About four years ago, my oldest daughter, Sabrye, was about 5-6 months old. We were delighted God had blessed us with her. She was sitting up on her own, playing, cooing, and just in that adorable baby phase. My husband had a great Full-Time job with awesome benefits. I had graduated with my Bachelor’s in English just two weeks before having Sabrye. I was able to go back to work part-time when Sabrye was 12 weeks old, so I could be with her more. I’m not trying to brag on my life in any way. You see, God had blessed me with all of this, but I wasn’t appreciating it fully. I had reached a point in my life where I was frustrated, angry, and confused.
I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a job with my degree. I was angry that God had led me to pursue my Bachelor’s in English, yet hadn’t opened any doors up for a job in my field. I was confused as to why I had interview after interview with jobs in my field, yet God closed every door. Every. Single. Door. Why? I knew the “church” answer was that God was preparing the right job for me, but when I was going through it, this was the last thing I wanted to hear.
In the midst of this struggle, I was at home one afternoon with Sabrye. I was looking and applying for different jobs, the entire time frustrated and in tears. I had cried out to God, “WHY?! Why am I going through this? Why can’t you let me have this job? I mean, this one would be perfect. I would love it and be good at it! Why do you keep closing doors? If I can’t get a job in my degree field, why can’t I just stay home?”
A few minutes later, Sabrye had scooted over to me, sat herself up, and started grabbing the cord from my laptop. I told her, “No, no.” and took it away from her. She reached for it again, laughing. Once again, I took the cord away from her and told her “no, no. This isn’t a toy.” She looked at me and started fussing like I had taken her favorite toy away from her.
I realized that to Sabrye, the laptop cord was a toy. She was mad and frustrated that I took it away from her. I knew that as her mother, the laptop cord was dangerous. She didn’t need to play with it, chew on it, or pull on it because it could hurt her. In that moment, I realized God was speaking to me. Just as I knew what was best for Sabrye, He knew what was best for me. Although Sabrye couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her “play” with such a fascinating, great “toy” in her eyes, I knew it could harm her. God knew that this “great job” I wanted wasn’t what was best for my family or me. God knows what is best for my family and I at all times. Although, I was still frustrated, I was more at peace.
I believe that God uses our children to teach us lessons. Lessons that just wouldn’t make sense any other way. You see, I knew that God knows what is best for me; however, the visual image He gave me of my own daughter getting mad at me for taking care of her was just what I needed to see. Since then, God has used both of my girls to teach me many more lessons. It’s not always easy when God is teaching you something, refining you, or stretching you. It’s not always easy to go through a season in life when you just wonder “what the heck?! God where are you?” I have learned that these tougher seasons in life have helped to mold, shape, and lead me to where God ultimately had planned for me to be.
Since becoming a parent, I now understand so much more about God’s love than I did before. I always knew that God loved me, cared for me, had a plan for me, and wanted what was best for me; however, I understand it now. I understand it because I love, care, and want what is best for my girls. I believe that God lets us feel, understand, and experience just a little part of the love and care He has for us through our journey in parenting.
What about you? What lessons has God taught you through your children? Or your journey in parenting?