Friday, March 23, 2012

Josh, Trust, and the Police

Josh, circa 2009

Scaling the Mountain: Part 5

Josh and I are both very strong-willed.  I don't remember when I found out I was strong-willed.  When I tell people that I am, they usually think I'm kidding.  I'm not.  I tell them that the only reason that maybe they haven't picked up on it, is that God's Spirit has grown some self-control in me.   Otherwise, I would probably be engaging in debates and rebelling against life in general on a regular basis.

I figured out that Josh was strong-willed when he was thirteen months old, and we were figuratively butting heads all the time, and he was literally throwing various, hard objects in my general direction.  My mom always hoped I would have a child just like me... thanks, mom, and I am sorry for a lot of things.  Really, I am.

The thing about us strong-willed people, is that we don't out and out want to be told what to do.  We like suggestions and stories.  We like to have options and the ability to make choices.  Most importantly, we need to know the "why's" behind a concept and line of reasoning that goes with it.  If it makes sense to us, it's a whole lot more likely that we will comply.  If you are loving and kind to us, we are much better at complying, too.  Otherwise, if you say white, we will say black, just to get a rise out of you.  I don't do that anymore.  Well, hardly ever, anyway.

When Josh was younger, I would try and never use the phrase, "because I'm your mother, and I said so."  That would get me nowhere.  But there were times when I had to go with that, because he wasn't mature enough yet to understand the reasoning behind my decision.

One day, we were driving home from town on a picturesque two lane highway, listening to some pretty music and enjoying ourselves.  Up ahead I saw a blockade, so I slowed down and eventually came to a stop.  A police officer approached my window and told me the highway was impassable and I would have to take another route.  I wanted to ask why.  I wanted to know what was beyond that blockade and why he was trying to ruin my nice drive.  But I didn't.  I thanked him and turned around and took another road home.

Josh asked why we had to turn around.

I don't know, I replied, wishing I knew.  But you know what?  That police officer has our best interests at heart, don't you think?  Maybe he was protecting us from seeing a tragic accident, or maybe there was a fallen tree in the middle of the road that would have blocked our way.  I had to trust that he knew something I didn't and that he was, perhaps, keeping me from some form of danger.  That's why I just did as he said, and I didn't ask any questions.

There are times when I can't give you all the details, either, Josh.  Sometimes, you just have to trust your mommy and daddy and do what they say.  We want what's best for you, but sometimes we can't share the information... we just need you to obey so that you will be safe from harm.  Sometimes, we  can't answer your why's, and you just have to trust us and know that we love you.

That made sense to my sweet son.   
He now knew the reason some of his why's cannot be answered.

I have been thinking about this analogy in my relationship to God recently.  I have had so many why's in the past year... about so many things.  I tell Him that I just don't get it, and I don't see the purpose.  But I am learning that He cares about me a lot more than that policeman did.  He knew the dark valleys I would be walking through, and He couldn't reveal it all at once, because it would overwhelm me.  He also knows what is in the future and He is rerouting me to better roads.  And although I would still really like to have all my "why's" answered, I am learning to trust.  To trust in a God who loved me so much He sent His Son to die on my behalf.  I know that He'll answer my why's when He thinks I'm ready... or maybe He won't.  My strong-willed self is okay with that.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6


CoachZ said...

Great post hon! And the last one too...I didn't see that one...I DO love every single inch of you! Inside and out...

Susan Liberatore said...

I love the way you put this post together. So sweet.
Happy Weekend!

Andee Eve@ bearing fruit said...

Love this! I am so there with ya girl! Strong willed to the max! Thank you God that You have softened my rough edges. OooH I used to love to argue. I thought it was sport.
Hugs to you sweet friend!
Happy Friday!

Tamera Beardsley said...

My dear often your writing elicits tears from me...Really good hot wet tears...of being touched in he heart...for this I thank you!

Heather said...

I know this one all too well. My sweet little girl is very strong willed and some days I simple don't know how to be an effective parent. She is still too young to understand most things. If there is one thing I know, I WANT her to be strong willed. It will serve her well when she is older. In the meantime, I pray daily for help.
I love that scripture in Proverbs. It has helped me many times when my faith is not as solid as it can be. Thanks again for the reminder.

Cassi Brightforest said...

Oh how I can relate. I remember realizing it when I was arguing with her before she could talk. I love the analogy here.

Denise said...

i am going to have noah read this post, so he can see that he and i are not the only ones. ahhh, firstborns.

i too am learning to be okay without the answers. i too am learning to trust that God is God and i am not.
i actually really love that, now.

Cindy said...

Oh Linda, this is so good and SO true. I'm glad that your son got that you knew best, hopefully we will all get that God knows best, too.
Hugs, Cindy

Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

WOW! That is an awesome post!!

My son and I are both very strong-willed, and I loved what you suggested about being kind, about explaining the reasons. Sometimes, if we are both reasonably calm, that does work with my son. At other times, I can barely get the reason out because he is having a little hissy fit. He's 11.

But your explanation about how that relates to God and our relationship is one of the best I've read. That sometimes we wouldn't understand even if God explained it but we can't trust that one way or another, it's in our best interests.

Thanks for the reminders!

Sandy said...

Raising you was a blast. Strong-willed, yes, and a challenge, but you had such a pure heart that we never really had the teen rebellion stuff that is so scary for parents. In your teen years you really kept yourself in check, partly because you are a person that is able to learn from other people's mistakes. And also because you loved the Lord and wanted to do His will. What a blessing to us as your parents. :o)

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