Today we had our first family meeting with my daughter and her therapist as they spoke to my husband and I via a conference call from the therapists office in the treatment center where my daughter is currently staying. I have to say that this was an odd, and difficult moment for me; all of my experience has really been as the patient: the one being protected by the therapist and encouraged to speak out to the other family members. Well, today, I was instead in the "hot seat" as my daughter merged forces with my husband to discuss issues she has with me that make overcoming her eating disorder more difficult.
This morning just prior to our conference, I was spending time with the Lord in prayer and I asked Him to show me the passage in His Word which he would have me look at today. Immediately the verse, "Commit your way unto the Lord; Trust also in Him and he will do this:" I had to look up the verse in my concordance because its reference was lost in my memory... I also wondered why God had pointed this verse out in particular.
Here are the following verses in context:
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your
righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Psalm 37:5-6 NIV
I've read and memorized those verses in the past, but never before noticed the colon at the end of verse 5. Trust in the Lord and He will do what? He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn. I read those verses and the one following:
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
Now my daughter and husband are not the enemies that David had to deal with in his life who were literally out to destroy him...but the point was the same. God was saying to me:
"Be quiet my child, You are resting in my arms and you don't need to defend yourself. If there is defending to be done, I will take care of it. DO not fret. Roll onto my back all of the responsibility for how things turn out...I will handle it. Your job is to be still and wait and to trust me."
I can attest to you that I was not one hundred percent successful at being quiet and still during this session...But the words and the loving tone of my Father's voice repeatedly rang in my mind's ears and kept me from running with the feeling of being attacked or defensive. It is one thing to try to clarify the truth and another to try to evade responsibility...but I confess that the line can be a thin one and in such a setting emotions (on both sides of the coin) can run hot.
I never before fully appreciated how difficult it must have been for my parents to come to those family sessions. I remember being terrified and filled with anxiety prior to them...but my fear was not for myself but for upsetting the proverbial applecart. To put your cards on the table, as a mentally ill "child" is a scary thing and feels more risky than it really is. For some reason, as children, we can never understand how secure we are in the arms of love our parents have for us. We feel that it is conditional, fragile,....and we don't understand, until we ourselves are parents, how great and strong that love really is.
As a mom, in the therapy setting, the thing I most wanted to defend was my love for my daughter. As a mentally ill parent, it was difficult not to try to defend also my behavior in other regards...especially when I can honestly say that some of the pictures painted and statements made, may have been altered to some degree by the emotions and perceptions of the participants in the session. But that is not the important thing. My job there was to assure my daughter of my love for her and my willingness to do whatever it takes to help her recover. My task before God was to rest and trust and NOT TO FRET over the outcome. It is His to work out in the way He desires it to go.