What is most heavy on my heart today is my oldest, and her relationship with her friends. She has been feeling left out over the Holiday break. We homeschool, so she has struggled with not getting to see her friends very often. It’s something I’ve not been so good at making happen. I’m a homebody. It doesn’t bother me to go a whole week without seeing friends. Not her. She thrives on that. So, lately, she’s not been thriving so much. She’s been sullen and sarcastic. Rolling eyeballs nearly out of her head. She is a talker. She has talked to me about these things. How frustrated and confused she is over being left out. Two of her friends go to school together. They have spent a lot of time together over break. And, thanks to modern technology, my daughter has been audience to it all through Instagram. ‘Oh, they’re at the mall…they had a sleepover…at the mall again.’ You get the idea. She has made an effort to plan times to get together with them, but without success. They’re busy. And, they don’t include her in their plans.
I can relate…I have often wondered why my closest friends rarely include me in their social events. They often talk about who they had over for dinner and who they met for coffee. “What about me?”, I whimper inwardly. Pity party, anyone? Yup. (At least I made that guest list.) Ok, so I’m not so good at inviting friends over to my house. I think we covered that earlier. But, it can’t be that they aren’t good at it either. I think we covered that, too. It makes me question me. Maybe they don’t like me. What’s wrong with me? (Cue tiny violins.) Ok, so how can I use this to help my daughter learn through this? How can I learn through this? I’m sure there are several practical ways to deal with this, but that’s not where I want to go with this. Let’s just focus on how this relates to our most important relationship.
So many times in my life I’ve seen evidence of God allowing (orchestrating?) uncomfortable/ sad/hard/________ situations that have greatly benefited my relationship with Him. They have taught me to trust/love/obey/________ Him in all things. Right now I’m reading through the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. (Actually, I’m reading through the Bible, using a one year plan that will probably take two years to get through.) In Jeremiah I’m noticing a theme:
Just because it’s bad doesn’t mean God didn’t ordain/allow it.
Just because it sounds good doesn’t mean God said it.
You see, the Israelites were up to their eyeballs in rebellion. They had turned their backs on God over and over again. Repeatedly in the Old Testament God uses his prophets to forewarn of impending really bad stuff if they do not repent and return. Well, Jeremiah was doing the same thing as all the God-sent prophets before him. Now, there were some prophets who were trying to sugarcoat the truth and some who were just telling lies…in God’s name. Yikes! Jeremiah was speaking the ‘God honest truth’. His word was one of destruction and despair. It was hard to hear and would be even harder to endure. The others? Well, it sounded good; or at least better than what Jeremiah was saying, but it was not the truth. It wasn’t God’s plan. Just because it’s bad/hard/sad/uncomfortable doesn’t mean God isn’t in it. And, just because it sounds good doesn’t mean God said it.
God and His ways do not fit nice and tidy in our file system of right and wrong/should and should not. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “ This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.” (Living Bible) That last part stands out to me this time. It’s not the distance of the heavens from the earth that matters. It is a plain and hard fact: The heavens ARE higher than the earth. My ways ARE higher than yours. Plain and simple.
How can we argue with that. He is so much wiser than we could ever hope to be. He desires good for us. He has our best in mind. Our Father says He knows what’s best for us. I know I’ve told my kids that. They don’t always like my answer, but I hope they’re learning that they can trust me. I know that it’s me they come to when they are sad/frustrated/angry/_______. We need to relate to our heavenly Father the same way. I’ll encourage my girl to take it to him. Let’s do that first. He’ll give us the steps we need to deal with it. Lean on Him, sweet one, lean on Him.