We have recently been struggling with our 5 year old daughter. She has a fear that to anyone else seems to be unheard of… something simple and silly, but to her, it’s huge. We have tried every parenting move you can think of. We have used bribery and coercion with the greatest of treasures. That bow and arrow she dreams of. The make-up aisle at Target. All the paint in the world. The list is endless.
We tried a new strategy the other night.
Since she is very reasonable with everything else we talk out with her, we went for the “sit down and reasoning bit” again. Mine ended in tears. I tapped out and sent Patrick in. I sat listening to him speak to her. I am going to claim something that I am sure many other moms of girls claim and say that listening to him speak to her with such great love is so attractive. My husband is generally pretty intense, straight forward and no nonsense.
On this night, he knew that as silly as this fear is, it is real, so he tried to reason with his heart.
“There’s nothing to be scared of. We all do this. Do you think I would have you do something that would hurt you or bring danger to you?” I sat listening. She sat reasoning back and forth. And so it went for a while.
Finally I heard him ask her, “Do you trust me?”
She answered with, “What does that even mean?”
I waited to see how in the world my husband was going to answer such a question. It was profound.
He said, “It means: Do you know how much I love you?”
WHOA. I started crying in the hallway on the floor. It’s the Lord speaking to me. How many times have I walked by the image of Divine Mercy. “Jesus I Trust in You.” But what does that really mean? It means that we know how much He loves us, so we trust Him. With everything. How weak I am!
Children and all they are made of and all they put us through and all we have to work through with them make them our greatest grace towards sanctity.
I was imagining this little girl of mine being a teenager and having to make tough decisions to help guide her along her path, along her fears and hesitations. I was imagining the great feat we have of teaching her, showing her with our own lives, the way God loves her. His mercy and love is the key to carrying all the crosses the world hands us.