Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Whispers in the Dark

Oh, tonight was hard.  And tonight was good.

My nine year old is playing on the "minors" in baseball this year, which basically means kid pitch little league.  Over the past seven weeks, I have had to watch his excitement and love for the game and confidence fade as the games have gone on and he has yet to get a hit.  Tonight, he was up at bat.  There were 2 outs.  The team was losing 3-2 in the bottom of the 6th and last inning.  He struck out.  He was heart broken and so was I.  We love them so much it hurts sometimes, doesn't it?  For me, it is painful when they hurt and I am powerless to change the circumstance.

All the way home, his siblings and I tried to console him and lift him up.  At home, lots of hugs, encouragement, cookies and milk and a warm bath eventually helped.  Tucked into bed and snuggled in my arms, the emotions began to well up again:

T(voice quivering):  Mom, I don't think I will ever get a hit this season.  There are only three games left and chances are I won't get a hit.
Me:  I think you will, Bear.  You're a good hitter.  It's hard for all the kids to hit.  Many of your teammates are in the same boat as you.  The pitchers are kids too and they are just learning to pitch so it is hard to get a good hit.
T(eyes welling up):  Why doesn't God answer my prayer for a hit, Mom?
Me:  I don't know, Bear, but I do know that whatever His reason is, it is for your good.  He would never want to hurt you but sometimes He chooses one good over another.  He might be trying to build perseverance in you, the ability to keep trying to accomplish something even when it is hard and seems hopeless.
T:  Why doesn't He use school to give me perseverance?
Me(suppressing a smile):  I don't know.  I don't even know if that is the reason He has not answered that prayer yet, Bear.  His ways are higher than ours.
T: Mom, tell me a prayer of yours He said "no" to.
Me:  Well, when I was in college, I wanted to be a doctor but try as I might, I was not getting the grades I would need to be accepted into medical school.  Back then, I was disappointed and confused.  But now, I am so grateful He said no to that prayer.  It would have changed my whole life and I might not have gotten the chance to be Daddy's wife and your mother.
T:  Wow.  What else?
Me:  Well, I prayed for a long time for a husband before I met Daddy.
T:  How long?
Me: Probably about 5 years.
T:  Whoa!
Me:  Yup, a long time.  But if he would have answered that prayer any sooner, I would not be married to Daddy and I would not be your Mom.

The conversation lulls as he mulls it all over.

T:  Tell me some prayers He answered yes to.
Me:  There are so many, T!
T:  Tell me the number one prayer He answered yes to.
Me:  I have a three way tie.  I prayed to be a mommy and He gave me you, N and A.

Another pause in the conversation and the Spirit reminds me...

Me:  God wants us to keep praying for the desires of our hearts.  He wants us to pray boldly and in faith that He will do what we ask.  He wants us to tell Him all about our sadness and disappointment.  He wants us to believe that He is able to anything we ask and to remember that He is good even when His answer is "no" or "not yet."

We pray together, boldly and in faith, asking for that hit, in the very next game, in his very next at bat.  We tell Him of our sadness and disappointment.  We thank Him for His power and His goodness and ask for the grace to accept His answer.

Me:  T, you have to remember that verse in Philipians: "Whatever is true..."  God does not want us to walk around feeling discouraged all the time.  After we tell Him how we are feeling, we have to let Him lift us up.  It's like when Jesus was in the desert for 40 days and Satan was tempting Him.  At the end of that time, God sent His angels to care for Jesus and to lift Him up again.  Now, after we pray and tell God how we are feeling, we should let Him care for us and lift our spirits.  We should focus on what is good in our lives.
T:  Like your list?
Me:  Yes, Bear, like my list.

Oh, tonight was hard.  And tonight was good.


Andrea said...

natalie, you are such a good mama! =)
you are right: it is hard and it is good.
events like this are hard, but they promote closeness in our relationshps although the problem isn't always solved! =)

Natalie said...

Andrea, you're too sweet. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Nat!!! I just found you through a comment on Andrea's blog, although I vaguely remember knowing that you had a blog before I got into this whole world. :-) I completely understand how it feels to be in that situation, as we've been there once or twice during the past 5 years of little league, too. You handled it well, though, and these lessons are so valuable for our children's character - and ours! :-)
I wanted to let you know that I happen to be married to the best little league coach there is. He loves the game, and since he hurt his arm pitching last summer he's given up playing in favor of extra teaching. He offers free pitching/hitting clinics for other teams in our league, and I'm sure he'd be happy to spend a little one-on-one time with T if you want. Sometimes the tiniest adjustment in technique is all it takes, and the kids start hitting everything. E-mail me if you want to set something up. ~L

Natalie said...

Hey, L, welcome! I've only just started this blog in the last 6 months or so but I am loving the intellectual and creative outlet it has been for me. It's a place I can process and ponder. I will definitely check yours out as well! Thanks for the offer, maybe we can get the fams together for baseball this summer :)

Anonymous said...

I found you through a comment you posted on another blog...what a beautiful post and great way to teach that our prayers are answered, just not always in the way we "think" we want them answered. thank was a good reminder for me too!


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