Sunday, April 23, 2017

There comes a time in your grieving when you're ready to say goodbye to what you had and move forward into a new life, and I think I might be getting there.

Isaiah provided the perfect illustration for me this week.  He has been faking sick lately to stay home from school, and sometimes even if I can get him to go, I get a call from the office asking me to come pick him up.  (Ain't nobody going to face the shame of making her child sit in the office all day because she doesn't believe he's really sick.  He's totally got my number there.)  He even asked recently if I would home school him again, which despite the boost it gave me, also was sad because the answer is almost certainly no.  It's strange because he has enjoyed kindergarten soooo much, and while I know all kids start to burn out in April, this has seemed more serious to me.  Finally I got him talking about school friends, and he started crying and telling me that they're mean to him.

So first you should know that Isaiah is your classic type four child, and I can identify, because I was and am exactly the same.  We type fours can be very intuitive, sensitive, visionary, smart, and honest, but we are also sometimes guilty of dwelling on things that bother us.  We can be so inward focused, too, that we even imagine slights and insults where there are none.  So in an effort to draw him out and honor his feelings, I was careful not to give too much credit to the idea that "no one" at school likes my very likable boy.  I will be talking to his amazing teacher about her observations and making sure she's aware, but I am certain that Isaiah is experiencing normal inconsiderate behavior from kids, and not bullying.

I was a little stuck on what to do.  TJ promised Isaiah a super soaker if he would attend every day of school for the rest of the year, but I didn't know how to address the more serious issue of how he was feeling so insecure socially.  God's grace gave me the answer as I drove Isaiah to school the next day. It was very simple, but very profound--which is how I know it came from the Spirit.  I told Isaiah to keep his eyes open for instances of kindness each day, and tell me about them.  And it's working! Isaiah is learning that we see what we're looking for, and he's looking for evidence that he's loved and respected.

I'm in a similar place with God right now.  Satan has been trying very hard to turn my challenges into evidence that God doesn't care about me, and too often I have fallen into the trap of feeling abandoned and unloved.  But recently I have made the simple but profound decision to believe that the good things in my life truly are evidence of God's love for me, and not the result of chance or circumstance. I'm choosing to believe that He knows and cares about the tiny details that make up my life.  And I'm choosing to believe that my trials are even proof of God's love.  And so, instead of yelling at God for not being kind, I am looking for (and finding!) his kindness.

It's amazing how such a simple thing can be so hard.  I am tempted to doubt God's love.  I am tempted to reserve a corner of my mind for the possibility that my faith is an illusion.  Truthfully, I am afraid of being made a fool and so I keep up a constant Socratic debate in my mind about God's word.  But enough.  I don't want to be smart anymore, I want to be happy.  I want to feel my Savior's love. I want to see clearly the plan He is carrying out in my life.

Too much I have been guilty of focusing on Satan's work instead of Christ's, by sorrowing over the sins of the world.  My Savior has overcome this world, and from now on I will lift my eyes to Him.