My son, Nathan, when he was 2.
I don’t handle disappointment like a grown woman sometimes. I pout and slam doors and feel sorry for myself. Great example for the kids. I can think of all kinds of excuses, too, that sound so legit.
For example, all the rain that has stolen my pool time this summer has sent me in to tantrum mode more than once. “Hey! How many summers does a person get, anyhow? And I see mine slipping away.” I think that sounds pretty good. But the reality is, for all of my complaining, the storms still come. Darn storms.
Serial disappointment does more than cause a bit of discomfort, though. It can sink you into a deep pit of depression if you let it. And I do. I fall in and climb out of that all too familiar pit on a regular basis. I can only stand on my Rock for so long before I get tired of waiting around and throw my hope away in exchange for self-pity, anger, and sadness. I do this all subconsciously at first; no intention of having a bully fit and trying to twist God’s arm…but even when I do see what I’m up to, I stick around for a while in the aforementioned pit because, well, it’s become my second home. I’m so doggone comfortable there. Besides, I stupidly think…wait, stupidly? Or stubbornly? Or both. hmmm Anyhow, I get this idea that If I give in too easily God won’t realize how important the problem is to me and He might skip over it altogether. Or if He had any plan to wait around before He acts, or work on it behind the scenes, or move sooooo slowly that I can’t detect any change…well, I guess I think if I sit there holding my breath till I turn blue, I’ll force Him to at least give me a popsicle. (So to speak). You know, just to get me to shut up, or to appease me, or give me assurance or SOMETHING.
But, guess what? Instead he expects me to grow up and learn to trust him. Endurance produces maturity. And I have the maturity of a 2 year old sometimes. Then I have the nerve to tell the kids, “You can feel disappointed. That’s normal. But having a fit is NOT acceptable. Disappointments are going to come many times in life; you’d better learn to handle them the right way.” Children learn what they see better than what they hear. That gives me good incentive for change.
I might as well hang on to what God says is true. I might as well speak His words instead of my negative ones. Mine haven’t done any good at all. What do I have to lose? (besides a bad attitude, sleepless nights, and ailing health).
Right this minute I’m standing on level ground. Watching out for pits; hoping to stay in the sunlight a bit longer this time. One of these days I’ll be so practiced that I’ll do it with ease. Ok. Look out, storm, here I come.