The upside of cloning

“When you’re older and have kids, God’s is going to give you one just like you and then you’ll see!!”  Did everyone’s parents say that, or just mine?  😉  And I get it now.  I really do.  I haven’t said it to my kiddos yet, but its coming I’m sure.

God did in fact grace me with one who fits the ‘just like you’ label.  My middle child.  She is loud – she is outgoing – she has no need to be on the sidelines of anything – she has the answers and by gosh not only does she think that they are right but that she has an obligation to let you know it!  Sometimes this clone is a flattering mirror and sometimes it is not :/   I have come to realize that the things that can make me so frustrated with her are often the same things that I found myself doing at her age.  I know the misguided places she is coming from and where those paths can lead.  Its a unique balance of helping her learn from my mistakes and letting my clone live and learn and spread her own wings.  I guess this is the “…and then you’ll see!” that my parents were talking about.  And for the record – I’m sorry, Mom & Dad!  For all the slammed doors, crying fits, stomping off and huffing I am just sorry to the bone.  The snow bank episode?  I now TOTALLY get it.  And often wish I had a snow bank here of my own. 🙂

But last week I saw a distinct upside to the cloning.  My little mini-me and I were walking a parallel path and in seeing her I was able to see me.  It was a beautiful thing!

I was able to attend IF:Gathering in Austin, TX a couple weeks ago.   It was a sweet time of prayer and worship and soul searching and learning and drawing close to our great God.  One main point that stuck with me in my time there and since is the question “Do I really understand God’s unconditional love for me?”  I know it, I say that I accept it, but on closer inspection there are many struggles that I think loop back to not fully relying on the fact that He loves me – right where I am – no matter what.  I wonder how many of us blow past that one and give it a yes, yes, He loves me but don’t rest in it like we should?  Do I walk with Him in life or do I chase after what I think He would want me to be doing/thinking/saying/reading?  I have learned that living to impress others is futile.  But how much of my life is to impress God?  As though I have to and our relationship demands it.  I struggle with that because as my Heavenly Father I want Him to be proud of me, give me the Well-done-good-and-faithful-servant line.  These are the things that have been on my mind.

Then I pick up my sweet middle child clone from school last week and she asks me if I ever had something happen in school that made me want to cry.  Ummm, yeah.  Lots of times.  Tell me all about it, girl.  She proceeded to tell me about the day and about how she had gotten a math question wrong when she was just sure she had the right answer.  She even went on to question the teacher as to whether or not his answer was in fact the wrong one (clone evidence #1).  As he accepted her challenge, worked through the problem in front of the class and thankfully proved that the teacher had indeed outsmarted the student, she felt a bit crushed (clone evidence #2 – perfectionism issues).  I asked what exactly it was that made her feel like she wanted to cry and this was her answer:

It means so much to me that Mr. M is proud of me and know what a good student I am, that I feel like I let him down.

So she wasn’t mad about missing a question; she wasn’t embarrassed about defending the wrong answer; she felt like she had let her teacher down.

As I started to explain to her how Mr. M feels about her – that he is very proud of her math skills, that he looks to her as a student who helps others when they need it, that he appreciates her drive and motivation – it became crystal clear that my clone was walking this same path with Mr. M as I was with God.  When I explained that her effort and drive mean more to him than results she said “Oh I believe that!  Because so-in-so in my class struggles but she tries sooo hard and Mr. M is so proud of her, right answer or not!”  In the same way I can believe that God would love to pieces the biggest mess of a person, even the most unlovable among us unconditionally.  So why can’t she and I claim those truths for ourselves?

We had the neatest talk — I will always cherish it — and we both grew just a little bit in the process.  We reminded ourselves of this truth that we know but that we too often gloss over with a ‘yeah, yeah’….We are loved.  Not for what we do or how well we may do it.  But for who we are.  For who’s image we are made in.  And walking in that truth makes all the difference.

And even though I reminded her in our chat that Mr. M is in fact not on par with the God of the universe, I have a feeling that she and plenty of other 5th graders would beg to differ 😉

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Published in: on February 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm  Leave a Comment