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The Mother-of-the-Year Award Doesn’t Go to Me

Posted around lunch time by Jackina Stark

I don’t even know how many stories I must have told the girls about God coming to my rescue. He is our great provider, both physically and emotionally. Emmanuel is with us, working for our good, even in dreadful or perilous situations. Trusting God is something important we need to teach our children.

My younger daughter Leanne learned this in Sunday school and other formal settings, but she learned it best seeing scripture become reality in her life. Her first memorable lesson took place in the fifth grade.

As I turned out Leanne’s light one unsuspecting night, she burst out crying. Actually she was sobbing.

Not being too awfully busy or just plain crazy, I turned the light back on, went to her bedside, and asked her what in the world was the matter.

Leanne couldn’t talk yet, so I held her until she could stop crying, washed her flushed face with a washcloth and waited.

Finally she could tell me the source of such pain. Her best friend at school had told her earlier that day that she didn’t want to be her friend anymore. In a fifth grade class with 21 girls and 8 boys, there were always problems, but this was serious.

The “ringleader” of the class had decided she wanted Leanne’s best friend to be her best friend. So Leanne was alone—all the more so since she, weirdly enough, had been instructed not to play with any of the other girls either.

Alrighty then. Now it was my turn to talk. And talk I did. I said every wonderful thing I knew to say.

I told her how we couldn’t make other people do what we wanted them to do or be what we wanted them to be. I discussed the difficulty but importance of turning the other cheek. And I elaborated on the ugliness, futility and self-destructiveness of any sort of revenge.

Then I tucked her in again and reached for the light once more, thinking how lucky Leanne was to have a sage for a mother.

That’s when I heard another sob, less hysterical, but much more pitiful. “But Mama,” she said, “I don’t want to lose my friend.”

Oh yes, well, there’s that.

And standing there in the dark, I remembered all the “But I don’t want to’s” of my own life, and knew Leanne needed more help than I was capable of giving her. When I sat beside her this time, all I said was a prayer to the one who could and would help us both:

Dear Father—many time I have knocked and knocked and knocked, and I do not mind. I trust your timing. But if it’s in your will, please answer this request now. Please
somehow give Leanne joy and peace in what for her has become a scary and hostile environment. I have no idea how you will do it, but I trust that you will. And I thank you for this problem, because Leanne is going to see for the first time in her young life, the power of her God!”

At 3:15 the next afternoon, Leanne literally burst through the front door with joy all over her little face.

“This,” she announced, “has been the happiest day of my life!” She told me that everything was fine. Her friend still didn’t speak to her, but a new girl named Krista needed a friend that day, and they played all day and had a great time. “Actually, Mom, I knew everything would be okay when you left the room last night.”

In my heart I thanked God for helping Leanne begin to understand and rest in Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

When she was 24, Leanne proved her faith genuine and her trust in God mature. I’ll tell you about that next week. (By the way—Leanne, who will be forty this July, just reconnected with a friend from grade school and junior high. They’ve been having the best time. Her name is Krista.)