A couple of weeks ago, our town had a community day. I was pretty excited because all the attractions were pre-paid and our kids could enjoy them for free (this really helped our budget 🙂 ). I was looking forward to it for a long time and had my hopes set up for a great, NORMAL, family day. That’s all I wanted.
We did fine up until the end. The kids just couldn’t handle the transition, and as usual, we were high-tailing it out of a public place like criminals on the run. It just broke my heart. But one of the boys still couldn’t break out of his cycle the whole way home, and the worse he got, the more I cried.
You’d think I’d know better by now not to get my hopes up, but I can’t help it. I keep longing for happy, peaceful, normal family experiences. I think I’m basing my expectations on something that isn’t real though. I have this image in my head of what I think others around me have. I know it’s not always true, but I always seem to fall prey to the sin of comparison. It’s something I have to work on. I don’t know what my family picture is supposed to look like, but it’s certainly not going to be anything typical (or even peaceful!) any time soon.
That night I was really down, and I couldn’t break out of it. I was starting to whine at God (I’ve learned a long time ago He’s OK with me being in a mood, He can handle it) about why I just couldn’t have what I wanted when He whispered something to me.
“This is necessary.”
It’s amazing how He knows just what I need to hear. I didn’t need a perfect day, what I needed to learn was that He’s working on me, my kids, our family. He’s trying to shape us for a future purpose for His glory. And while the day ended on an absolutely awful note, it was completely redeemed by the fact that He reminded me that none of the pain is wasted. It’s a forming process, not a fun one, but something I should definitely go along with if I want Him to use me.
I was reminded of this lesson again at 4:30 this morning when the baby wouldn’t sleep. I don’t like this season very much, but it’s necessary, and I’d rather come out better for it than waste all the hardship and have it be worthless.
Ephesians 4:20-24 “That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”