I'm sure that most participants in this week’s “In Other Words” Meme have something profound to write about regarding difficulty with a child who is born with a handicap, whether physical or mental or a parent who has fallen into the twilight years and is struggling with horrible diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or cancer or something like that. I commend each and every one of them for their dedication, love and hard work in persevering through their own tough times and pushing on through to the opportunity that abounds for them.
Mine is a little different. I don’t have a child or a parent that I am struggling with. Both of them, my child and my mother, are pretty close to perfect. I am blessed.
My difficulty is finding the one person who so perfectly fits me and having to send him back to Iraq for another 8 months. In the midst of everything else in my life, finding someone who is that someone really special is a blessing, having to let him go again so soon is really, really difficult, but in the end, it all works out to multiple opportunities. I will try to explain what I mean.
n. pl. op•por•tu•ni•ties
a. A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances.
b. A favorable or suitable occasion or time.
2. A chance for progress or advancement.
Synonyms: opportunity, occasion, opening, chance, break
These nouns refer to a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances. Opportunity is an auspicious state of affairs or a suitable time: “If you prepare yourself... you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears” (Eleanor Roosevelt). Occasion suggests the proper time for action: an auspicious occasion; an occasion for celebration. An opening is an opportunity affording a good possibility of success: waited patiently for her opening, then exposed the report's inconsistency.
So, now we all know the definition of “Opportunity”, but how does this apply to my situation regarding this meme?
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what true patriotism is about, instead of this watered down, anti-American, anti-country version that is being peddled out there by those who don’t understand that this country is founded on Christian principles, or if they do understand it, don’t want to remember or acknowledge it because it goes against their “personal beliefs” of which we are all “entitled” to hear ad-nauseum from them, while we are not “allowed” to talk about ours in public forums because of this 1% of the country who lives here and hates it thinks that they know better than the rest of the 99% of us who live here and love it.
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what the forefathers of this country fought and died for – freedom – because it is the same cause that the man I love is fighting for for others in a foreign country.
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter about sacrifice, even in the face of love. She will learn what it means to love someone enough to let them go, even when you want to keep them there and safe.
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter about staying strong and being faithful, even when circumstances aren’t optimal. How hard is it to love someone and be physically separated for months on end with the possibility of not have contact or communication with that person for days or even weeks? How does a relationship survive those circumstances? Love is a choice, not an action. We can choose to stay faithful and to love someone when those circumstances are difficult.
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter what it means to lean on the Lord and hold fast to His promises. For those who are in Christ, there is no true “goodbye”. Even if I never have the chance to see my brave soldier again here on this earth, I am greatly comforted by the knowledge that I will see him again in heaven. That is a promise in the Bible that God has given to all of us who have trusted Christ as our savior.
I have the opportunity to teach my daughter that true love endures through tough times, through difficult circumstances and that true love waits…for the other person, for marriage, for God’s best. I was looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now and I found Mr. Right, by the grace of God. How can I not honor God’s promises and commandments to me and instead shun them and push them aside? My daughter will learn from me at my house what it means to be pure and chaste until marriage because she is being shown the other side of the coin at her father’s house where he is expecting a baby with his girlfriend and has no foreseeable plans to marry her in the future. That in itself is an opportunity to really shine in the midst of these sets of difficulties. When God brings you His best, why would you want to tarnish and sully it? I learned the hard way many years ago, and now I'm doing it God’s way, which, through learning by experience, is ALWAYS the ONLY way to go.
I have the opportunity to show my daughter what it means to support someone on all sides, at all times, in all ways by loving them, praying for them, communicating with them, sending them affirmations of that love and support and keeping the “home fires” burning.
There are so many more opportunities that I have to teach my daughter various character building and character enhancing values that I can’t begin to list them all. They are endless. She’s almost five. She’s a sponge. She can absorb them all.
And, if I don’t use these opportunities to teach during these difficulties in our lives, then how is my daughter going to learn what God’s will is if she doesn’t learn it from my teaching and my examples?
Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God… 1 John 4:7
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6