God made me mean

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It can be rough for a 6 year old. Things can change and sometimes you just don’t get your way. But sometimes your life is upended because your parents decide to take another child your age because they say “it’s good.” Good for them, good for the child; good because it honors God and helps a family in need.

All of my girls are doing well with the situation. Alice thinks she has another playmate. Claire sees this as another opportunity to be a big sister. Lily saw Santanna as another friend to play with for about the first three days. Then we started to realize things were not going as expected with our ward. There were problems that were slowly showing themselves, and attention was shifting from care to concern.

The tide turns and shifts. Some days are better than others. This morning was rough. Lily had a moment of poor judgement and she got in trouble. I went in to visit her in her room after the consequences were doled out.

She was crying, and she looked at me, “God made me mean.”

Deep theological statement with profound implications at way too early in the morning from a 6 year old.

“What do you mean by ‘God made me mean’?”

“I mean, I can’t help it. I’m a mean girl and a terrible sister.”

Then we deconstructed her statement and hoped that she would really hear.

“God did not make you mean. He made you to be kind and loving and, Lily, I know you can be that girl that reflects God’s love because I’ve seen it. And I know that this is not easy, but you are doing so well! I mean, you gave up your bed and are sleeping on the floor.”

And it’s true. Without batting an eye on that first night she gave up her bed and we brought in a mattress for Lily to sleep on the floor. It impressed me greatly. I’ve also seen her wait patiently as we take our turns working with Santanna.

It would be too easy for me to nurture the false belief that she was created by God to be full of malice. But I cannot allow her to give up hope as if she was outside of God’s grace. I can only pray that she sees the capacity of good she has, that she is created for the good works prepared for her so that she can reflect God’s goodness.

I already know she’s paying attention to the example Heather and I are setting. I mean, we were sitting on the mattress on the floor… Her bed.

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