Can we talk about prayer?
In prayer God chases fear from my mind.
And that’s important because here’s the thing: I can stir up some anxiety. I can cook up crazy irrational fears about what might happen one day and all the things that I can’t control and zillions of worries that aren’t even real.
But when I pray, I stop obsessing about my imaginary fears. When I pray, I understand my powerful God. Friends, that understanding, that faith zaps those thoughts about kidnappers and diagnoses right in their tracks.
Yesterday was a good example. Elisabeth was having a bad morning with all kinds of problems with the buttons on her shirt hurting to her socks bugging her. Our kids have more sock issues than you can imagine. My need to get us all out the door in time was not meeting her need that we try on every pair of socks in the house. When I told her pick some socks or I would do it for her (“And you will NOT like the way I do it!”), she looked right at me and blew a raspberry.
Which, really, was such a comical Little Rascals-esque thing to do that I almost laughed. But the boys were watching, and laughing would guarantee constant raspberries from them until junior high. So, I sent her into a time-out with instructions that she could come out when she could apologize to Mommy for spitting. That’s what we call raspberries in our family: spitting. Lord, help us if the kids ever learn to really pa-tooie when they get mad.
Eventually Elisabeth said she was sorry, I forgave her, we hugged, and headed out the door for school. But I couldn’t shake it. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t get over the spitting. All day my mind was something like this,
Why did I have to be in such a hurry this morning? Elisabeth is so proud of herself for getting dressed without help, why couldn’t I have celebrated that by sitting on the couch next to her and letting her try on all the socks in the world? Maybe that bit of extra attention would have turned everything around for her and given her the confidence she needed to get over the whole sock thing.
Oh my gosh, Elisabeth does not get enough attention! One day she’ll be a cutter, and she’ll tell her shrink something like, “I was invisible to my mother. It was only when I spit in her face that she would look at me. And that was only so she could punish me. And, here’s the worst part: she never EVER bought me nice socks.”
So, I prayed:
God, You love Elisabeth with a love that’s so strong and so complete I don’t even understand it. Thank You for that. I’m sorry I doubt that love and I doubt You. Wherever Elisabeth is right now, whatever she’s doing, wrap your arms around her and quiet her with Your love. And help her never be a cutter. Amen.
Can we talk about prayer?