You know... I wish someone had really warned me about how painful parenting really is. I doubt that I would have listened... but I would have remembered their warning now.
There have been many hard things that I have had to do as a parent. Some have to do with disciplining my children. Some have to do with keeping them from doing some of the things that they want to do... but one of the hardest is to watch them hurt or suffer.
Last year... about this same time... I took my youngest daughter to the eye doctor. At her request. She loved to try on my reading glasses... so when she told me that she couldn't see very well, I just thought that she wanted to wear glasses like mine. I actually put her off for about a month before I made the appointment. She asked me several times a week.... "have you made my appointment yet?"... to which I always answered, "no, not yet." The day finally arrived to go to the doctor.... and boy was I shocked when she couldn't read anything expect the big "E" with her left eye. So... she got her first pair of glasses that day. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I couldn't believe that she had been telling me this for a month or more.... and I ignored her. It killed me on the inside. She was absolutely thrilled.
Fast forward to last Tuesday. It was time for her one year check up. So.... imagine my shock when she climbed up in the chair.... with her glasses ON... and with that same little left eye... could only read that same big "E" on the top line. WHAT?? One year ago these glasses corrected the vision in her left eye to 20/20. Now... she can barely read the top line of the chart. So our newest solution is wearing new glasses, patching the GOOD eye, to hopefully strengthen that left eye. So this is her today... and for 8 hours everyday....
This picture shows her smiling.... but believe me when I tell you it was only for the picture. She started wearing it on Wednesday. Within the first couple hours, we went through about 10 patches. It itched. She pulled it off to scratch. It wouldn't stick back. She cried. It got wet from the tears. It was uncomfortable. We changed it again. We finally got one on that seemed to be comfortable... and dry. So... off to church we go. The closer we got to church, the more nervous she got. By the time we pulled into the parking lot... she was crying again. She didn't want to go in to the childrens activities with the patch on. She was afraid that the other children would make fun of her. So after about 10 minutes of watching her hurt and worry.... I told her to take it off.
To some... I know that this may not be a big deal. But to this mom... it is a huge deal. I hate to think that she is going to have to wear this everday for at least a month or more. It is painful to watch her try to cover it up with her hair while we are in public. It is painful to watch the other children stare at her. It is painful to watch her look at the ground while others are around... to keep them from making eye contact with her. It is killing me.
God must feel exactly the same when his children are hurting. As we suffer through difficult times in our lives. As we endure the consequences of poor decisions. As we ask 'why?" when we don't understand what is going on around us. He knows that He has our best interest at heart. He knows what will bring us to the place where He wants us to be.... so that we can bring Him glory.
So... knowing that it is for her best... I will stand back and watch her go through this. With His help I will continue to encourage her... and pray that this will accomplish its purpose. Sometimes is just hard to see the big picture in our little worlds.