Sitting in a small group of women at her Tuesday morning Bible study, Marjorie slowly retreated into her own world of pain. In her mind she knew these women meant no harm to her personally, but she could feel the weight of failure as a single parent. Silenced by their ongoing chatter, she could almost sense that she might hyperventilate. “Get hold of yourself,” she thought. “You’ll be out of here soon and will be busy at work in no time. Until then just smile, nod, and pretend like it is no big deal, so they think you’re engaged with the conversation.”
As their study time was wrapping up, the group had broken into their small groups to do their “catch up on what’s going on in your world” conversation so they could get to know each other on a deeper level. “You know the drill, ladies. Make sure you walk away with a prayer request from each person in your group so that you can pray for them this week,” their leader had instructed.
As they had moved chairs and gotten situated, Brie got her group started.
“Things are great in my world. Melissa is getting ready for her first date! I met the boy yesterday after school, and he seems so nice. He plays guitar in the worship band at his church.” They’re going to go have pizza at that new little Italian place by the interstate. I’m taking her this afternoon to get a new outfit! Maybe I’ll even treat her to a new hair style and a manicure. It will be so much fun. I guess just pray that they’ll hit it off and that Melissa and I can really stay connected as she is growing up.”
“That’s so cute! I remember when Daniel started dating Tiffany. It was fun watching them get to know each other. Even after two years of marriage, they are still so in love,” Linda gushed. “They’re leaving on their cruise next week. I hope they come back with a grandbaby in the oven. Maybe just pray for their safety and, of course, that Tiffany will have an announcement to make!”
“Oh, it’s my turn. Tyler just found out he’s getting a full-ride academic scholarship! I’m so proud of him. We’ve told him that since he won’t need to use the college money that we’ve saved, we’ll go ahead and buy him a new car with it. He’s already got it picked out! We’ll make a big deal of getting it the day after graduation. For me you can pray that he and his dad can agree on which car to buy.”
For Marjorie, the conversation droned on. All she could think of was what a loser she felt like.
Nancy had a praise. She shared about her son Martin’s new promotion at the bank. She also asked that everyone pray for their neighbor who recently had a heart attack.
Leah talked about the new smartphones she had just bought her junior high twins. “Just pray that they don’t do anything stupid with them and they can handle them maturely. This is such a scary time as a parent. Dan and I were a little nervous about getting them, but we finally felt like we had to give in to the peer pressure. Just pray that we’ll be able to work through what might come our way through all of it.”
It was Marjorie’s turn. She’d been rehearsing in her head what she would say during the time she felt the darts of the others’ words pierce her heart. She knew she couldn’t even compete on the level of their world any more. How could they even relate to all she was going through? She knew that she couldn’t have when she was married to someone who was earning six figures! Here they were talking about their smartphones and cruises and she needed prayer that God would protect her teens while she was away at work. She needed God to shield her kids from the influence of their father’s world with his new live in girlfriend. She could see how her boys were struggling in both worlds they had to live in. She was really getting worried about her 16 year old and the new friend he was hanging out with. Even though things were heavy on her heart, she responded, “Not too much going on in my world. Mitch, my 8th grader, is thinking he wants to try to get a paper route which would keep him busy a couple of afternoons during the week while I’m at work. I guess just pray that he gets it.”
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches.”
As parents, we’re all proud of our kids and their accomplishments. We love to share all the good that is going on in their lives. But our tongues can sometimes be a dart that brings poison to others when those we are boasting to are not experiencing the same success.
Dare you to become aware of how your excitement to share your kids’ success might impact a hurting parent.
Having been both the participator and the recipient of similar conversations, I’ve had to humbly…
“Let go…and let God,”