Sue followed Diane out of the restaurant into the parking. Diane was very close to tears but she stopped and turned to face Sue.
Wait? For what? So that you could insult me again? So that you could tell me how I need to focus and do better?
Then what do you want?
I want to apologise…
For jumping to conclusions?
That you were not doing enough to make things work out for your family.
Yes! As you walked away it struck me that I didn’t really understand what you are going through.
Of course you didn’t understand. You have never been where we are and wouldn’t know how to relate my realities.
I never realised that people in my circle go through hardships. I always thought that those who lacked were lazy and could do better if they only tried.
I wish that was true. There are people who fall on hard times for unknown reasons and yes, maybe they could have planned better but many people find themselves in unexpected places.
What did that feel like? What would go through your mind?
It is terrifying and often robs you of your self-esteem. Just think about it, you went to good schools and did well; you worked hard on everything you touched; you gave and helped others; you supported people around you then one day your whole life comes crashing down. Your children are sent home from school and stay home because of unpaid school fees; your kitchen cupboards and fridge are empty; you bank account is empty; you have no cards to max and you have asked for all the help you can get, yet you still need so much more.
Wow….how does one make it out of there?
God! Only God! Even though He doesn’t make sense at this point, the reality is that unless He comes through for you, nothing will work or be resolved for all time.
Is it easy to hold onto the faith in God?
Initially, it isn’t.
How we were raised!
What do you mean?
We were raised believing that God is the provider of the good things and the devil interferes with bad things and hard times. So you can imagine that when the hard times hit, my first thought was that there had to be something I had done that deserved this punishment. So I checked my life and pleaded with God to show me the thing or things I needed to repent of and walk in His way. I pleaded with Him long and hard but nothing came to the surface. I spent long moments repenting for my ancestors, myself, my children and pleading the blood of Jesus but nothing came through. I begged; bargained, promised…thinking I could change His mind so He would open the doors for me to walk through…nothing happened. God left me there.
What? You mean God left you there?
Of course He did
I was looking in the wrong direction.
What do you mean?
There was something for me to learn and I was looking the other way. Let’s look through scripture. What did Abraham do to have to wait 100 years and endure the fights between Sarah and Haggai?
Abraham was even situated in a well to do family living out his dream and then God ‘disrupts’ his life to tell him about a new country and many children…can you believe God’s guts? Then they get plunged into long days of travel, tents for homes, skirmishes with the neighbours, fights in the family and endless troubles and worried.
What did Jeremiah, Isaiah, Hosea, Joseph, Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, Abednego, Esther, Mordecai, Ruth, Naomi, the apostles, Paul…do to deserve the troubles they faced?
Finally, what did Jesus do to deserve death on the cross?
Nothing…that was just God’s plan.
So could it be that the place I find myself is simply part of God’s plan to get me to where He needs me to be and to be sure that I pay full attention to what He had to say?
Wow! It could be but why you when you had worked so hard to please Him?
I cannot answer that one, even if I tried.
Why involve your children, couldn’t He teach you the lesson in a less abrasive way?
I don’t know about that. What I know is that this period has helped my children grow and mature and I am grateful for that.
What do you mean?
On some my lowest days, my children remind me that we believe in God and He will come through and watch over us. Early on the older two would be aggravated and would act it out on me but the two little ones would take their bible story books and read or remind us using a bible story that God loves us. It isn’t all rosy and we don’t always get along but it is more common for us to discuss lessons learnt and how to enjoy what we have and not worry about what we don’t have.
How do you deal with it?
I have come to believe that God has a special plan for each of my children that requires each one to develop great resilience and He has chosen to train them for the future while they are in a safe environment.
What do you mean by safe environment?
Well, they are in my house. A place where we can talk things out, share our hopes and dreams, be angry yet safe, but most of all turn to Him at the end of the day and give thanks for whatever little we have.
Do we all get safe environments?
No! God decides where He will teach each of us and then works on it as He sees fit.
Isn’t that unfair?
No! It is according to how He designed each of us.
Will it get better?
Will what get better?
Things in your house…
I believe they will…at the appointed time
Eish…what does that mean?
That’s a topic for another day, I really need to run and pick my young ones.
Can we finish the conversation soon?
Absolutely…God bless you richly
And you too Diane…you too
How can she be so hopeful with all the things going on around her? Is there something I don’t know? How can you ask so much of your child? Is it even fair? I always thought that people lack because they are lazy or have sinned, what is it about Diane that you have allowed her to go through so much? Why are you so difficult to understand? I’m more lost now than before I talked to Diane…send me an answer please. Please God, send me an answer. Amen