An Opportunity Not Missed

Sarah had a unique opportunity today to go out to lunch with Daddy and at the same time visit with another little 6 year old girl.

Once a month, Daniel meets a friend at Chick-Fil-A. Today, this friend was watching his 6 year old, Rachel, while his wife was away with the other children. So… it only made sense that on this Chick-Fil-A day, Sarah should come to keep Rachel company while the dads talked.

We thought Sarah would be ecstatic. “Sarah, guess what… You get to go to Chick-Fil-A with me today! Rachel will be there. You can play while Mr. Mosher and I talk.”

To our surprise, Sarah responded, “No thanks, Dad. I’ll just stay home with Mom.”

Daniel, thinking this might be a good mother/daughter issue handed the problem over to me. Sarah not going would put us in an awkward spot. We didn’t want to disappoint Rachel and we didn’t want Sarah to go against her wishes either. We were also a little surprised at her reaction because Sarah is extremely social and usually loves outings of any type.

So, while Daniel was preparing to get out the door, I had a little talk with Sarah.

“Honey, I think you should go. Rachel will be disappointed if you don’t come.”

Teary eyed, Sarah said, “What if she asks me to be her BEST friend?” She’s not my best friend and I don’t know her that well and I’d have to hurt her feelings even worse and tell her she can’t be my best friend because I have too many best friends already.”

Inwardly, I’m giggling and thinking this is ridiculous, but to Sarah this is a very real problem. She’d rather avoid this child altogether than take the risk of having to answer a hard question. Upon further probing, I realized that Rachel has no history of requesting best friend status… it’s just something Sarah has observed 6 year old girls do and it makes her uncomfortable.

I was able to counsel her to be honest and, if asked, respond, “I think you are a wonderful friend, but I’m not allowed to have best friends because it might hurt other peoples’ feelings.” I explained how Jesus should be her very best friend. Her sisters should be way up on the list and we really just don’t need to rank by favor the relationships the Lord has blessed up with.

Armed with a good answer, just in case she was asked a hard question, Sarah bounced out the door with a smile on her face, excited about her outing and play date.

A couple of hours later, she excitedly came running in the house with a report.

“Mama, I am glad I went! Rachel is so nice and she didn’t even ask me that bad question. And I got a dollar to get an ice cream and a mint and a KIDS meal! (I’m usually one to buy sandwiches and large fries to split several ways and water – so Daddy ordering is extra special). It was fun!

I’ve been thinking about this situation and how her fears really were not ridiculous. I am often afraid of new situations. All the “what ifs” can be paralyzing. I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to minister to people… afraid I might be asked a hard question that I am not prepared to answer. Sometimes I am afraid of the vulnerability that new friendships require. I don’t want to tell people what I REALLY think… deep down I have some pretty radical opinions… many (most) not being culturally correct or cool. What if I am asked about those things… What would I say?

Just as Sarah has a Mommy and a Daddy to help her know how to handle those tough social 6 year situations, I have the Holy Spirit. He is always there to instruct me. I just have to ask. How comforting to know that at any time I can ask… “OK, Lord… I don’t know what to say. This is awkward. Speak to me and through me.”

Every time I have prayed that prayer the Lord has faithfully equipped me and I, like my Sarah, have come home thankful for an opportunity not missed.

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5 Responses to “An Opportunity Not Missed”

  1. Nathaniel Mikkola Says:

    Great post! The un-experienced mind of a young person can truly bring to light very real things that grown people tend to ignore, not realize, or realize but not have consciously thought of.

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. Tina Says:

    Aww… Thanks, Nathaniel. I haven’t told anyone I started this blog so I was so excited/happy to see a comment! This story was actually written last summer and put in a draft that I never published. I’m just playing around and trying to learn a little about how to post things. It’s kind of fun! I may take this blogging thing up regularly!

  3. mundaneandmiracles Says:

    This was great Tina! I look forward to hearing more from you. And about your dad.

    Heather Hayes

  4. Tina Says:

    Heather, Thank you! Hopefully I’ll see you Thursday! I am praying Ray is wrong for once!

  5. AngelaW Says:

    Tina, that was so precious! I am so glad that the Lord can show us things for ourselves when we are helping our children! I’m glad you’re writing here.

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