I had a huge revelation while shampooing my hair this morning:
I keep praying for God to save my daughter from mean girls, teasing, and any and every bit of suffering. I’ve spent eleven years protecting her, caring for her, and using all my energy to keep her happy. And now, it’s middle school. It’s a whole new ball game.
So I begin the same old prayer, and then I stop mid-rinse.
No. This isn’t quite right.
The better prayer is that God would be with her–that she’d experience His power and presence right in the middle of all the drama. There’s no end to drama; my supposedly mature and wiser self experiences the exact same kind of exclusion, cliques, and general mean-spirited behavior from adults.
The secret isn’t about creating a life that shields us from any drama. The secret is abiding with God in the midst of it.
In that presence is fullness of joy. In that presence is peace. In that presence we overcome.
Suddenly, peace fills my own heart. My daughter just might have a great day today, or she just might experience teasing (towards her or others), but either way, God is with her.
Besides, she is learning to stand up to mean people. And when she doesn’t–because of fear or feeling “weird” that she champions kindness–she prays for second chances to be that one girl who has the courage to say, “Hey, let’s stop gossiping and invite the one sitting alone to come eat lunch with us.”