This girl is a lot like her daddy. She’s very independent. “I do it” has long been one of her most used phrases. And, she’s a little bit perfectionistic. Ever since she was a three pound bundle in her NICU isolette, she’s been feisty, getting frustrated when she doesn’t get things done right, the first time, by herself.
A few days ago she was having a grand time playing by herself with her umbrella stroller. She had a baby doll in the stroller, a purse over her shoulder, and was pretending to be a “big girl Lydia” who gets to drive a car and change diapers. But the fun ended when the umbrella stroller folded up and she couldn’t get it open. I was in a different part of the basement doing some for-real grown up thing, probably folding laundry or washing dishes, when suddenly I heard her sudden outburst of tears and yelling. Abby was sleeping so I snatched up Lydia as quickly as I could, raced into her bedroom and sat her on my lap.
I’ll admit, I was frustrated too, annoyed that she had to have such an outburst that could have woken up Abby when she could have just asked me for help. But I took a deep breath and decided to make this a teachable moment.
Justine: Lydia, what happened?
Lydia (angrily): I couldn’t get the stroller open.
Justine: And did you get frustrated and yell?
Lydia (sheepishly): yes.
Justine: What should you have done?
Lydia: Obey, right away, all the way, happy way? (that’s what we’re teaching her these days)
Justine: Well, no, you should have just asked Mommy for help.
Lydia: Will you help me please?
Justine: Why, of course, I’d love too.
And that was that, we headed out, I opened the stroller, and she was happily (and quietly) playing once more.
Except, that wasn’t that. I wasn’t three lines into that conversation when the lesson hit me like a brick wall. Suddenly, even as I was talking to Lydia, I could see myself having the same conversation with God. Because I, too, have gotten frustrated in these circumstances. And I, too, have had sudden outbursts with tears and yelling. It’s hard living in a basement, after all. It’s hard moving a lot. It’s hard having two little ones. And there have been times in the past few weeks when I have responded just like Lydia. So there I was, sitting on my Heavenly Father’s lap having the same conversation.
God: Justine, what happened?
Justine (angrily): Lydia wouldn’t obey. The place is a mess. This is hard!
God: And did you get frustrated and yell?
Justine: (sheepishly): Yes.
God: What should you have done?
God: You should have just asked me for help.
Justine: Will you help me please?
God: Of course, I would love too.
Sometimes I get so focused on trying to accept the circumstances God has placed me in, trying to just obey what He wants me to do right now, that I forget how much He really cares. Now, the past week had already gone much better, ever since my summer sausage incident. But I have been earnestly putting this lesson into practice daily sometimes hourly. And God is helping me. Every day. Every hour. And the best part is, He (unlike me) never gets impatient with my asking. He never has to stop washing dishes to wipe his hands. He’s always there, instantly, ready to help.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.