A couple weeks ago we went over to a neighbor's house. Micaela was terrible. She was into everything and screaming, "No!" to everyone about anything. It was awful. I winced as her behavior escalated and what should have been a pleasant visit morphed into a frustrating experience for everyone.
I left the home of my sweet friend determined to never, and I mean NEVER, take her out in public again. At home she was back to her sweet happy little soul. She played with her baby doll and gave hugs likes she hadn't just impersonated a Tasmanian devil half-an-hour before.
I know it is silly and even unreasonable, but I was so mad at her. Why couldn't she just behave? Why couldn't I count on one hour of my life in public that wasn't a disaster with her?
The thoughts in my head were headed to a dark place.
I've went there before.
It is too easy to fall into a place of hopelessness and anger and fear. Thankfully, I have a plan in place for these moments. I grabbed my Bible and my journal and headed to the bedroom for some breathing room.
After some time alone and a lot of prayer, I realized that the predominate thought was one of wanting to give up. I wanted to be done trying. It just seemed impossible. This stems from the years I've spend working on goals with Micaela that take other children months, weeks, or even days. Some of these goals, like behaving well outside of the home and potty-training, we are still working on.
God whispered into my soul, "My plans will not fail. But they will happen in MY time."
Change takes time, one of the most precious commodities of all. But God's plans will not fail. And, if I trust that, suddenly it doesn't hurt so much for change to take so long.
All of my frustration and fear stemmed from the idea that change wouldn't happen at all. I had taken my eyes off of God's power and goodness and focused instead on what I am able to do without Him.
Strength and peace flowed back into me. I left the bedroom and gave Micaela one of the soul-deep hugs that she has been blessing me with for years. I felt her little body relax and hug back, as if she had been missing the mamma that could love her in the moment.
Such a crazy lesson to have to learn so many times. Change takes times, but if we let go of fear and trust God's plans and goodness, we will have the strength to keep going.
I know you are there too, my friend, there is something that hurts. Something you want so badly to change, but it is a long time coming. When you consider giving up, are you afraid of something? Afraid you are wasting time? Wasting hope? But, is this change worth fighting for?
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"...and God was already there with me."