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12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels


As a mother it can be so hard to let go. This is a story from my book, Sapphires From Psalms about how God gave me the courage to do that and it ends with some tools that will help. Whether you are a mom trying to trust that your child will be okay at preschool or saying “goodbye” as your kid heads off to college  in the fall, this story is for you, Courageous Lady.
           Happy Mother’s Day to the bravest peeps on the planet~Moms!

Push Me Higher Mommy


My daughter Sarah was born brave. As the oldest of my three kids, she definitely fit the characteristics written about the oldest child. A natural high-achiever, when she first learned to talk it was it full sentences. Within a week of her first step, she was running to meet her dad as he walked through the door each evening. The second I sat her on a swing set she shouted, “Push me higher, Mommy. Now let go.” So I don’t know why it came as such a surprise when she told me she was considering enlisting in the military.
At twenty-eight years old, in the middle of her doctoral studies in psychology, Sarah decided that she wanted to help soldiers returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her husband Shaun was all for it. Shaun had served terms in Iraq just before he became an EMT. He was even considering reenlisting to join his wife in the Air Force. I’m glad he’s supportive, but I’m not convinced that my daughter will be all right in the military while our country is at war--the thoughts resonated in my head.
 I did my best to form my worries into prayers as I considered my daughter’s desire. I wondered where she be stationed. She assured us that her work would keep her out of harm’s way, but I knew our daughter. She was the kid who wanted to drive four hours from work to the coast to meet us on our vacation only a month after she got her driver’s license! I worried she would volunteer for hazard duty. I was concerned about her stress level, too, while dealing with so much post-traumatic stress in others. I hadn’t shared these concerns with her because I never wanted to be a meddling mother. If she believed the Lord wanted her to help soldiers, who was I to get in her way?
As hard as I tried, I struggled to be okay with my petite, beautiful daughter becoming an officer in the United States Air Force during wartime. “This was going to require a lot from my trust muscle,” I told the Lord. God is faithful and the more I prayed, the more I felt his peace.
 Sarah kept us informed as she received a scholarship in the field of neuropsychology at one of three Air force bases in the US. She kept us in the loop as she traveled to interview at each base. When she accepted a residency 1400 hundred miles away, I sat aside my mother’s sadness to rejoice with her at this prestigious placement. The week before she left, we made a date at Time for Tea, a darling teahouse in our little town. Tea parties were something we enjoyed since she was barely old enough to hold a teacup. We could always talk more easily over tea.
As we sat across from our salad and scones in the Alice in Wonderland room, it wasn’t what we said but what we didn’t say that was important.
 What I said was, “How’s your salad?” What I didn’t say was, “I will miss you not living down the road from me.”
 What Sarah said was, “My salad’s great. I love the dressing.” What she didn’t say was, “I’m scared. I’ve been academic for so long I’ve forgotten how to be physical. I don’t want to be the weakest link at boot camp.”
What I said was, “I hear the base you’re going to is beautiful.” What I didn’t say was, “I’m worried about you having so much stress so far from home, with out me, I mean.”
What Sarah said was, “I met several retired officers who came back to retire near the base because they loved the area so much.” What she didn’t say was, “Shaun and I are finally ready to have kids and it will be hard living 1400 miles away from my mom.”
What I asked was, “Have they sent your uniforms yet?  What I didn’t ask was, “Have I taught you all I can for this challenging task that lies ahead of you?”
What Sarah said was, “They are being altered as we speak. I got combat boots and they look like they are made for little kids!”
What I said was, “Will they call you captain or doctor?” What I didn’t say was, “I’ll miss you so much it hurts, but I won’t tell you that because it might get in the way of all God has for your life.”
What she said was, “I’m not really sure. I guess I’ll find out when I’m there. Let’s order another scone. I can’t get enough of this lemon curd.” What I heard was “Push me higher, Mommy. Now let go.” And I did.
 
“For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” Kahlil Gibran

If you have ever had trouble letting go of your stuff, house, children, or your youth, I recommend you read Psalm 103:1-15. Then post it on your screen-saver, refrigerator and/or your mirror. Read it often as you practice “letting go and letting God,” and use it as self-talk to help you release what keeps you wringing your hands in wasted worry.

Comments

May 09, 2013 @09:36 pm

That was beautiful dear Linda!!!

Theresa
May 09, 2013 @09:35 pm

This was wonderful! I forwarded to my housebound sister. I greatly enjoyed the retreat last weekend and especially your fresh and vibrant self. I've given your books as gifts, as I frequent Time for Tea as well. Now I will read them too. Smile... With gratitude~

Debe
May 09, 2013 @09:33 pm

Linda, Happy Mother's Day!! I always enjoy the words of wisdom you share, however, quite honestly I don't always stop and take the time to read them. Today I did, and wow. God is faithful!! - With teary eyes I read the words of encouragement and my heart was blessed. Our youngest who will next year be a senior and planning to go away to college, ;( and lastly to allowing the youngest to go away to camp this summer for "5" days :) These pearls of wisdom were just what I needed, again, God is faithful. I will read Psalm and post it visibly and in my heart. God bless you.

Tarole
 

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