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Someday you’ll understand how much I mean it when I say that when you’re happy, I’m really happy and when you hurt, I hurt.  It’s because I love you so much, more than I could ever make you understand.  But someday when you’re a mom and you have to stand by and watch your child learn through hurt, you’ll know what I mean.

I think of the time your daddy had to stand by and watch you get stitches in your lip.  You didn’t cry much but it wasn’t easy for him to do.  He knew it was for your good so he stood by.  He didn’t get in the way of the doctor or try to prevent it from happening.

I remember the heartbreaking time I had to hold you with both arms on my lap while you squirmed and screamed, as a nurse drew your blood for an important test.  Of course you didn’t understand since you were so young, but I had to because it was going to help you.

You know how it was when we used to plant flowers in front of the house and then water them really well.  Sometimes they were so small and fragile that the water pouring down seemed to flatten them.  However, the next day, even sometimes the next hour, they were standing tall again, healthy and beautiful…refreshed.

Right now you might feel like one of those small flowers, being pelted by the rain of disappointment and an unforeseen turn of events.  You may feel flattened down so much that you’re not sure you want to try to stand up.

Just like I wouldn’t withhold water from those little flowers because I know they need it, I wouldn’t take away these hurts even if I could.  That probably sounds mean, but I know if you lean into Jesus and keep trusting, He will use these things to make you strong and wise.  I trust His skilled and loving hands, even when it seems He is piling fertilizer around you.  It’s a mess and it stinks but it’s actually for your good.  Don’t pull away from it or try to avoid it, press into it.  Sink your roots down deep and see what you can learn from it all.

As days, weeks and years go by, more and more you’ll lean directly on Jesus.  How I longed, you have no idea, last night to come and just hold you when I heard your tearful voice over the phone.  I wanted nothing more than to be there to comfort you.  I heard God tell me, though, as I sat there listening, that He was there with you and He will hold you.  I can’t take the hurt away and I shouldn’t because struggles and challenges keep you growing strong, but I can pray.  I can listen when you need to talk or cry or shout or whatever.  I can hug you if you need it.  You know where to find me.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.  II Corinthians 4:7-9