It has been yet another rainy day. Seriously rainy. And still, not much of an end in sight. And really, that will have to be OK. It is what it is, and we will just have to move on through it.
Melissa and I had a great talk yesterday about her disappointment. This was such a tough one. She had been so excited about the prospect of this specialized choir "opportunity" (that was the word she used---I am discovering that her vocabulary is quite impressive for her age, the challenge is just getting those sentences out with enough breath support so that the listener can follow her complete line of thought ). She had been trading recess time for choir practice over the past few weeks. From the beginning, it was known that only 10 of the kids would be chosen to make a tape and send it in for state review. Having been through this process with Jonny twice before, we knew the drill, and also knew the hype and disappointment factors. Jonny had always made it through to making the tape. From there, usually only one kid, if any were then chosen from our school by the state. Jonny was never that kid. Melissa got cut before even making a tape. She was devastated.
Knowing ahead of time the possibility of intense disappointment, yet wanting to encourage Melissa's desire to try something she is very excited about....what's a mom to do? Where do you draw the line? Should a line even be drawn? Who am I to decide where her talents begin and end? Who am I to decide what she can and can't accomplish? And especially with my special gal, Melissa, Princess of Perseverance, who so much wants to try so many things, and gives it her all each and every time. I have decided that indeed it is not my place to decide, but to let them follow their well-intentioned dreams, no matter how happy or heart-breaking the end result my be.
Last week, Melissa tried out for student council class representative. She wrote out a speech at home, and rehearsed it several times for us. My favorite part was "And I will never give up!", while punching her fist high into the sky. Yep.....that sums up her determination pretty well. At the end of her speech, she included how she would be a gracious winner who wouldn't brag, but would say "thank you" instead, and that if she lost, she would "say congratulations" to the winner. She wound up saying congratulations with a bit of a heavy heart at the end of that day.
Now, exactly one week later, she faces disappointment again. Crying, crying, crying. Her two good friends made the cut. She did not. It was so sad. We had a great talk about some really good things. We started off talking about God's plan for her life. Of her own special talents. Of how very much He loves her as His very own special and unique child. How He knows where He wants Melissa to be, and what she should do.....even when we do not understand it. I spoke of how she may be so disappointed with this right now, but how it only means God has something even BETTER planned for her that she doesn't even realize yet. She seemed to understand that even the things we THINK we want so badly just may not be the best things for us, and that God is always there, taking care of us, and helping us along the way, giving us the exact things that are best for us if we will only slow down, listen, and let Him. So while we don't know the plan, we can at least trust in God's plan to be THE plan.
As I was telling her this, I was thinking "Whoa...this is all a little bit heavy for a 9 year old." But honestly, I think her heart was open, and she was soaking it all in and really understanding. I was witnessing an "Ah-hah!" moment before my very eyes. Her tears ceased, and her entire facial expression changed from sadness to peace. She was getting it, and feeling that love to her core.
She ended up having one of the best riding sessions ever later that afternoon. Once again, those horses are amazing therapy....giving her the freedom to excel and enjoy....trotting around the chilly arena, twisting and turning around barrels on the obstacle course, all on her own, just she and her horse...Melissa being the one in control of their direction and speed at which they were travelling. The one place she gets to be in control of the myriad of events and uncertain circumstances around her. The one place she gets to be free on this earth. And with her heart soaring as loosed by the freedom of God's incredible love for her, my special girl was experiencing an abundance of joy merely hours after such low sadness.
It was beautiful.