Listening For God
LISTENING FOR GOD
God spoke to me the other night. And no I am not crazy. It has happened before I just didn’t realize it. First, I’ll give you a little history lesson.
When my oldest daughter was in seventh grade, we became fearful that she was developing an eating disorder. We got her in to see a therapist and thought after several months of counseling we had nipped the problem in the bud. After that she completed middle school and was ready for the high school. I thought we were in the home stretch.
Ninth and tenth grade, though not stellar were quiet years. I guess you could say, the calm before the storm. Eleventh grade dawned and I thought, Ah, her junior year. Only two more to go. The year was anything but, quiet and peaceful. She missed a lot of school, because she was sick with migraines and other maladies. Her grades dropped and I spent hours at the school talking with teachers and counselors trying to get her through. I also spent many hours talking with her, trying to help her through her darkness and not knowing it was darkness. We got her through her junior year and wiping the sweat off my brow I breathed a sigh of relief. Only one year left and we had turned the corner.
Her senior year started out good. She was confident and happy. But a few weeks into the school year something snapped. She stopped going to school and slept all the time. We took her to see a doctor and another therapist. She was diagnosed with depression and put on medication. We had a tutor, coming to her five days a week, but she wasn’t keeping up with the work. The school told us the only option we had was to send her to an alternative school. To her this was like a prison sentence and to top it all off we found out she was pregnant.
She didn’t attend the alternative school either. She also quit seeing her therapist and taking her medicine during the pregnancy. In June she got her G.E.D and in July she had the baby. With a growing infant, to whom she was the only parent and her history of depression, post-partum depression became a real fear.
In January she was to start business school, but once again life threw a curveball her way and we delayed her start until April. April came and she still wasn’t ready. Finally by the end of May she decided business school wasn’t for her.
She quit school and found another downward spiral to fall into. Soon I hardly recognized her. She seemed to be spinning out of control. At times, though there were moments of clarity, when she would make rational, mature choices. We were able to get her back to a therapist and get her back on medication. She also enrolled in cosmetology school.
Throughout these years I have always stood by my daughter’s side. I would grasp at any glimmer of light. I believed anything she told me, accepted any excuse, fought with my husband to defend her. Lying in bed at night, I would beat myself up and then I would pray that God would change something. He never seemed to answer my prayers in a way I liked, but something inside of just kept moving me forward, continuing to love and support her.
For the last several weeks, she had been pushing the envelope, but I kept defending her, saying she needed this time, she hadn’t had a senior year ant that things would get better once school started.
My husband kept seeing her setting herself up for failure yet again. He believed that she was taking advantage of me, leaving the baby with me all the time while she would sleep or go out with friends.
Finally, we come to the other night. We had all agreed that she wouldn’t go out because school was starting the next day. Then one of her friends called. She asked if she could go out, but she would be in by midnight. When she left, she stopped to tell her father. They proceed to have a loud discussion about it.
Around 1:00 a.m. my three year old daughter came into my bed and I realized she wasn’t home yet. I called her and she was still at her friend’s house. She was trying to make her Dad angry. I told her to forget about that and just come home. She agreed, so I went back to bed. Her father could not leave it go. He was convinced that she would not go to school and that we were still in the same old patterns. I began praying for the right words to say to him.
At 2:00 I called her again. She told me she was on her way. I tell my husband, “Give her some rope. We need to let her sink or swim.”
Al’s response, “She’s sinking fast.”
I couldn’t deal with his anger any longer. I found a book and went to the spare bedroom to read.
When she got home I took a deep breath, said one final prayer and prepared to talk to her. Then I heard it, “Let her go. She has to live her own life.”
These words were not coming from her, but from God. In my time of extreme emotional need, God answered me.
I walked into her room, “I give up. I’m letting the rope go.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m going to let you live your life. I’ll continue to help you with the baby. But, your life is up to you. I’m always here for you and the baby.” I walked back to my bedroom.
The next morning she got herself up and went to school.
I don’t always hear what God is saying to me. But that night when I felt as if I had reached the end of my rope God gave me the answers I needed to hear.
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