Father to the Fatherless in Practice
A Chocolate Chip Cookie, an Epic Meltdown, and God as a Real Father to the Fatherless:
Sophia, my ten-year-old, had a meltdown today after school. I was in a really great mood too, after three days of struggling with grief myself and I just wanted to enjoy this beautiful day with my daughters. Um, major buzz-kill.
No matter how I calmly explained the situation to Sophi (how bodies are made differently), hoping that she would see the wisdom in this minor MINOR issue (Arie had a study group over and she had 2 cookies and Sophia, who is more sensitive to certain allergens, had ONE cookie), anyway she kept crying and crying in frustration.
After talking to her and offering hugs, to no avail, I gently decided to let her cry for a while on her own in the den, which is adjacent to the kitchen. After listening to her cry for some time from the kitchen, I could feel my blood pressure rising and I silently prayed, “Lord, I don’t know what to do.” To which the thought came back, “Let her talk to Me about it.”
That was new.
So I calmly said, “Sophia, I think you need a time-out. Why don’t you talk to God about your frustration in our quiet room.” (I converted a room in our house into a quiet room where anyone can pray or read).
That’s the first time I’ve ever suggested this during a meltdown. She went into the quiet room and WOW! Sophia gave the Lord an EAR-FULL…for a while! I could hear her. (I have totally done that myself in the past but not while my kids are home).
She came out after about thirty minutes and apologized for her behavior and then told me things that were going on in her day that had frustrated her as well as how God had comforted her.
She is still grieving the loss of her Papa…and missing having a father while other children do have a dad on earth. Which is a lot for a ten-year-old to manage. Kids who are grieving can act out in different ways. Sometimes, a really small perceived slight can trigger a larger reaction, like today.
What was new was that after I tried to make it better with no success, I turned my ten-year-old daughter toward the Lord and I was amazed at her experience.
Sophia loves God and often has her own quiet times. This was the first time that I actually let God in on the discipline process in the heat of the moment like I would have if I were married to a husband I could tag-team with…and the result was peace, understanding, and communication! Everyday miracles can happen when we let God into our real life!