I'm not who I was.
This is a story about my daughter. Any of you who know J will not be remotely surprised by what takes place and will likely be able to visualize the scenario in your head. I am certain that the true-to-life account entailed all of the genuine-J drama and flare that you are likely picturing in your minds.
J is an amazing kid. She handles the big things with stride and has a spiritual maturity beyond her years in many ways. She is such an encouragement and life-bringer to others. The little things however… the little things cause her all kinds of anxiety. Like so many of us, she’s not well-practiced at being an encouragement to herself. And she is very easy-to-cry if she doesn’t meet her own expectations.
Enter the scene.
J and I were sitting on her bed doing devos. This particular devotion was about how God gives different gifts to different people… the whole don’t compare yourselves to others & don’t be disappointed that you don’t have someone else’s gifts but use what God has gifted you with for His glory scenario. At the end of the devo, it posed the question, “Do you compare yourself to others?” and we talked about it. Everything was daisies. I’m pretty sure my last words were, “I liked that one. Wasn’t that a good devotion?”
Eruption of tears.
“BUT I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO MAKE FUN OF ME FOR USING KID PORK-CHOPS AS AN ADULT!”
Eruption of laughter. By me. (Proud parenting moment, right?). J is still sobbing.
“I’m sorry I’m laughing baby, but you said pork chops instead of CHOP STICKS again.”
J started laughing too. And being silly. And saying pork chops on purpose. But lest you think the situation had resolved itself, the laughter was over as quickly as it came.
[Back to sobbing now, snot flying, and speaking every phrase that could possibly be uttered to convince me that she will NEVER learn how to use chop sticks.
Insert assurances that we don’t have to know everything at age 7, that people won’t like her any less even if she doesn’t learn how to use chop sticks, examples of other things she bawled about never being able to do when they used to be difficult for her but that she does well now, and think about how she would encourage her friend if they were upset about this and speak that encouragement to herself, etc. etc.]
She’s not having it. With even more weeping & gnashing of teeth and dramatic hand gestures:
“BUT IF I’M A MISSIONARY TO CHINA AND I STAB MY FOOD IT WILL MAKE THEM THINK OF DEATH!!!” (Somehow I didn’t think she’d laugh with me if I laughed this time, so I managed to contain myself).
My mind: You still have to use children’s chop sticks? You have plenty of time to learn the art of adult chop sticks. And even if you never learn to be great at it, your food will get to your mouth another way. No big deal.
J’s mind:I still have to use kid
pork chops chop sticks?! If I don’t get it right NOW I probably never will! I’ll be a laughing stock, a failure, and I will bring spiritual death to an entire nation by insulting its customs! BIG STINKING DEAL!
The story is amusing to me because I’m an adult and I know better. I can see a bigger picture. It’s also a little frustrating because I can speak truth and encouragement to her all day long, but I can’t make her get a grip. She has to make the choice to take hold of it and receive it despite her feelings.
How many things do I bawl and snot over because I’m not good enough? I’m afraid? I can’t foresee any sort of resolution NOW so there probably just won’t be one?
How much truth, life, and encouragement spoken to me by others do I reject because I’m convinced that they may be well-meaning, but I ultimately have a more realistic comprehension?
How often do I refuse to get a grip because I won’t take hold of the truth, life & encouragement set forth in the Word by the One who not only can see the big picture but is the one who creates it?
Be intentional about receiving a truth and letting it free you today.