God or Circumstances?

It’s been a rough day with Ryan home from school. I love Ryan. He can be wonderfully sweet. He is very smart. (I know that every parent says that, but he is reading and writing better than many first graders and he isn’t even in kindergarten yet!) He is also very difficult. He has very little emotional control. If something doesn’t go his way, he will throw himself down and throw a fit like my 2 year old has never thrown! If he really likes something, he screams, rams himself into the couch or bed, and is just generally crazy for twice the time most children would react. Fortunately, his anger isn’t quite so physical, but comes out in ugly faces, a mean tone of voice, and very disrespectful words. I can only imagine what he would say in anger if we let him watch many movies or TV! His behavior is often quite difficult, too. There are many times that he is an angel and easy to parent. More often, he has to be disciplined many times throughout the day. Today has been one of those days. And on top of it, Alex is potty training and had a huge accident. I am going to be brutally honest for a moment. Today is a day that I wished I wasn’t a mom.

I know that sounds horrible! I know that it sounds especially horrible in light of a sweet couple only getting to hold their baby for 40 minutes. But I imagine that anyone else who has or has had a difficult child like Ryan has felt similarly at least once! I did pray earlier that God would help me to not feel that way. Would you believe that He answered in two sweet ways?!? First, He used my amazing husband who reminded me that others have walked a similar road and felt a similar way. He, through my husband, reminded me that feeling this way doesn’t make me a bad mom. And I was feeling like the worst mom on the planet! Having the feeling isn’t necessarily wrong. It’s what I do or don’t do with the feelings. And I did not act on them. I first went to my Father with them. Then I talked them out with my husband. I didn’t kick Ryan out, try to give him away, or unfairly punish him. I did, very gratefully, get them into bed for nap on the exact minute!

The second answer was in a reminder as I finally got a shower and listened to some worship songs. I don’t recall what song I heard that triggered the memory, but I remembered that a few weeks ago at the women’s retreat, the speaker asked, “Are you looking at God through your circumstances? Or are you looking at your circumstances through God?” Oh yes! A perspective change would help quite a bit in this! Do I want God to fix Ryan? Or do I want Him to teach me? I want Him to teach me how to train Ryan. How to be thankful for him. How to enjoy him. And I want Ryan to know Christ in me. For that, I must throw myself on His mercy. I must rest in His grace. And I must be content in the place that He has put me.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

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