I remember not long after I became paralyzed, our family was at a school auction trying to buy bookshelves. There was an adorable little Amish girl who my children were playing with. Apparently, the topic of “my mom is in a wheelchair” came up and they told the little girl that I could not feel my legs. She came over to me, and said, “Can you feel your legs?” I said, “No, I can’t.” She walked away, grabbed a basketball, came back to me and said, “Can you feel this basketball?” I laughed my head off and that is one of my favorite stories! I had to learn how to explain to a child that while my legs cannot feel my hands, my hands can still feel my legs.
On our way to Columbus yesterday, I had to have a serious conversation with Briley. Something had been said very hurtful about someone else and their character. My daughter was not pro-gossip, but had been a listener and did not know how to handle it. She was very afraid of hurting the person who was sharing with her instead of just asking to not be a part of it. No one had ever went back to the person to verify that the story that was being told about them was true or not. Let’s just say it was a long lesson about the hurt and danger of gossip! It was also a long lesson on having to choose to do what is right, even if no one agrees or understands you. It was also a great reminder to myself about the ease of blabbing your opinions about other people when it is not kind or helpful to them.
I talked and talked to Briley. I explained and re-explained. Quite frankly, I was feeling like everything was going in one ear and right out the other. She could not seem to see the deeper problem of “gossip” vs. “just talking about someone and telling stories that may or may not be true because we have not verified anything”. I decided the conversation was just going to be over. I had said enough. At that exact time, I tried to cross my legs, my foot had gotten hung on something and wasn’t budging, I jerked to loosen it, my foot came free and my shin banged the glove compartment very hard! It peeled the skin off and immediately got a purple knot. It looked like it really hurt but I was oblivious. I didn’t feel a thing.
I don’t know why my brain always does this, but immediately my legs taught me a lesson about my child. I was really feeling quite frustrated that the child that I adored was not receiving my words! I felt they were falling on dead ears! However, when I looked at my leg that had felt nothing, a change had occurred anyway. It was puffy and purple! I realized that although I thought my amazing daughter was not receiving my words, I just had to leave it to the Lord that something was going on in her heart that I was not aware of. I was gently corrected by my Lord that Briley was His child too – not just mine – and that He could work in her heart and make changes in her that I could not feel were happening.
I am thankful for Briley’s tender heart toward the Lord that although she was upset at me at the time, came back and told me that she was sorry and that she did understand now. I love the lessons that God can teach us as we learn how to bring up our children and I am also thankful that when I get stubborn with God, He stays patient with me and gives me time to learn and understand. I pray I can remember this lesson to do the same with my children.