Sisters in Grace
Tina Trout Terrell and Christie Trout Stephens
“Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” -
Anger, worry, confusion, and a few other feelings were all mixed in one. It was a parenting moment I didn’t feel ready for. I looked at the note in my hand, and I tried to prepare myself.
It was already late on a school night. After checking off our to-do list for the evening, I tucked kids into bed. I had my short moment of “me time” as I got myself ready for bed. I yearned to lay my head on my pillow and zonk out, but there on my side of the bed was a note written on pink Hello Kitty paper with the words, “Emma is a mistake.” My heart sank a little at such words, and my thoughts quickly went back to me getting on to her several times for not listening that evening. As I walked out of my bedroom, there were other pink notes taped up on the doors, in the hall, and on her walls with the same hurtful words. Uh oh, this may be more than me getting on to her.
After talking for a few minutes, I found out there is a “friend” at school who is putting Emma down. There were many feelings going on inside of me, but I was trying really hard to fight back tears. She was hurt by someone else’s actions. I know it’s going to happen, but I don’t like it one bit. First, I addressed the notes. God made Emma exactly perfect for Emma. He makes no mistakes!! And for her to say that would really hurt Him. She quickly ran and took the notes down. Then we talked about her “friend.” The “friend” made comments about her clothes (Emma only wears jeans and tee-shirts to school) and even said that Emma looked weird because she parted her hair on the side and not the middle of her head. What?? I was getting angry, but I had to stay calm. I told Emma that she could start dressing in her cute clothes. She has several things in her closet, but she doesn’t want to be “pretty and itchy.” She likes the Emma that she is. I do too.
Remember all of those feelings I had? Well, here were just a few solutions said with just a tiny bit of hostility when I mentioned them: Walk away from her. Don’t let her play with you. Tell her you’re awesome just the way you are, and you don’t need fancy clothes or a middle part in your hair to make you that way like she does. Tell her she’s a mean girl and you don’t like being around her. Emma said she was so tired of this “friend” making everyone feel bad, and sometimes she would just love to hit her. I told Emma to take her 2 fingers, hold them up to her eye, and pretend to squish the kid’s head. Maybe that would make her feel better. Emma thinks she’ll get in trouble for pretend squishing people, so it was time to get real.
“Do you think she’s jealous of you? Do you think she wants to be your friend?” I asked. The wheels were turning in her head, and she had a few reasons to support each question as a possibility. She asked, “Why would someone be like that?”
Sometimes God puts people in your life so that you can help them or they can help you. Even if it’s something as small as learning to be nice to others, God wants us to help and tell others about Him. Maybe this was Emma’s time to help introduce God to someone. We brainstormed different things that she could do to show this “friend” Jesus. Then we prayed about it together, and Emma thanked me for helping her with a problem. I wasn’t prepared, but with God’s help, I think I did ok this time.
The kids and I pray each morning that others will see Jesus in the words that we say and the things that we do. Emma’s on the right track. Still, let us pray that our children are surrounded with friends and grown-ups who show them Jesus. Help lead others to Him.
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First Untied Methodist Church has much to offer. Youth, 6th grade – 12th grades, meet on Wednesdays and Sundays. YUMYS, (PK4-5th grades) meet Sunday afternoons. Sunday school for all ages and groups begins at 10 a.m. each Sunday. Worship begins at 11 a.m. each Sunday.
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