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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


“Honey, you really must get up. You’ll be late for school.” My daughter just sniffled and pulled the blankets closer to her face.

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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This article has been read 738 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Denise Pienaar02/15/08
I think that every parent of a teenager will relate to this one. I enjoyed reading this.
Joanne Sher 02/15/08
Your characterization is spot-on, and this comes across as extremely realistic. A great read.
Dolores Stohler02/16/08
Daughters are special, so close to our hearts and how we can relate. Good story, well written.
Laury Hubrich 02/17/08
Very nice. This little piece holds much wisdom:)
LauraLee Shaw02/19/08
Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful ministry you have sharing this story with so many who need to hear it.
Jan Ackerson 02/20/08
I love that last bit--there comes a time when you have to move forward. Please begin.

Joanney Uthe02/20/08
I loved the advise of the group facilitators and the grace you applied in the advice you gave Alaina. Great job, my friend.
Sara Harricharan 02/20/08
What a wise and encouraging mother to be able to help her daughter with simple words of encouragement and leaving it at that, instead of nagging and prodding. I could relate and this was vey well written! ^_^
Debbie Wistrom02/20/08
This line is exceptional "teary eyes became the forecast of the household climate."
Great work here, keep up the good words.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/20/08
This well written story has a ring of truth. I applaud the mother for her wise, without being preachy, advice. Teen-aged daughters take delicate handling--souunds like we have a good mom here.