This is another guest post by my best friend of 25 years and fellow She Speaks graduate, Nicole Holmes:
My recent wild rumpus was not in Times Square or at Walt Disney World, but at the Urgent Care in Wilmington, North Carolina. My feverish 7-year-old daughter had just finished an antibiotic for strep throat when her fever spiked and she complained of a sore throat. Honestly, I wanted to pretend I didn’t hear her. It was dinnertime, and instead of sitting down for spaghetti and meatballs, we loaded up in the minivan and headed to the doctor’s office. It was our third visit to the doctor for strep throat in three months.
Within 10 minutes of entering the exam room, the diagnosis was clear … strep throat … again. This time, instead of the pink liquid antibiotic, the doctor recommended an injection. The 7-year-old did NOT want a shot. Tears started streaming down her face. She cried so hard, she blew snot bubbles. It was sad.
Then, she stomped her foot and said, “I’m NOT getting a shot.”
At rock concert volume, and with two medical professionals as witnesses, my daughter had a hissy fit for the ages. The fun was just beginning.
In my sweet mama voice,
- I reasoned with her. “The shot will be over in a few seconds. The antibiotic will take 10 days and taste yucky too.”
- I used personal experience. “When I was your age, I had to have a shot like this. It hurt but it made me feel better.”
- I became dramatic. “We can be thankful for penicillin, people used to D-I-E from strep throat.”
- I got mad. “When I was a kid, I didn’t get a vote and you don’t either. This is for your own good.”
Before I could make my next well-reasoned point, the emphatic, red-faced, 7-year-old says, “It’s my body, so it’s my choice.”
All of a sudden, out of a 4-foot-tall, first grader, I heard the ancient voice of Eve in the Garden of Eden from Genesis 3. I’m in charge. I know what’s best. You’re not the boss of me.
Ouch – this feels familiar to me.
In my mind, I often think, “If you’ll just let me take over and do it my way, things will go much more smoothly.” As a favorite coffee mug says, “I’m not bossy, I just have better ideas.”
The trouble in the garden was that Eve thought she had a better idea than God. Eve thought that what looked good and seemed good must be good, so she took action. Eve got things done. Eve was in charge. Eve thought she could make a choice, but avoid the consequence.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…” Genesis 3:6
Eve, like my daughter, was wrong. In the end, Eve got the consequence and my daughter got the shot.
We can also see ourselves in the stubborn will of a child, evidenced by my daughter.
- We are afraid, so we cry.
- We are upset, so we lash out at those trying to help us.
- We are worried about what the future holds, so we over-control the tiny little pieces of the world that we can control.
- We even have a hissy fit.
These things are the grown-up equivalent of stomping our foot at God and declaring what we’re NOT going to do. My daughter’s hissy fit didn’t help and ours don’t either.
If you can relate to Eve, and my daughter, a little too closely, then join me in shaking off immature thinking. Let’s turn our weakness into true strength:
- Acknowledge the truth – There is a God and I am not Him.* I need to acknowledge the one, true God.
- Agree with God’s Word – God is good because He tells us He is good. God is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness” (Nehemiah 9:17). Even when we don’t feel like it, we can trust that it is true. My daughter has a sore backside today and she’s pretty sore at me too, but she can be assured that I love her and did this for her good.
- Ask for help – Just like the father in Mark 9 who begged Jesus to heal his son, we can ask God for help for our greatest needs, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” This is a prayer that our compassionate Father will honor (Psalm 145:9).
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Dear God, thank you that since the beginning of time, you are in charge. You are patient and kind, even when we have a hissy fit. You are faithful, even when we doubt your ways. We know you are at work for our good even when it doesn’t feel good. Help us mature and grow in faith and thanksgiving, trusting that in our weakness, your power is displayed. Amen
*Father Cavanaugh in 1993 film “Rudy”
Nicole Holmes was born and raised in North Carolina, and is passionate about people, power markets, and great customer experiences. She is a professional procrastinator, a recovering maximizer, and mom x2. Nicole is thankful for God’s great grace and his unfailing love: “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” – Lamentations 3:22. Follow Nicole on Twitter @NicoleKHolmes1