I found myself sitting in a chair, holding my baby girl while she sobbed. She was crying so hard she couldn’t even tell me what was wrong. She’s very easily hurt so I wondered if someone had said something or done something that hurt her heart. Whatever it was, I wasn’t going to find out until she had gotten all of the tears out.
Eventually the flood ended, and it all made sense.
The day before she and I had been wandering the mall while her brothers and dad watched a movie, and as we passed by a jewellery shop she made a bee line toward it. She pointed to a sign that showed ear piercing, and asked me to read it to her. It pictured a little girl with cute little earrings and said that they were free with every piercing. She decided that since she was almost 8, it was time.
Normally this wouldn’t be a big issue but my little girl is special. As most know, because I’ve mentioned it many times, she was born with a serious heart defect that required three open heart surgeries. Those surgeries were what they refer to as palliative, they didn’t fix the problem, they just repaired what they could. It really is quite amazing what they’re able to do, and of course we know that God has worked many miracles in her life to bring her to where she is. However, her cardiologist has always been of the opinion that we don’t want to take unnecessary risk for infection and therefore the ear piercing question has always been answered with a resounding, “no”.
She’s always taken that answer and been ok, and this time she was satisfied with, “We’ll ask if anything has changed at your next appointment.” This time was the same. Until Sunday. She noticed that day that her very best friend had her ears pierced, and that a younger friend had gotten hers done that week. This is what led to the meltdown. She was upset because she saw that other people were able to have something she so very badly wanted.
My heart broke. I was sad for her. I was also sad for me. It’s hard to say no to things that mean so much to our kids. It’s hard even when we know it’s for their own good. We don’t like to see them hurting. In this instance there was really nothing I could do or say, I simply could not agree to something that could put her health, and potentially her life at risk, even if it seemed like something very small. And to her if seemed very unfair.
She begged, and pleaded, she wanted to have her little lobes adorned with tiny sparkly studs, and I held back tears as I told her we just couldn’t do it right now. It was hard. I knew the day was coming when this congenital condition would begin to separate her from seemingly normal girly things, but I guess I wasn’t fully prepared for how it would make me feel.
I got a peek at what God’s heart might feel like when we ask for something He knows just isn’t right for us. I don’t know for sure but I imagined that when we pray and things don’t work out the way we hope, God is saying, ‘I know how badly this is hurting your heart right now, but I know this simply isn’t the best for you. I know you think it is, but I see the end, and I know this can only lead to destructive outcomes so I have to say no.’
It taught me a lesson sitting there hugging my girl. The times I thought God was silent, or saying no because I had done something to make Him angry, the times I thought He was withholding something good, He was really protecting me from what could have happened. Psalm 84:11 says, ‘For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
If He says no, be assured it’s because He’s saving you from something that’s not good, not keeping you from something good.