My tale of two epiphanies

So I was doing the sheets the other morning and I came across a note from one of my daughters to her tooth fairy, Melinda (who happens to be me, obviously, but SHHHHH!). I was expecting the normal questions, such as, “Where do you find clothes?” or “Where do you live?” Instead, the first sentence was a gut punch: “Do you think my mom likes me?” It still brings tears to my eyes. Why would my precious daughter say something like this? Doesn’t she realize that I not only like her, but I love her? That I would do absolutely anything for her?

Now to keep it real, the above daughter can be very dramatic and I am the first person to recognize that. She’ll be devastated/angry after a lecture or a stern look from me. But still, what in the world did I do to motivate her to write a letter like this? I honestly don’t even remember. Am I a perfect mom? Of course not. But I think all of our children realize they are dearly loved. So what gives?

And then it hit me. It doesn’t really matter what instigated the reaction, whether it was a misunderstanding or a scolding; that’s not the point. I need to first deal with why she wrote the letter and do my best to understand what she was feeling.

Wait a second. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?? Well, at least it should! This is exactly how we should deal with anyone that feels slighted or hurt by us, especially within the Church. For example, it may have been a moment of distraction that had us fail to greet someone walking right past us, or it may have been the sharpness in our tone when we were speaking to our friend. Whether it was intentional or not, we need to deal with that person with compassion and try to gain an understanding of what they felt and why. That is the first step towards reconciliation.

But as Believers, we can NOT stop there. I have no idea what in the world has happened to the church, but so many of us have stopped right there. In the name of compassion and empathy, we only listen and don’t ask any probing questions, such as: Is what you’re feeling based on what really took place? Did you perhaps misunderstand what was said to you? If I answered inappropriately, how can I answer better in the future? To be clear, rarely are these situations completely one or the other’s fault. God knows, we ALL have blind spots. That’s probably why the LORD gives us friends and family that we can’t get rid of, right? To help point those out (part of God’s sanctification plan for us – so fun). But we need to ask questions to clarify the situation and bring discernment to a potentially contentious interaction. If we stop at how we were made to feel, that would be like giving a child a lollipop and telling them, “I’m sorry you feel that way!” when they swear a monster is under their bed. Shouldn’t we do the loving thing and point out there is actually no monster under their bed? And if there IS something under their bed, let’s find out what it is so we can deal with it appropriately!

Of course, we should all want to see things from the other person’s perspective and make sure we’re being sensitive to their needs and are aware of their perceptions. If there’s something that we can change, we should do just that. We should ALWAYS strive to do that with those who the LORD has placed around us. But we must go further, and communicate by way of questions and going back to objective truth. Emotions should never supersede Truth. That is truly the loving approach. Sometimes it may be as simple as being reminded of some basic truth, such as, “I’m your mother and I love you. Remember?” Other times, it may be looking at things from a different perspective or bringing in other information to clarify the situation.

So a little while later, came my second epiphany. As I had tears in my eyes thinking about my wounded daughter’s heart, I thought to myself that this is what God must do sometimes when we don’t fully trust Him or have faith that He knows what’s best. I hate that I’ve thought to myself, “Why is God doing this? Is He angry with me? He must not care. He must not know.” Those words may not come out of my mouth, but the feeling is most definitely there. I need to remind myself that He is perfect and therefore we can trust Him always. Isn’t it funny how we are fallen and far from perfect, and yet, personally, I expect my daughter to trust my heart and my efforts on her behalf. If my daughter can trust her broken and imperfect mother, then why in the world do I get anxious over my future that the LORD is completely in control of? Don’t I believe Him? Don’t I remember that He loves me? He is worthy to be trusted. He doesn’t have blind spots. It shouldn’t matter if I understand or if I agree with what He is doing and how He’s doing it. He’s God, isn’t He? He may not directly communicate with us with spoken words, but He HAS given us His Word that we can go to and be reminded of Who He is: He is good. He is faithful. He is worthy. And that should be enough.

Can I get an Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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