I was on my way out the door to women’s bible study when our daughter’s after-care called to let us know…
“SHE DID WHAT? CUT SOMEONE’ S HAIR!”
I couldn’t fully process what my husband was telling me as I rushed out the door.
During my drive to church my mind was racing but at the same time I was surprisingly calm.
I was reminding myself this is common. Our oldest son did this to our youngest son. I remember the chunk missing, right in the front. It eventually grew back. We can even laugh about it now. I was wishing we could fast forward to the someday, when we could laugh at this situation.
BUT, that someday was not today.
I’ve previously shared that our daughter has Emotional Behavioral Disorder. We often live in a place of, what’s her reaction going to be? That night we were beginning our study on the book, “It’s Not Supposed to be This Way,” by Lysa Terkeurst. Isn’t that the truth! I absolutely crave a predictable and comfortable life. Not sure, I’ve ever truly experienced what I consider a “normal” season, but I sure would like to.
My girl keeps me on my toes and often pushes me outside my comfort zone. All of my children do in their own unique ways. They remind me just how unpredictable life actually is.
Thankfully, we learned the haircut didn’t cause any major damage and could be fixed with a minor trim. We did have a necessary conversation with the ESE Specialist and Administration at her school. Although, as her parents, these were awkward at times, they were beneficial.
At school, our girl’s consequence took place a few days after the incident. I remember walking her into school that day and explaining she’d miss out on something that afternoon for cutting her friend’s hair. She’d had consequences at home and written an apology letter. My heart broke for her. I could see on her face that she was not grasping why there was still more.
Oh, how I relate to this moment in her life. Even as an adult, I make a poor choice and want to skim over any consequences it might bring.
I wonder if this is how my heavenly Father looks on as I walk out the consequences of my poor choices? Desiring to take away the challenges and awkward moments, but knowing it’s not in my best interest.
Making the right choice takes work. I’m not perfect and won’t make the right choice every time. Neither will my husband, kids, family and friends. No one is perfect! I’m extremely thankful for God’s mercy and grace. I need it daily!
So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
Desiring a teachable moment out of this; I made us both hair appointments. My incredible friend went along with the questions I was asking her about her job. She explained to my daughter that you need tools and have to learn how to correctly cut someone’s hair. Then she braided her hair and we told her how beautiful she looked. This was such a sweet afternoon with my girl, it was a beautiful moment that developed out of difficult circumstances and hard conversations.
I’m grateful my Heavenly Father provides beautiful moments to eventually arise after I blow it. I believe He desires them to rise up in your life too. These moments are often filled with grace and take work too. Difficult conversations, if done in love, can often be a step in the right direction.
This hasn’t been the only topic of hard conversations this month.
There was another conversation where I didn’t know what to say. (Which is unusual for me.) My middle son had a lot to say to my husband and I recently about being stuck in the middle of his siblings. Recently he’d been responding very harshly to his siblings and us. After an extreme outburst, I reached out to our friend who is also our daughter’s behavior therapist. That Saturday everything stopped and I sat at Starbucks listening to him share how he feels, I was not able to say much at all. Just listen and choke back tears. Although things were hard to hear, I was grateful for the glimpse into his situation and feelings. We are working on helping him grow as we learn how to best support him.In addition, the opposite happened in another conversation. I knew what to say, but received nothing in return. This was a conversation I’d prayed about. I had expectations that after this time of sharing things would be different. We would move forward in a new way with a better understanding of what each of us are facing. Not receiving any response left this conversation uncomfortable. I crave the predictable and safe in my life, especially in relationships. However, when things remain the same there is less chance to love like Christ.
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Romans 12:9-10 MSG
Sometimes God allows me to be uncomfortable to learn to better love others. This awkward feeling causes me to ask God to search my heart and reveal any unhealthy expectations. I want to discover how to be intentional in my relationships in this new season, when responsibilities can be overwhelming. I desire to enter the messy and bumpy spots with those God has placed in my life. That means having hard conversations in love, but not always in my timing. I’m trusting God’s timing is perfect and He is preparing my heart to receive what I need to hear.
We also had conversations with our teenager as we walked him through making the best choice for him this year. Even though it was hard and required giving up something he loves doing. It also meant, as his parents, we had to have some difficult conversations with those in authority over him. We needed to share why he was quitting. This was hard for us because quitting isn’t something we encourage in our home. Through prayer we knew this was best for him. Sometimes we must do things that don’t appear to be the right choice, but through prayer and seeking God’s Word we know they are.
These are just a few of the hard conversations this month. There have been more! There will continue to be more. Nevertheless, the hardest conversations have been with myself.
Honestly, I think the wrestling to get to the fruit of these conversations better makes me exhausted. Probably because I often try in my own strength. Accepting the “new” challenges in this season aren’t easy. I still lose my patience and am apologizing for my poor choices.
This is why day by day I have to seek God’s will and not my own.
My prayer is that I’ll get better at handling the difficulties that come. I will continue learning when to speak up and when to listen. I will have the hard conversations, in love, to cultivate better relationships. I will embrace the undeserving grace of Jesus and extend this gift to others. I will continue letting go of my desire for a “normal” and comfortable life. I will joyfully take hold of the new and challenging things in this season.