Her little eyes dart to mine as she lifts the plastic bead to her mouth….
“Claire harper” I snap, she knows. Its our little battle, the one where she exerts her pint sized will and I remind her of the choking hazard of beads for the 700th time in a voice that sends a message. I thought I had managed to find all the pieces of tiny plastic determined to be lodged in my daughters esophagus but I’m starting to think she has stock piled them for just such occasion. We fight these little battles on most days, but they are little.
Then I sit across from a mom at Starbucks and I hear about the battle she is fighting. With tear filled eyes she says to me, “I just want to keep my daughter alive.” I gasp because the thought never occurred to me that after the little years I might have to circle back to the fight of just keeping them alive but this time it won’t be stairs and crossing the street but boys and drugs.
And so we fight.
We fight the little battles for their little hearts to understand and then later we fight the all-out wars. The big battles that end in counselor’s offices and in prayers lifted more as cries than prayers. We fight the battles of not eating the tiny choking hazards then we graduate to the more advanced combat for our children’s souls.
I left coffee with tears streaming down my face, for this mom, for her daughter, and for the hold Satan has managed to wrap around this young girl. For the first time in a long time I remembered the darkness. The battle is being fought and while I sat in disbelief to hear a young girls story so unlike mine yet so the same I realized what was inspiring me as I listened, the mom knew the battle had already been won.
There had been a cross for her and her daughter, there was a fighter who had already claimed victory, and she had not a shadow of a doubt that God wasn’t going to let her daughter go. I sat shocked because her faith was staggering. I can write words on pages but if my own flesh and blood lived the same path I wrote so boldly about would I have the same faith? Would I remember that the beautiful parts of our stories are only told by the mighty hand of God? Would I remember that addictions are never stronger than the power of Jesus? Would I claim as boldly as I had written that only God numbers our days?
I pray I would. I pray I would fight valiantly like this mother has, knowing at the end of the day I cannot save my daughters soul. I can save her life but soul saving… that is not up to me. I can show her, I can live it out, and I can pray with earnest but I cannot pin her down and force Jesus down her throat. Nor do I want to. So I’ll fight the small battles and I’ll prepare for war that may or may not come and along the way ill remind myself that there is always hope.
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.