my head when I witnessed the back of poor Jo Jo Bug's pants.  She was covered in those pesky spiky things!!! I mean literally, 30 stickers getting ready to attack her rear as soon as she decided to slide down that super fun slide.  All of my words of wisdom mockingly looked me in the face and challenged, "Now what?!"
It was then that I realized this was one of those teachable moments, not for her, but for ME!  My Father showed me how hardships in life here can actually get much worse in our eyes before we see the light and relief of it getting better.  He reminded me that this is a race of endurance, one that He'll accompany us on, and be there at the finish to reward our success if only we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and persevere.
This time, she handled the trial like a pro, and I, humbled now, thanked God for His constant lessons of survival and enduring love.