Last night our 6 year old daughter was telling me about this little girl who is very.....how shall I put this?........very un-decided about Hannah’s friendship to her. One day she is Hannah’s best friend and the next day she has decided that Hannah can’t be her friend anymore. Why are women so fickle? Needless to say that this has left Hannah very confused and frustrated. She is a very upfront child who has always been sure of who she is and what her life is all about. It is one of the things about Hannah that I respect. So, to have little girls constantly changing their minds about her has just about pushed my poor middle child over the edge as she has never had to experience this in her short little life before. She is coming from the point of view that everyone must view life through the same transparent guileless lenses that she does.
As they were outside at school yesterday having snack, and after having broken my poor transparent daughter’s heart yet again with her fickleness, she goes up to Hannah asking if she would share her peanuts that I had packed in her snack. Hannah said “No!” then turned around and went about her day. “WHY would I want to share my peanuts with someone who doesn’t value my friendship!?” (6 year olds don’t have the maturity to put that into words, but flow with me here)
So, quickly I said a prayer in my mind “LORD I NEED WISDOM NOW FOR THIS ONE!”
I was proud of her for standing up for herself, you see because Hannah would take her wanting peanuts as a sign of friendship and would then place herself in a position of being hurt. I do the same thing all the time. This person just wounded me, but I have something they want, so all of a sudden I am their best friend. So I think “Surely, I must have been mistaken before.” Then I get myself into a place of pouring out and never getting poured back into. Then when the person has used up all my “peanuts” I get sucker punched in the gut and am left a quivering mass of emotion and wondering what it was that I did wrong. I begin to feel as if I am responsible for the other persons responses and issues. Follow me? Does anyone identify with where I am going?
Basically what I am trying to get at is that I see in Hannah an issue that the Lord is getting at in me. And it has motivated me all the more to get into God’s word about it and find the solution there. It also excited me because I can see how God is using the pain of my own experiences in this area to help my daughter along.
I can hear the questions “YOU MEAN MISSIONARIES DON’T WALK AROUND ON A FLUFFY PINK CLOUD OF LOVE AND MERCY ALL THE TIME!?” Let me tell you something that might shock the socks off you.....Being a missionary in Africa has been the MOST difficult struggle because I have had to come face to face with so much in my own life that I had carefully hidden, unknowingly, in the States.
So, we talked about it. We talked about what Jesus would want her to do.....would she want her to share the peanuts with someone who has hurt her feelings? YES! BUT Hannah doesn’t have to get put in a place of, for lack of a better term, emotional abuse. She is valuable in God’s eyes and so is that other child! God wants us to have boundaries, but he wants us to walk in love and grace.
Do you need to “share peanuts” with someone today? I know it is hard....and I don’t know what that looks like for each one of us..maybe that means every time you are tempted to dwell on the hurt, commit to pray for the person.....maybe it means to go out for coffee with them, maybe you need to write a letter, I don’t know! But listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and he will guide you and give you what you need!
Choose love and joy and choose to forgive and God will give you what you need to accomplish what He has commanded of you!
SO GET OUT THERE AND SHARE SOME PEANUTS TODAY!!!!