I’m trying to hear, what she is really saying behind the insults and the hurtful words. My mind can’t quite comprehend a child so loved since the day she was born feeling so negatively about her life. I struggle between sadness and anger and in the end still feel powerless. I ask advice, read books and articles and pray until my heart is raw and yet nothing seems to change. A single good day or even hour is followed by multiple terrible ones. I regularly question if I am fit for this job. Couldn’t God have sent someone else?

 

Over and over I say it. “I hear you, I understand that you feel this way, but what you are saying just isn’t true.” How can she doubt my love for her? I feel as though I have sacrificed every shred of my body, soul and mind for her benefit since the day she was conceived. (And her brothers as well, each of them in turn).

 

Then I realize I am not so different. I am often the angry child of the perfect father. The one who yearned that I not be lost and sent his son, his perfect, unblemished son of heaven, to die for me. I doubt his love for me, though I have seen much of his goodness in my life. I have to believe that he will not fail me now. My daughter and my relationship with her are not beyond his reach. (As a good friend once put it, God reached men like the apostle Paul and John Newton, and at the tender age of eight she hasn’t joined the slave trade or begun persecuting Christians, so there is still hope).

 

I still don’t know how to reach her most of the time, but I know where to ask for help. So I will just keep asking until eventually we look at each other and she realizes that I would lay down my life for her and hopefully learns that I can only love her as I do because Jesus gave his life for me.