This is the rock wall at Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, Indiana.
Why in the world am I showing you this?
Well many years ago, my father and I went on a trip here with our Indian Princesses troop. Indian Princesses is for ages 5 -12 and is a place where dads and their daughters can develop strong relationships, learn to communicate and grow spiritually together. I can remember when our group was called to climb this wall, they wouldn't notice me. I had so much fear inside and I did everything I could to distract everyone from the fact that I had not taken a turn. Coincidentally, I used to do the same thing with the rope climb in elementary school. I remember trembling with fear, crying, wanting to run. I also remember not wanting to disappoint my dad. I didn't climb that wall. I believe I was the only one. I felt like such a disappointment, such a failure. I can pin point many crystal clear circumstances where fear took over my spirit as a young child and I will never forget them.
Today I took Grace to the dentist. I have been prepping her for a month now. She took medication this morning to calm her down and so the nitrous would work better. I prayed over her last night, and this morning. Spent many hours praying for my own strength that I could get through this. I had worship music on in the car on the way, I was feeling good. Grace showed no signs of sleepiness, in fact after her full dose of Demerol she walked into the office and started playing. We gave her a few moments to get comfortable and then we got called back. She immediately started screaming and got so worked up she started throwing up. She wouldn't even sit in the chair. We got her to just SIT in the chair and then it took about another 30 minutes of screaming to get her to even open her mouth. It took three grown women to hold her down to get ONE x-ray. We got nothing accomplished, the x rays did not turn out and we left with 2 small cavities still in her teeth. Nothing we could do or say made her comfortable. She was terrified, at what I don't know. And she is not the only one. Her dentist laughed and said her oldest daughter was like this, now she is a lawyer.
The next step is to take her to the hospital to go under general anesthesia. For two small cavities.
I finally gave up, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. But before we left, I tried to call my husband. He didn't answer so I had to talk to someone. I pulled her dentist aside and told her that I was just mad. I was so mad that this happens to us all the time. She does this at the doctor too. It takes several adults to hold her down to even take her blood pressure. Why cant she just sit like all the other kids??? What is she so scared of?? I felt as if she had ruined my day. We drove 30 minutes each way, we had to drive around Texas trying to get her pre meds filled, it was all a hassle.
Sometimes I feel it is just all irritating. Sometimes, my children inconvenience me. But what would my life be like if God felt this way about me? Who would I be to Him? He didn't just drop me off here on earth and expect me to fend for myself. Walking from here to there, year by year trying to navigate this crazy world alone. My goodness I am so grateful God is not this way with me.
I put the kids in the car and just sat with the air blowing, sun shining in my face, and just cried. Grace was crying and I was crying along with her. She was shaking and tense, grinding and clenching her teeth. Her poor little body was so worn out from fear. I saw myself as a child. My anger turned to compassion and confusion at the same time. Why is she like this? Why does she get so mad at herself?
I got to thinking about that rock wall, and my father. And how he must have felt angry too. I mean I am his daughter, a reflection of him. He packed us up and drove all the way to Indiana and I refused to do anything because I was too scared. He was probably pissed. I can remember feeling like I let him down. Then I was just mad at myself. But I never knew what he was feeling. He never got mad. And over the last few decades my father has watched me try new things and fail...all the while supporting me and trying to steer me in the right direction.
This whole day got me thinking about parenting. And how our children are no mistake. The ones we got are the ones who weren't meant for us. And I am constantly in awe of what God brings to my life. Grace is a more brave version of myself. But to this day, at 30 years old, I can still relate to her. My whole life has pretty much been based on fear. Fear of failure and rejection. The whole drive home I kept thinking about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Why does his style of parenting work and mine seems to not?
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
I kept thinking about how God forgives every single short coming and he does it quick. His love is based on encouragement and mercy and grace. He knows that I am not perfect, He knows when I will fail. He knows that I will let Him down, but He still loves me. He even loves me in the midst of my failures. He doesn't get mad and yell. He doesn't make me feel like I am a burden to him. He doesn't make me feel like there is something wrong with me. In fact, He uses my mistakes for my own good. He uses what I do wrong, to build me up, stronger than I was before. He gives me tools in the form of His promises, to approach the situation again and be stronger and wiser.
So what do I do now? Well, I decided that today will be a new day of seeking out how to be more like my Heavenly Father. I don't ever want my precious babies to feel like they have let me down. I don't want this to be my first reaction. I want them to know that whatever they do, they have God on their side waiting and anxious to help them through whatever they are asked to do. I struggle even writing this about Grace on this Internet space, I don't want her to resent me in the future with being so open about our family. But I do want her to know that I want to be better for her. I don't want her to grow up in fear, like I did. I want her to know that she can call upon the almighty King for everything she needs in life.
But it starts with me. I am the one here on earth who God trusted with her soul. That is a very serious job.
My love must be more than what I feel. Even if I feel angry with her, if she lets me down,if she makes a mistake, my love for her is not based on that. My love for her is based on who she is. She is a precious child of God. She is a tiny little soul who is full of love and passion who needs to know more about Jesus. She needs to see more Jesus.
Her dentist and I decided that instead of going to the hospital, we would take 6 more months and try again. Take more time to let her grow and be encouraged. I will do whatever I can as her mother to not let her grow up in fear like I did.
So that was today my friends. But today is all in how you look at it. Even if things didn't go the way I had planned or prayers did not get answered, it doesn't mean that today was a bust. If my prayers would have been answered the way that I saw fit, I would not have received these beautiful revelations.
Thank God for unanswered prayers.
I love you Gracie Poo! We will try again in 6 months!