Last week I was sitting at Starbucks with Chloe and Halle. I’d had an appointment at the doctor and I picked them up from a friend’s house and I decided that we needed some fun. I got a Venti Pike Place and a blueberry scone and the girls got old fashioned doughnuts. That’s what they get every time, they just love them. They hadn’t asked for a drink and I forgot to ask if they wanted one so as I was doctoring up my coffee Halle asked for a hot chocolate. I tried to discourage her because I thought it would be too sweet with the doughnut. “Wouldn’t you rather have a passion fruit tea?” I asked, ” You love those.” She insisted on hot chocolate so that’s what we got and for her and a passion fruit tea for Chloe.
About 3 sips in to the hot chocolate Halle made a face. Then she squirmed, sat back in her chair and sighed a big, heavy sigh. “Mom…” she started, “It’s too much sweetness, isn’t it?” I held back the I-told-you-so tone as much as I could but she could tell I was a bit frustrated with her. “Can I have a tea now?” she asked. “No, I already bought a hot chocolate and I’m not buying anything else”. “But can’t I just please have a tea?” she badgered. “No, Halle, you may not have a tea but you may go ask for a water. They’ll give you a cup for free but you have to go ask”. Her eyes darted around the coffee shop desperately trying to find something to quench her thirst that I would buy so she wouldn’t have to go ask for water. So she sat. She fidgeted. She sighed. I made the concession that Chloe could walk to the counter with her but that Chloe could absolutely, positively not be the one to ask for the water.
I struggled through the whole thing. I could see that my daughter desperately needed a drink of water. Not to the point that she was going to die but she was really uncomfortable. I’ve never been the tough as nails mom when it comes to stuff like this. I like to have fun and I dote on them and I want them to be comfortable and have every single thing that they need. But- and this is a big but- Halle deals with fear. Not just a little fear, a lot of fear. It has hindered her and disrupted things like bedtime or sleeping. And as much as I desperately wanted to rescue her, to swoop in and save the day, I held back.
I watched Chloe put her arm around her little sis as Halle, shoulders tight and pulled forward towards her chest, arms covering as much of her as they could with her hands covering half of her face. She took a couple of steps forward and stopped. Chloe started to try to pull her forward and I said, “No, she has to walk there by herself”. A young woman was watching the whole thing and I figured that she was thinking something like. “For Pete’s sake, Lady, get up off your lazy butt and get your kid what she needs!” I decided I would not care what this imaginary voice had to say. Because from my sitting position I was fighting for my kid. I watched as the girls let three people walk in front of them in line. I, in my type A way, wanted to just get it over with but I stuck it out. Finally they reached the counter and Chloe stepped back out of the way to let Halle order. She didn’t say a word. Halle, still in her terrified position asked for a cup of water. At the point that I knew the barista understood her and was getting water for her, my eyes welled with tears and I wanted to jump up with my arms over my head a la, “TOUCHDOWN” style but I didn’t . I was shouting on the inside though. And I knew, I KNEW, that I had done the right thing.
She walked over to me and I could tell that she was upset with me. And after I scolded her for being rude and not saying thank you to the barista I told her why I made her do it. “Halle, I know you didn’t want to get that water. I know that you were afraid but I need you to know that there are things in life that I’m afraid of that I shouldn’t be and I’m an adult. I don’t want you to grow up afraid because it hurts you and I don’t want anything to hold you back because I love you”. Then her eyes filled with tears and she fell into my arms and nuzzled into my neck and said, “I love you too, Mommy”.
In this whole process that took maybe ten minutes, I recognized that God was speaking to me as well. He could so easily swoop in and save the day. It would have been easy for him to ensure that our house would sell within an hour or even a second of being on the market. That’s what I wanted him to do. But through this entire process, through the disappointment of everything pointing to having an offer within the first week, only to have our Realtor go out of the country for a week and a half with no communication and very few showings after that- I’ve learned some things. One of those things is that God is not nearly as interested in rescuing me as he is with revealing things that need to be dealt with- for my good. When it’s God’s plan for us to wait, the waiting is never in vain. Never. I can honestly say that if we’d sold our house in a week, we’d very likely have made a mistake in what we purchased and where we moved. I can honestly say that my respect for my husband has grown exponentially through this process. And things have been revealed that likely wouldn’t have been revealed otherwise. God is more interested in us leaving this house and this season well than with our comfort. We will be comfortable again- but it probably won’t be today. And that’s okay because as difficult as this is we are moving forward.
I would like to challenge you to look inward. Where is your biggest source of frustration? What area are you waiting for him to rescue you from? What is he saying to you in this season? If you don’t know, ask him. Ask him to speak to you in a way that you can hear and understand what he’s saying. God is always speaking but we have to learn how to hear what he’s saying. He is faithful.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21