Sound over-dramatic? Probably. Is it over-dramatic? Not to me. I tend to pick my battles with my children, and I don’t pick those battles based on my odds of winning them. I pick them based on their importance. Even if I am likely to lose the battle, I will have made my feelings known.
So to hear something come out of my child’s mouth that goes against everything that makes my life livable, survivable, enjoyable; it felt like she slapped me across the face. A sucker-punch to the gut. A year ago, she could have said the exact same thing to me, and I wouldn’t have felt such a strong reaction. I have been fortunate enough to finally be honest with myself and admit that I needed to change things in my life. To be Happy. Healthy. Alive. To enjoy Life, and stop wasting so much of it saying “if only” and “what if”. To enjoy the blessings I have been fortunate enough to be graced with.
So is this my daughter’s fault that I had a change in my own personal life that was so extreme and powerful that her voicing her beliefs would cut me to the quick? No. I did not get angry at her. I didn’t tell her she was wrong. That she had to feel and believe the same things I do. If it works for me, it will work for her too. She was making a mistake. I said nothing of the sort. I did not believe any of those things, so I could not possibly say those things to her.
What I did say to her? That what she said to me was really hard to hear. I didn’t tell her I was disappointed in her. Does it really matter what it was she said to me? No. You can think up any number of things that a child could say to a parent to get this type of reaction, and everything I stated would apply to that situation too.
“I don’t like church.”
That was it. Those four words. The one thing that has had such a profound change on my health, well-being, and our family life for nearly the past year, and she doesn’t like church. Was I wondering if she doesn’t believe in God and Jesus the same way I do? Nope. What I was wondering was does she have so little appreciation for the huge changes I have made in my own life to improve all of our lives that she just doesn’t really care. Do my efforts mean nothing? She says things are better, but how can she appreciate how much better our lives are but not like church, the very thing that allowed for these changes to take place?
As long as it works for me, it is good enough for all of us. I do not need her to like church in order for it to have a positive influence on my attitude, and my life. I have never forced my children to go to church every Sunday, make them go to Sunday school, or anything they didn’t want to do. Am I short-changing them because I am not exposing them to more religion? I don’t think so. If I live my life as a Godly Woman, they will see that. They can learn by example. They will remember the special memories of any number of things from their past, and they will see how my beliefs played a role in the atmosphere of our experiences. If they choose to raise their own families in a healthy environment where communication and valuing each person are important, they will remember what gave me the ability to live this life I provide for all of us. That is what will lead them to God and Jesus. They will remember the path I followed to get there, so when they are ready, they can find their way there too. And I will be there to help them along the way, but only if they ask for it.