Jill Jarrell Newsome
Thank Him For My Child's Hard Times?!
When my first child, Sarah, was born, I remember thinking, please God, don’t let anything bad ever happen to her. I was her protector. It would be a while before I matured in my Christian faith that I realized that not only was that not going to happen but it was not a good idea. I am just thankful we don’t always see the tough times coming. I had to learn that I was not her protector and believe it or not there was Someone Who loved her more than I! God! He is her Protector!
I recently blogged, "A Complete Failure" after taking to heart what the speaker talked about. "You CAN’T be a complete failure when you know failure completes you” is what the message was about. And then I wrote, "Here is where my toes were really stepped on. We need to let our children experience failures! We tend to think our role is to prevent adversity in their lives. Even with these best intentions we do so much damage! Just like us, our kids will learn from failure and struggles. I thank God for my hard times that make me grow and now I will start thanking Him for the tough times that mature my girls in Him. Why? You CAN’T be a complete failure when you know failure completes you!” So the following week I began thanking God for the hard times that make my girls grow in Him. That was tough! I have to remember that my prayer will not cause more things to happen, it will just cause more positive things to happen when those hard times do come. Again, I was having to trust God.
When my girls had to be tested for my BRCA2 mutation (breast cancer) I was so scared. I will never forget learning that I had handed it down to Sarah. We kept it quiet for years, not my story to tell. I often questioned why God sent Sarah to graduate school in Portland, Oregon. Now, I smile because I know - He had several things up His sleeve! One was that the only BRCA2 specialty hospital in the US was there! They told her she had a 96% chance of breast cancer so she would need to do take some precautionary steps. One thing was a double mastectomy. This broke my heart. I finally decided I would thank God for the blessing of knowing so she could do things to protect her. I think I will work through that guilt process the rest of my life.
The week before Sarah's double mastectomy, the guilt hit hard. But mostly just the heartbreak of it all. I know from my breast cancer journey that God brought many blessings from that time. While it was the hardest year of my life I would not trade the blessings that came from it. There were many but the best part was the growth in my faith so I kept telling God, "I trust You God. For the last few weeks I have been thanking God for the hard times that will make my girls strong in Him. I learned during my journey that God is refining us like gold. When a goldsmith polishes his gold he has to clean out all of the trash and impurities in the gold. When he can see his reflection then he knows it is refined. 1 Peter 1: 7, "... so then the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
I had written, "The pain God allows in our life is purposeful. A refiner's fire does not destroy, it refines. It separates the impurities from the silver and gold. Because of using fire there will always be fear and trembling in the process of becoming pure. As the heat intensifies in your life, know that the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you. Malachi 3:3, 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify....and refine them like gold and silver.' As we trust Him to use our trials to cleanse our character and purify our hearts, we will begin to see the 'silver lining.' Our faith will be greater which is worth more than gold and will result in praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ!"
I believe all of this, but as a Mom, it is hard when it is your child. Help me God, with my unbelief!