I tend to think of myself as fairly calm and reasonable. I am not prone to fly off the handle or overreact. EXCEPT when my kids are involved!
Some button in me gets pushed the moment I perceive a threat (real or imagined) against my precious little darlings. And while the only one to usually suffer my wrath is my poor husband (because even though I might be irate, I am still a chronic people pleaser who struggles to actually share my displeasure with anyone else), I can flip from calm, cool and collected to crazed mama bear in a flash. Can anyone else relate?
Sadly, my first instinct usually is to start scheming ways to right the horrible wrong that has been done – how to fix the awful injustice my poor children have had to suffer [insert overly dramatic tone here 😉 ]
I did not realize until recently though that my first gut instinct is to scheme. I would have said I’m just helping them; I’m trying to stand up for them; I’m trying to……..interfere in God’s plan. Ouch!
I’m not saying that we should never get involved and insert ourselves into a situation. Of course there are times when that is absolutely necessary and the right thing to do. But God is showing me that sometimes He works through our children’s pain and disappointments. And sometimes me “fixing” a problem through back channel schemes, is really me keeping my kids from the BEST God wants to do in them.
Growth is painful. I see this in my 13 year old who suffers from growth pains in his knees. His body is stretching, and it hurts.
Spiritual growth is often painful too. Denying self, choosing righteousness, sacrificing worldly status- all those things hurt. But each also carries a greater blessing that far outweighs the pain of growth involved.
I want God’s best for my kids. Even though as I write that sentence I know it means it will not always be an easy road. And the one who will most likely hurt the most will be this mama bear.
There is no pain like the pain of seeing your children hurt. There is no heart ache like seeing your child’s heart ache.
Asking God to give me His eternal perspective is the only way I can fight against the urge to immediately swoop in and fix something that causes them pain.
I told a friend earlier this week that I was tired of growth opportunities (my sarcastic, yet accurate term for challenges). However, the truth is that I do want them to grow, even if that means some heart ache and hurt along the way.
Again, I want God’s best for them. Well, let me be a little more honest: I want to want God’s best for them.
I want to spend more time helping them deal with the hurts of life in a godly way, then I spend scheming my own way. I want to hug, hold and teach them to look for God’s goodness even in their disappointments. I want to gently encourage them to look for His purpose in their pain and to cling to Him more tightly when they are hurting.
And let’s be honest: these lessons are just as much for me as for them.
So here is this mama bear’s prayer:
There will definitely be times when I do need to stand up for my kids. Times when I will have to get over my people pleasing nature and do what it takes to be their champion and advocate. But I’m praying that God will show me when to take a stand and when to simply hold their hand.
If you have any stories of a time God used a hurt or disappointment in your child’s (or your own) life to grow them spiritually, I would be honored- and so encouraged if you would share it below!