"Mmmooooooommmmmm," my teenager moaned last night. Moms know that the amount of needed emotional support is directly proportional in how long it takes to say our three letter name. So from the way she prolonged my name, I prepared myself.
"School is so hard! And I am struggling with getting everything done! Why must school be so much harder for me than everyone else? And I am tired! And I don't want to do this any more!"
Collapsing on my bed and burying her head in my lap, my precious daughter delivered a sigh that originated from somewhere near her toes. How could I help? Being a teenage female isn't easy for anyone. Ever. And this girl does have to work twice as hard to learn as most other people. Her brain likes to take a roundabout path. Trying hard all the time is exhausting.
It was the time for brilliant Mama wisdom, but I was feeling anything but wise. I was feeling almost as tired and depleted as my daughter. What could I do?
Then God reminded me of a very visual lesson He had given me just that morning.
Beauty From What Is Missing
Spring in Texas means a profusion of Bluebonnets, our state flower. Everywhere you look there are seas of blue.
Luckily, we have some of these flowers in our yard. Just that morning, as I walked past the bank of flowers, my eyes were drawn to something different. It was a bluebonnet with no blue. It's complete whiteness made it stand out and seem extra beautiful. As I oohed and awed over the unique white flower, God spoke a message to my heart, and now I needed to speak it to my daughter. Thankfully, since I live in the age of cell phones, I had illustrations to go along with my talk. (Parenting in the 21st century!)
"Sweetie, you have seen the beautiful bluebonnets in the field?" I held up the blue picture. As she nodded, she also looked at me with a "why does my Mom have to complicate everything?" expression.
Ignoring the doubt, I swiped over to the next picture- one of the one single white flower.
"I know!" I said. "I had the same response today when I saw this little beauty. But the Lord reminded me that what makes this flower so beautiful is the fact that something's missing. Its pretty whiteness stems from something getting wired wrong. All the genetic info it is supposed to have, it doesn't. It is messed up. But the "messed up" makes it unique and beautiful."
A sly smile spread across her face. She got it. I didn't need to belabor the point. And the fact that I didn't keep talking, I think, shows considerable growth and maturity on my part!
We had one more hug before she walked off to finish the paper she hadn't had enough energy for just moments earlier.
What's missing in your life? What's messed up?
I know I am keenly aware of what I don't have. I know the talents and abilities I see in others that I do not possess. I observe accomplishments, achievements, and successes I am unable to replicate.
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
(Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)
But what if my "deficiencies" are the exact things God will use to make people ooh and awe over the beauty He is going to create? When He does that, He gets all the glory!