I have spent two years at a crossroad. Written all throughout this blog are posts littered with depression, questioning, with a sprinkling of some epiphanies, yet no action has really been taken. It is much easier for me to write about being at the crossroads and what I think I should do than actually stepping forth, making a move, getting off of the "x marks the spot" and journeying on.
Last night I found myself at the foot of my beautiful Sadie's bed while she slept. My purpose in being there was to pray for her, to petition to God for wisdom and understanding into a beautiful mind that has become an enigma to me.
You see, this school year has brought to the surface the struggles that each individual member of my family has, but in no one more obvious that Sadie. I noticed a decline in her behavior over the summer. Little acts of disobedience. Little manipulations. Little lies. Little aggravations. I was not the proactive mother. Our summer schedule left little time to enforce discipline measures. Jay traveled much of the time. Honestly, I was just tired of being a mom. Tired of being, actually.
As the school year has progressed, so has Sadie's transgressions. A little bit of talking in class has become a lot of talking in class which has become talking while the teacher is instructing which has become impulsive loud acts, which has become hitting another child with a book, chasing around a hair in the air while class is being conducted...etc., etc., etc. This only parallels her behavior at home causing me to be consumed with anger and for me to attempt warp drive in the control department. If I just clamp down hard enough, rant and yell enough, I can squash her into this box that I think she should fit in. I searched the internet - ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Boredom, Highly Intellectual, Differentiation in the Classroom - looking for answers, solutions, problem-solving on my own. Do you hear the problems already?
The height of these acts occurred this week, resulting in an explosion or rather a possible implosion of our family. As typical with the workings of God, desperate times draw you close to Him and you reach a new heightened sense of awareness of Him and His love. Monday was just one of those days...
So, there I was, sitting beside my sleeping angel desperate to hear from Him. As I prayed for my child's heart, the light began to shine into my own heart. I wasn't just praying fervently for her, I was praying desperately, soul-searchingly for me. I needed my God. The tears became sobs. I was broken, yet again.
How could I have gotten to this place? Admittedly, by my own two feet. Walking away from Him. On my own.
Easily, I cried out to God to draw us both close to Him. He comforted my heart. He soothed my soul. The next day, God continued speaking to my heart in my bible study. This is what I learned:
1) God is not asking me to problem solve this situation. He asks that I just love her, turn her to Him, apply necessary discipline. Ultimately, I must have faith that He who does a good work, will be faithful to complete it. I should never be desperate or exacerbated.
2) I must shore myself up with the word. My life's history clearly shows how being the word is hugely impacting to me in every single part of my day. The highest of highs, the joy of of joys comes from being with my Savior. My entire countenance changes, a supernatural change that I can not create myself. I am able to transcend the struggles of this world to live with a peace that truly passes all understanding.3) I must role model self-control which can not come from me, but from the Holy Spirit. If I am flying off the handle, having my little adult fits, rages, etc., how in the world can I expect Sadie not to?
4) I must not let how this world defines a "good" child be my guide for Sadie, nor can I let the rolling eyes and judgements of other parents, teachers, etc. to shame me, doubt my parenting, or define success for me. This is between me, Sadie and God.
I would like to say that all of this changed the remaining days of the week, like a miracle was performed and Sadie showed marked improvement. No. That was not the case. However, there was a miracle in my ability to handle it, to administer appropriate punishment, to turn her heart to the Lord. We have had some very sweet prayers and discussions as well as some very tough discipline measures. For example, her room contains only with her bed and clothing.
Therefore, I wait. I pray and I wait expectantly. It is nice to have the crossroads to my back. You know, I might be walking a very long time, but I have faith that somewhere along that path, the trees will bear much fruit.