Some days you have the opportunity to use your experiences to benefit someone else. God gives you the moment...and you step through the point of no return and you just speak your heart. And the words flow gracefully and lovingly out of your mouth. God's words...His will...as noted in the Bible. You note that everything that happens to us is in His plan...and is in His control.
And then you finish...and realize with sickening clarity...that you might have just tossed your pearls of wisdom before swine. Well...at least right now...that is what I highly suspect.
Many women are very protective of their girls. I know that I am. Part of this is because we as women feel like we have to activate our "mother bear" instinct and claw to death anyone who bothers our cubs. The other part is because there were times in our lives when we probably wished that someone had been in our corner...and they weren't.
Earlier today, a mother was commenting on a situation that involved her daughter, and she was expressing her anger over how it came out. She felt that the other young lady involved needed to be held to account, and should have been forced to honor a commitment she made. And if that's all that you knew about the story...you would probably agree with her. I mean, on the surface...we all want to believe that other people raise their children to be perfect in our eyes. Isn't that the point? Of course not. We really just want them to be perfect so we can enjoy tearing them down. Or we want them to be perfect so that we can associate our children with them. Either way appears to be a win-win for a certain segment of the population.
But what she didn't mention was that her daughter had commented that she might need to get out of their agreement. She may not have been aware of it...or maybe she just chose to keep it out of the story to make her situation easier to support. Because if we are feeling bad for her daughter...then we can certainly make a villain out of the other young lady.
She is also probably not aware that I have heard of her wrath before today by more than one person. This cannot be good as most of my friends know that I am not interested in gossip and they rarely confide this sort of thing to me. That means that if she has shared her point of view enough for me to hear it more than once...she's pretty much going on and on and on about it ad nauseum to anyone within earshot.
I guess she probably forgot that I've been down this road before. As I told a friend of mine today...I still have the tire marks from this particular bus still on my back...and definitely still on my heart. You don't forget when people attack your child unfairly.
I've listened to women who share good news and I've listened to women who want to share every tidbit of dirt...real or imagined. So, no, I did not fall for this particular rendition of "my poor baby."
Instead I reminded her that God is in control of what happens to her daughter as well as the other young lady. I reminded her that her angst is unnecessary. She may as well go ahead and learn it now. In less than a year, her daughter will be making some pretty serious decisions about how she spends her time and what recreational activities she will engage in. It's called "being in college" and NO, it is not always fun...well, for parents anyway. Her anger about the situation - while well intended - was the response of a mother who hasn't been through the reality of letting go. I gently reminded her that this was coming, and tried to reinforce that this will not be the last time that her child is hurt because someone else was inconsiderate. Her job is to help her rectify the situation without attacking the other person. You know...that whole forgiveness thing.
She didn't seem to like my point of view but she politely listened. That didn't really surprise me either. See, I am pretty sure that at some point in time, this particular lady was possibly a passenger on the bus I described earlier. The one full of grown women who decided who was worthy of their support and their favor. Anyone who wasn't perfect enough or important enough...or heaven forbid...TOO perfect...need not apply. Oh, I was bitter about it at one time, but I have been so blessed by such wonderful, caring friends, that I just attempted to find the high road. It wasn't always easy...but eventually I found it, and the air is certainly clearer up there.
I find it difficult to understand this tendency in some adult women. I have noticed that they will use every weapon in their arsenal to gun down anyone who crosses them. So what if she's only 17 years old and thought that you were a woman that she could trust? Who cares if you are paying to send your child to a Christian school...when someone has hurt your baby's feelings? What does it matter that you are in a position of authority and your annoyance with this young lady might carry heavier weight with those who don't know any better? No, just go right ahead and keep going on and on about it. Never mind all that.
As I've reviewed this conversation today in my mind...it reminded me that I can tolerate a woman going after another woman and having an honest disagreement. Mother to mother? Fine. But what I absolutely, positively, and completely cannot stomach is grown women going after a young woman. Primarily because I know firsthand the residual damage that people like this can do. Why? Because I've been struggling to forgive this kind of hateful and despicable behavior for the past several years.
So, maybe my pearls of wisdom were left in the parking lot or perhaps I gave her a different way of looking at it. I don't know. I just know that it really made me angry to witness this firsthand as it is bad enough to simply hear about it. I received enough grace to make it through the conversation, and for that I am very grateful. And maybe...just maybe...she didn't trample my pearls of wisdom underfoot. Here's hoping...