Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)
TITLE: No Matter What
By Pam Carlson-Hetland
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It had been a week now that she dragged herself from task to task. Sometimes, fiery words of anger would be flung broadly--at me, at the dog, at whatever was in the way. Other days, teary eyes became the forecast of the household climate.
My heart ached for my daughter even though I sometimes chuckled over the drama of this high school romance break-up. As an adult, I’ve realized that my own early relationships were practice for the more significant ones that came later in life. She would come to understand that, too...some day. However, I hadn’t entirely forgotten the pain she felt at the loss of a relationship and at a rash decision made by another. Her father and I had divorced just a few years earlier.
A week of listening to the story–the “He said___, then I said ____”, and “I wish___”, and “If only I would have___!”–brought back vivid memories of attending a divorce support group at my church. Men and women of varying ages and professions gathered to work through things that had gone awry and to heal. With tears, those hurt and remorseful adults–like my teenager– played the “If Only” Game.
The wise facilitators of my group would allow that for only a short while. Then they would gently ask one of two questions to the players of “If Only”: 1) If you were in exactly the same situation with all the same factors and emotions in effect, would you do things differently? Or 2) Would it have changed the outcome? Most times, the honest answers to those questions were “probably not.”
Standing at the threshold of my daughter’s bedroom, I prayed for the right words to encourage and inspire my teenager in her loss and regrets. Lately, it seemed my advice ricocheted off its intended target. However, it was still time for one of those “words of wisdom from Mom” talks. Since she is impatient with long monologues aimed at her enlightenment, I kept it short. Speaking empathetically of things that I had learned in my own difficult journey, I quietly said:
“I am so very sorry for the hurt you feel right now. It will get better, I promise. No matter what has happened, it does not change God’s love for you. No matter what--it does not change God’s plan for your life. But there comes a time when you need to move forward. Please begin.”
Fifteen minutes later, she emerged from the shelter of the blanket cocoon, dried her eyes, and prepared for her day–not smiling yet, but moving forward.
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