Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On My Toes & On My Knees

It was literally 9:30.

I had to be in front of 100 teens in 15 minutes, welcoming them to Sunday School and announcing the up-coming Disciple Now Event.

One of my daughters, who will remain nameless to prevent any further embarrassment, was sitting in her floor crying and half-naked.

Now before you feel sorry for her, please know that her happy-go-lucky attitude had vanished only 10 minutes before because I had asked her to simply "try-on" a potential outfit to wear to church that morning. She didn't like the said outfit and began a downward spiral of willful and intentional disobedience.

I was left with no choice. She forced my hand. She would have to now wear the cute plaid skirt with black leggings, white oxford shirt and denim blazer with her suede-looking brown boots.

Her hair was a tangle of wanna-be curls. Her flush face was streaked with wet racetracks from the tears. She was still sitting in the floor of her room refusing to put on the clothes I was trying to desperately get her to wear.

I had threatened bodily harm. I had taken away her video games, her Kindle and ALL her Legos.

Yet she still sat there.

I needed at least 30 minutes to rationally respond to her repeated disrespect and defiance. I needed to stop and pray. But her daddy was already at church. He had needed to be there for the early service. I had all these teens and their teachers waiting on me to initiate their Bible Study hour. We had to leave for the church and we should have left 10 minutes ago.

I briefly contemplated throwing her bath robe at her and making her wear it despite the outside temp hovering somewhere in the mid-20s. I was exasperated, but somewhere inside of me I knew it wouldn't do for one of the ministers' kids to be drug to church in her fleece robe. (What would the deacons' wives say?!)

She overheard me ask her sisters to put their coats on and load the van. Thankfully, she didn't call my bluff when I told her we were leaving and she would have to come topless or get dressed.

She whimpered down the front walk and found myself provoking her by telling her if she cried a little louder her grandparents who live 5 doors down would hear her crying.

Somewhere between exiting our neighborhood and passing Publix, she had amazingly pulled herself together. Her hair was brushed and neatly held in place by a coordinating headband. She gave up the crying and had joined her sisters in singing "Jesus Loves Me." Somehow, her eyes were no longer puffy or her face red. Only her two sisters and I had would have any idea the crazy we had just managed to live through.

I was exhausted. I was drained. I no longer felt like going to church, much less worshiping.

Yet I plastered on my best "minister's wife" smile. And found myself dismissing the gathered students to their respective Sunday School classes. I looked at the young people gathered for my class and knew that if anything good at all was going to come out of this morning, it was going to have to be a God thing.

Good did come out of it and I am still experiencing it. Check back in with this blog later in the week, and I will share more of God is using this child to teach me.

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