This is a post I have been meaning to write for some time...it isn't popular to say it, but I have been in a struggle. I have been looking, searching, hunting for a solution. Trying different methods, seeking out how to grow and learn from the struggle I have found myself in, in my heart and mind. What I have learned, however, is that often...God, in His wisdom, allows us to struggle FOR the strength we find and the resolve to persist.
It is a lessons that one of my itty bittiest babes has taught me as I have observed her dedication to learning how to zip her own coat. I zip it, she unzips it...then tries to zip it back. Then she gets frustrated, cries and needs me to help her again. I do, and within a split second the process begins again. This skill is one that she is determined to master. She has resolve, tenacity, and a determination that makes me respect her skill building persistence even though it often results in tears and tantrums. I do not get angry or frustrated that she unzips it again...it is a skill she must learn and this is the real life application of her learning independence.
She will not accept defeat. It isn't in her blood...even at 2. In the picture to the left she had just mastered putting the sunglasses on...all...by...herself! She wouldn't take them off for a LONG time. She was so proud!
Each one of my little ones possess strengths that make them unique and strong. These strengths, as they develop, are also some of their greatest sources of trial. Just like this little one I have been describing. Her determination is an incredible strength that will allow her overcome adversity later in life far greater than a zipper. However, that same determination, right now, means that she will not accept my help with her zipper until that is, in her opinion, her LAST option. I don't force my help on her...I allow her the time and space to struggle. I ask her if she is ready for me and when she emphatically says, "NO!", I wait. When she does finally come to me ready and accepting of help, I re-zip her little jacket knowing that it will only stay that way for a split second before it all starts again.
God, in His wisdom, allows us to do the same. He knows the skills we are developing. He allows us, again and again, to gain progress in these skills even though it will often mean failure. He is not angry when we fail...He knows we will. He knows it is in the struggle that our skills are sharpened and progress is made.
In this struggle with the zipper, she is finding strength. She is finding out what she is made of. She is strengthening her skills and her emotional resolve to do so. She is the stuff champions are made of. Watching her and listening to her struggle is VERY hard for me to do. My nature as a caregiver is to help. The more I ask, the more I notice her struggle...the more emotional she becomes. When I pretend not to see and give her room to grow, struggle, and tantrum, it also gives her the ability to decide when and how she wants my help and in fact, comes to me sooner for it.
So it is with God...I find that when I believe He is being quietest, He is actually just giving me the space I need to struggle, because it isn't just the destination of victory, but the resolve to keep trying that He is developing in me.
My struggle? My struggle has been in finding the time to make it all happen. The time to work, time to write, time to utilize all the opportunities knocking on my door, having quality time with my spouse, my own children, and helping my son with Algebra when naptimes are an ideal rather than a reality (not for me...but for the children in my care!), exercise, eat healthy (while eating handfuls of chocolate during Algebra sessions), lose that 10 pounds I regained but worked so hard to get off... For me, the strength I have found in the struggle is the same for her...ONE.STEP.AT.A.TIME...
The zipper is a challenge, but only for now. Soon, it will be automatic and nothing she ever even remembers as a problem. She will gain this skill as she keeps practicing, keeps failing, keeps asking for help, as she tries, and tries again. She will grow, and learn, and mature and looking back it will seem so easy.
This is my lesson too as I keep moving forward...step...by...step...relaxing in the process, enjoying the learning, realizing that growth is a part of the season of struggle, and the peace of knowing that it's IN the journey that real strength is found, skills are sharpened, and champions are made...
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com