Or Dads. Or Smart People who know more about life's challenges than I do.
My little girl has a broken heart. I mean a truly devastated, crushed and bleeding heart. And I don't know the best way to comfort her and advise her.
Ever since Lauren learned to read, she has had a thing for horses. She would read every book she could get her hands on about horses. First, the fictional chapter books about a little girl with a horse, etc. Then the how-to guides on caring for horses, showing horses, riding horses, etc. She loved the "Felicity: An American Girl Movie " in which the main character shared her passion for the animal. All of this happened long before Lauren ever got up close and touched one. Much less rode one.
Then last fall, the opportunity presented itself for Lauren to ride. And she was such a natural, putting all that she's read and heard into practice, that she was offered free riding lessons looking toward a future of showing their horses at all the local fairs and the Horse Park. Lauren was beside herself with joy. So ecstatic. So we had begun the lessons every week that the weather permitted. Each time the owners were so complimentary of Lauren's natural talent with the horse. Lauren has suffered with asthma, eczema, and severe nut allergies since she was very small. So we already carry an epi-pen and Benadryl everywhere we go. Her first couple of times on the horse she had some itchy red eyes, nothing too serious. We didn't even worry about it. Then at her last lesson, she began to break out into hives from her neck all the way up her face. Soon she was swollen like something you'd see in a movie. She got sick, and wanted down from the horse. I knew something must be bad wrong since nothing can usually get her down from that horse.
There had been fresh cut hay, and we were hoping and praying that that was it. However, we have spent the last two afternoons at the allergist office. And Lauren is allergic to horses. And it's such a significant allergy that he strongly discourages further contact with the animal. He feels that her reaction is on a progression that could swiftly lead to ana-phylactic shock or even death.
Breaking this news has been one of the hardest things I've faced in parenting. Lauren has cried till her eyes are swollen miserably. She is bemoaning the "unfairness" of it all. I have encouraged her to get all her feelings and thoughts out and express any of it she wants to to me. She told me "I feel sadness, and madness, and green-eyed monster jealousy. I bet Satan's having a great day for what he's done to me. And this is all Adam and Eve's fault anyway. How could they do such a terrible thing to bring sin into this world?" I know...it's pitiful and humorous all at once.
Up to this point, I have let her express her pain, and I have told her how sorry I am for her. That my heart is broken with hers, and that I agree with her that it is unfair. I've promised to help her through it the best that I can. But I have left all "spiritualizing" of the subject left unspoken. Lauren brought up Satan and Adam and Eve all on her own. :) I admit I was relieved that she didn't naturally revert to blaming God. But there probably is a spiritual lesson in here. And I want to find it. I'm just VERY RELUCTANT AND HESITANT as to what I assign to God and "His will". I'm waiting till Daddy gets home to even pray about this with Lauren. Because I feel like this is an incident that she's going to remember for the rest of her life, and how we present God's role in this will stay with her forever. No pressure or anything on us, huh????
How can we make this a life lesson that will count for something? How can we take advantage of this moment to treat fragile faith with care?
I humbly ask for your prayers...and advice. Whatever ya got. Seriously!