I picked up Lysa Terkeurst’s book “It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way.”
Not because I’m currently going through life shattering heartache or pain, but I have been there before and I have close friends and family that are there now. I picked it up because sometimes pain, difficulties, or heartache don’t need to be measured at a high level to be felt and to find yourself questioning why am I going through this or how do I get past it.
As I’m reading along I get to this part where she says to her counselor “But how do we fix the pain of today? Because I’ve got 86,400 seconds of today I have to get through.” And when she later states “I always want miraculous fixes without pain”, I felt that inside of me loud and clear. “We all want quick results with no pain.”
Don’t we all? I could think of some areas that some might relate… we want our bodies to look great but we don’t want to experience the pain of hard work and discipline to get us there. We want a good marriage with an understanding husband that knows what we want and meets all our needs without having to spell it out, but we want it without the pain of intention on our part, patience, kindness, and putting yourself in your spouse’s shoes so you can truly see for a moment just the kind of difficult person you are. Or maybe you want a good relationship with someone you’ve been disconnected with and yet you don’t want to put your pride aside and put in the time and hard work to understand and figure out what happened, because that takes time and the quick fix is to just tell yourself, whatever, you don’t care for them anymore anyway.
Or maybe you read “I always want miraculous fixes without pain” and you thought of your kids. That was me. Parenting is hard work and some days it can feel like such a daily struggle. And I know I’m not the only one thinking this or feeling this. I know for a fact there’s one mom out there right now feeling exactly what I’m saying, because just yesterday she burst out laughing when she saw me in the midst of a struggle – but not laughing at me, laughing with me because she knew my struggle; she had dealt with the same exact scenario, that’s why she understood. She followed her laugh with “it is so good to know that I’m not the only one having to deal with this exact craziness at times, that you know it too.” I laughed with her because we both knew exactly what she was saying.
Sometimes I want that miraculous fix without the pain when it comes to parenting. I want something to click in my girls and for them to just finally get it and understand to just behave, listen the first time, to not have to repeat myself 3 times, or to remind them for the 100th time to pick something up. Basically I want the miraculous fix without the mundane repetition that sometimes parenting can be. I want patience without having to experience the same challenge every single day in order to get me to gain patience. But that’s not how God works. You ask him for patience and He will present you with situations day after day to teach you patience, until you finally have worked hard enough at it, that it’s part of who you are. He’s not just going to give it to you. What good is that? When was the last time you truly appreciated something that was handed over to you, that didn’t cost you an ounce of work or effort? Even then, we are so fallible that we sometimes do forget just how hard it was to get to where we are now and we take for granted that we now have the blessings we prayed for over and over in the past.
And the thing is, just like Lysa said in her book. There is no way around pain or challenges. We have to just walk through them and trust that God has in fact fully equipped us to go through this and that he has a greater plan of renewing us. That our disappointments and struggles are there for us to stop and listen to so that we can understand better what is at the surface of our pain or challenge and address it. Take the time to fix it, because there is no quick fix when it comes to doing things right and to reach the growth God intended for us.