I must say I have not learned peace directly from my child. She is rarely peaceful unless she is asleep (yes, we are blessed that she has no sleep disturbance issues) or mesmerized by a television show. Even with the latter she often bounces around the room as she is watching. When she is happy she is very, very happy, and when she is sad, well, you probably don't want to be around. Rarely is she neutral on a subject. Passionate would be an apt description. Peaceful, not so much.
And yet, on the whole I am a much more "at peace" person now than I was before mothering this child for five years. I still see room for growth in this area, but I will follow my mantra of looking for progress rather than recording a milestone even as I assess myself.
I am most definitely a type A personality, bordering on OCD at times. I love routines and expected outcomes. I thrive in order, quiet, and cleanliness. Although my daughter also thrives in these conditions, she is not able to maintain them in her own power and often thwarts my attempts to supply them for her. Six years ago this sort of chaos-producing meddler would be not only unwanted but unacceptable. So how, you may ask, am I coping and even at times thriving in the middle of the mess. I admit that a pixie face, and big brown eyes framed by the longest eyelashes you've ever seen may contribute to my lengthened fuse. The bigger answer, though unbelievable even to me, must be that God has slowly but surely been teaching me a little of His peace.
I have been learning to let the little stuff go. We recently had to give our daughter a drastic haircut to compensate for a trim job that she decided to give herself. The woman who did the haircut actually called me the next morning to make sure I was okay because she was so sad to have to take off so much hair to get a decent looking cut. I was unfazed. I was chagrined the first moment I saw what my daughter had done, but I almost instantly shrugged it off. It is just hair. It will grow back. Everyone says she looks cute with this haircut, and even if she didn't it is just not worth getting upset about.
I have been learning that even the big stuff will eventually be righted if we press on with what we know to be best for our child. Since January I've gone from almost despairing, to quite hopeful, to questioning, and now even more sure that the methods we are using to support and train our daughter to overcome her challenges will eventually succeed. Not that there won't be more challenges, but I have seen the power of calling in resources and working hard together to find solutions. There will be valleys of shadow, and there will also be pinnacles of success, and through it all there will be the hard work of making good choices for our daughter.
I have been learning that God will supply what we need. Be it strength, resources, money, time, energy...we have to rely on Him because our own well will run dry.
Jeremiah 2:13 - "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the
spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that
cannot hold water. (NIV)
He may not give us what we want, and we may have to wait what seems like an impossibly long time, but in His time He will provide what we need.
God is using my child to teach me His peace, because He knows how desperately I need it.