In his heart man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
I started back to work last week, right at the beginning of the holiday season, with a million things to do. It was a crazy busy week, without a sliver of time to fit in one more thing. I was drained and exhausted and in no mood to deal with my kids’ misbehavior.
But that didn’t stop Mason from going over the line. My first reaction was: Why do I have to deal with this, on top of everything else? Little did I know what was in store for me.
When I sat down with Mason to address it, I was so depleted, I didn’t have the energy to yell. What would have been my usual lecture and shaming session turned into me digging dip and laying it all on the line.
In a voice quieter than I’ve ever used, I explained why his infraction was a big deal; how the choice he made put that choice in power, not him. He was allowing that choice to have control over him, creating an idol out of it. At just twelve years of age, he was creating a hole inside of himself, one that he would then have to fill with some other vice down the road.
As God spoke through me, I explained he had a different choice now: Hear me saying he was a terrible kid who made bad choices, or hear me saying this was a great opportunity to reclaim his life. If he could learn, at his young age, to get his priorities straight, he’d be less inclined to make bigger mistakes down the road, ones he might not recover from.
He may just be twelve, but Mason is an old soul. He’s mature and wise beyond his years. I could tell he was getting every word I was saying.
In the process, he and I connected more deeply than we have in months. Right in the midst of one of the busiest times I’ve had in years, this interruption forged a bond between us that drew us closer than we’ve been in a while.
There’s an old saying: “Who’s to say what’s bad or good?” What I thought was the absolute worst time for such a big issue to crop up, turned into a reminder that our Perfect God knows exactly what needs to happen when.
When I let go of my own agenda and let His play out, I’m reminded that what I perceive to be an interruption is actually God wanting to bless and restore me.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I live life according to my own agenda, or do I allow God’s agenda to unfold and bless me?
Claire—what a beautiful story and you are a great writer—honest and refreshing! God bless you Claire.
Aww… you just made my day, Raelene! Thanks for your kind words. They truly mean a lot!
Claire, thanks for sharing that story. I learn alot through you, from God. 🙏❤
Karen, that’s the nicest thing you could say to me!!!! My prayer has always been to open myself up to what He wants to teach me, and then share that with others so they hear Him through me. Thank you for affirming that my prayers do get answered!
“He may just be twelve, but Mason is an old soul. He’s mature and wise beyond his years. I could tell he was getting every word I was saying.”
Can’t help but reflect on another 12 year old, like Mason, wise beyond His years, Jesus, who caused his mother deepest turmoil when He stayed back in the Jerusalem Temple without letting her know! We wonder … was this the first time Jesus troubled His mother with such a thoughtless, seemingly uncaring act? More than likely no … although sinless, Jesus was genuinely human, so there may well have been other incidents that tempted Mary to explode in anger or frustration . . . she too, also sinless, was genuinely human. Then even when feeling such frustration toward her son’s actions, what kept her in peace, compassion and gentleness? We know it was her fidelity to daily prayer that carried her through such moments. The parallels couldn’t be clearer, Claire. Being a mother who takes time for prayer, and even days of retreat, you are strengthened, like Mary, to react to your son’s action with the very opposite emotion you’re truly feeling. To your surprise, a peace and gentleness from deep within your maternal spirit manifests, and you end up seeing that moment as a gifted one from God for both you and Mason. You’re in the highest and best company any mother could wish for, and to me, you reflect the loving motherhood of Mary. I have no doubt Mary smiles upon you with love and understanding as you make every effort, even while undertaking a new job, and being truly weary, to put your vocation as mother and Mason’s need for understanding first. May thousands of mothers experiencing a similar episode as you described here derive comfort and hope from what you’ve shared so compellingly.
Jackie, when you compared Mason to Jesus, I started to cry! I’ve never seen that parallel before, but now I do. His compassion and deep love for God is an inspiration to me always. Thank you for highlighting that and reminding me that what he does right is so much greater than what he does wrong. Although your comparison of me to Mary humbles and touches me, I don’t feel worthy of that comparison at all!!! My compassion towards Mason came from a place of complete depletion because I had nothing else to give, whereas Mary’s reaction came from deep, deep love. You do, however, inspire me to work harder to grow closer to Mary. Lately, my focus has been more on becoming a sibling to Jesus. It might help me to look towards Our Mother more and petition her for intercession. Thank you for that!