I should have trusted my gut and went with it. It was Friday afternoon in late October. I was in the middle of a difficult recovery from my second knee surgery. I could not drive, so my father-in-law was my chauffeur. We just got home from a long day of physical therapy and doctors appointments in a town forty minutes away from home.
My pain meds were wearing off and I was struggling to get up my front steps on crutches. My three kids and mother-in-law met me at the door. The kids were excited and full of the kind of energy that 3 pm on a Friday brings. They were telling me stories and firing questions at me faster than I could process.
When You Have To Decide
My phone kept dinging, so I checked it to see that my oldest son, a 6th grader at the time, was being invited to a drive-in movie with his friend. The friend’s mom was texting me to get permission to take him. However, the movie they were going to see was a scary movie, that we typically would not allow our son to watch. My husband was at a Cubs game and I could not reach him to get a second opinion on this decision. My gut said NO! Making matters even more intense, the other mom texted me again saying, “What did you decide? No pressure, but we are in your driveway.”
No pressure huh? This made my decision even harder. I tend to be very strict with the rules in our house and had only seconds to go over the pros and cons. I felt like caving into the pressure of not wanting to always be the “fun killer” so I told my son yes and sent him out the door.
When he returned late that night, everything fell apart! He was terrified by the movie he saw and he vomited from binging on soda and junk food. He slept in my bed and neither of us rested that night. The nightmares continued for months and he was even afraid during the day. Not only did I feel terrible because he was struggling with fear, I felt awful because I knew what was best for him, but I compromised my rules due to the circumstances of the moment.
As we worked through the consequences of this bad decision, I was reminded of how God cares for us. So many times we think we know what we want in the moment. We pray for things that seem like they will bring us joy, but we, like my child, don’t realize the consequences of the answer that we want. I knew this movie was scary and that my son was prone to be easily influenced by scary things. I knew he shouldn’t watch it, but I let him anyway.
God Always Knows
God always knows what is best for us. He knows the long term impact of things in our lives. When He says NO, we need to trust that He knows what He is doing because He loves us and protects us from things we are not even aware of. I use this example frequently now with my pre-teen son. He wants to do things, go places, watch certain things, and many times the answer is No. When he’s tempted to give me an attitude and accuse me of being put on earth to ruin his fun, I remind him to trust me. I’m protecting him from dangers that he is too small to understand. The same is true for our Father in Heaven.
Are you getting a “NO” from God? Or a “not now” I challenge you to lean into that No. Trust that God has a good plan for you and He is protecting you in every situation.
‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. Jeremiah 29:11
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6