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Written by: Abigail Atkins
I am going completely off course of the topic I had planned to write about this morning. Here I am teaching on staying at peace and focusing on positive thoughts, and I completely and utterly failed the test this week.
My 10 year old daughter had a knee injury this weekend, and she had to return to school this week in a lot of pain, hobbling on crutches. She has to leave her classroom once in the morning and walk down a long hallway, and down a flight of stairs to go to one of their “workshop” types of classes. Then, she has to walk back down the long hallway, and climb back up the stairs to go back to her classroom. That’s a lot of work for someone nursing an injured knee. She had a doctor’s note, which excused her from P.E. class, yet still, she had to leave her class once more, go down the long hallway, back down the flight of stairs, almost all the way to the other end of the school to go to the gym, so she could NOT participate in P.E. By the time she made it there, she had to turn right back around, travel back to the other end of the school, climb back up the flight of stairs and return to her classroom, just for them to say, “Ok, now it’s recess time, let’s go back out for another long walk.”
By the end of the day, she was exhausted, her knee was throbbing, and her armpits were sore from having been on crutches all day. So, I got a call from the school about 30 minutes before school let out to either come get her or give her some medicine for pain. Needless to say, when I found out all that she had to go through, I was infuriated.
Why did she even have to walk ALL the way down to the gym, when she is excused from P.E. anyway? She can’t participate in P.E. It’s pointless to make her go all that way.
There’s more to the story, than just this part that I’m sharing, so don’t judge me as being a complete psycho mom, when I tell you that the mama bear in me came out. And I, being in protection mode, showed my butt and gave the school employees a piece of my mind. I was not happy with myself for the way that I behaved. I kept thinking that I was a failure. Here I am, trying to teach others to let their lights shine and stay positive and at peace, and I go all, beast-mode mom on the school’s office employees. This turn of events had me at a pause on the next blog post I had been working on. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something in this I was supposed to see.
This morning, I woke up about an hour before the alarm went off. I kept replaying the events in my mind, reliving all of the stress of the situation. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I should have said, or how I will let them have it next if the problem isn’t resolved. I recognized the stress and negativity that was building in me like a big, black storm cloud. I got up out of bed, fixed myself a cup of coffee, and took just a second to pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I give to you this stress that I have building in me. I give you all of my worries and cares. I trust that you will take care of my daughter, keep her safe, and give her strength. Please, help me to see what it is that I should learn from this, and put my mind at perfect peace.”
After I prayed, I turned on a YouTube video of one of Steven Furtick’s sermons. I like to listen to a sermon or praise music, something positive when I take my bath and get ready for the day. In the sermon, he was talking about what you are focusing on. This is pretty much the message I’ve been trying to drive across to people, but in the stress of the moment, I took my eyes off of this, and I focused on the problem.
I was looking so hard at the anger I felt, that they would make my child go through all of that pain, making her walk all the way to P.E. class. Why wouldn’t you think, “Hmm…maybe since she’s in pain, in a knee brace, walking on crutches, and she IS excused from this class, maybe just maybe, we could NOT make her walk a mile and trudge up AND down a flight of stairs.” Common sense, right?
Here’s where the epiphany comes in…
My daughter says to me, “You know what’s great is that my P.E. teacher fixed my crutches. She noticed that they were too short for me, so she raised them up and they’re much easier to walk on now.”
Huh? Did you say that was the P.E. teacher that did that?
So, here I am, looking so hard at the valley, that I couldn’t see the blessing that was there in that moment. I wanted to protect my child, I wanted to have control of the situation. But, sometimes, you have to let go of the control, and trust that through these trials, God is making you stronger. I was looking so hard at the long hallway, and the steep stairs, that I didn’t even see that there was a P.E. teacher there that could fix my baby’s crutches and make the journey ahead a little easier for her. But, she HAD to walk that long hallway and climb up and down those steep stairs to get there. Sometimes, our discomfort is necessary for a season, to help us grow, to make us stronger, to provide for us something that we need. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the provision.
Let’s think back to Nicole’s last post about the woman who’s creditors were coming to collect. She could only see the problem, which was, I owe a debt and I have nothing to give. Elisha saw that what she DID have was a little olive oil. He knew if he could get her to stop looking at the problem, she would see the solution was right there in what she did have. Don’t take that talent and hide it in the dirt, take that talent you have and multiply it.
I’m going to leave you with this verse for today, and I will get back on my next Bible study post for the “Law of Faith” series asap.
Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”