Teaching a Significant Life Lesson to My Daughter – Resiliency

It’s the end of another “season” – the last day of an unprecedented school year. This included a somewhat disappointing sports season. We missed volleyball this year due to safety concerns, and Kennedi’s inaugural high school outdoor track and field season did not end as hoped.

When I shared about Kennedi’s back injury a couple of weeks ago, I was confident and hopeful that God would heal her, and that my hopes would finally be realized, that she would end the season with her ticket to go to States.

It didn’t happen. Her back improved slightly, but not to the point that she could compete. The doctor recommended that we end her season, and start physical therapy, which we wisely followed. Kennedi was devastated, and I was pretty heartbroken for her as well.

Despite everything I was feeling, I had to accept that achieving her goals and my hopes just wasn’t in God’s plans. After all she’s been through, I was really hoping this would be her triumphant return.

Honestly, it was in a way – it was such a blessing just to see her back on the track and competing, and helping her team win their conference championship. I shared with her that even though she didn’t make the impact that she wanted to in multiple events, the points she won for her team while high jumping was critical to helping them defeat their competitors.

But that seemed to be little consolation to her not meeting her goal of not going to States after all her high hopes and the hard work she had put in.

I had to figure out how to turn this into a teachable moment. I didn’t want to leave her to her own thoughts, just simmering in her disappointment. There was no telling where that road may lead to. After thinking about it, the word resilience came to mind.

The capability to recover from tough or difficult situations; to spring back into shape.

Resilience

Yes, this was it! I wanted to explore this character trait further, as it was an area we could both grow in together.

Up to this point, I had spent the last year using all the experiences we faced to instill adaptability in the girls. I had been so focused on teaching them how to adjust to changes from the pandemic, which included the loss of their uncle, virtual learning and those associated challenges, a loss of socialization with friends, and missed seasons of sports.

Now, I had to pivot and teach Kennedi how to be resilient to this latest disappointment. She needs to know how to navigate through her disappointment, recover from it, and most importantly to look for God in the middle of it. And honestly, I could use the refresher course as well.

Today’s scripture was a great place to center our discussions.  Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 is such a contemplative chapter, affirming that there is a time for everything under the sun. Birth, death, healing, weeping, laughing, crying, and rejoicing to name a few.

As we read through the chapter, there is a myriad of occasions and events that are highlighted, which we all may encounter at some point in life. Some I’d rather not – like a time to break down, a time to mourn, and a time to lose.

While we all must experience negative situations, verse 11 assures us that God makes everything beautiful in His time, but we will never understand the full scope of what God is doing in our lives.

He has made everything beautiful in its time…no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

What we do know is that within that scope, is that we can be assured of the theme and scripture I shared a few weeks ago after Kennedi experienced her injuryeverything that happens to her will work out for her good.

We’ve seen good already come from her injury. Kennedi was invited by the Alice Paul Institute to interview the New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Oliver, Secretary of State, Tahesha Way, and Civil Services Commission Chair, Deirdre Webster Cobb last Saturday. The interview took place around the same time she would have been competing at States had she not gotten injured, and there’s no way she could have done both. It was a great event, and she had an opportunity to learn professional and life skills from very experienced and influential women, while at the same time developing her public speaking skills and presence in a public setting.

That was her designated moment on Saturday, and not to be at States, and it was yet another experience to remind her to trust God, even when her life is unfolding differently than she originally hoped.

As I enter what could be considered as my final season of parenting her before she becomes an adult and leaves for college (that just made my heart drop), I must prepare her to live a life without my constant guidance. And that must be a life that includes knowing she will experience different seasons in her life – some good and some bad – and that adaptability, resilience, and most importantly, trusting in God, will allow her to face anything that comes her way.


CLOSING CHALLENGE

Are you experiencing an unexpected situation in your life, or trying to walk your child through a season of difficulty?

Read through Ecclesiastes 3 and contemplate the life experiences we all must go through, and think about how you can trust God as you experience a difficult season.


PRAY WITH ME

Lord,

Thank you for being an Almighty God, who has a plan for my life. Even though I must experience some difficult experiences as noted in Ecclesiastes 3, I know that you have a high-level view of my life and have everything under control.

Help me to trust you, even when I don’t understand.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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