Been thinking about…. being a Truth Teller

This girl surprised me tonight.  Actually she’s been surprising me a lot lately.

I had to leave for the evening and I left her elder siblings in charge of the herd.  Birthday season is on a roll in our family and I needed to do a little shopping without the kids.  When I got back and checked in on each of them, I was truly surprised to find a tear stained little girl waiting for me.  She had convinced herself that I was taking a really long time.  So long, in fact, that I must have been in a car accident or suffered some other terrible end.  So long that she had gone through half a box of kleenex and made herself get the hiccoughs.

She poured out her heart to me.  Told me all about how she had begged God to bring me home.  Asked me (not for the first time) about what would happen to her if I went to Heaven first.

I am choked up just writing all this.

It’s tough stuff.

Stephen and I have always tried to tell our kids the truth (Okay, except for that one subject involving a jolly old elf in a red suit… but that’s another story for another time.).  It’s something that we’ve taken a lot of flack for over the years from family and friends.  But that’s just us.  We aren’t very skilled at finessing a fine story when our kids ask us a pointed question.  And early on it just became the most logical thing to tell them the truth when they have questioned us on things.

Why do I have to eat my veggies?

Why does that man use a white cane?

Why does the neighbour lady stumble funny when she comes home late at night?

Why did the policeman take away that man?

Where do babies come from?

Will you ever die?

{What will happen to me if you die?}

Now there’s a show stopper.

Each of our kids has wondered this allowed during their preschool years.  I don’t honestly know if this is age appropriate thought material or not.  Perhaps we breed morbidly focused children?  Regardless, when it has come out of their mouths, we have told the truth.

“Only Jesus knows, but here’s what the plan is no matter what and you can trust us to take care of you.  You can trust Him.”

And off they would go.  Sure it would come up again if a friend or aquaintance that we knew passed on, but honestly, it seemed to be enough.

For Grace?  Not so much.

It seems as though a lifetime has passed for us with our girl.

I chose the photo for this post on purpose.  I really love the camping dirt.  The chubby toes.  The relaxed grin.  The lounging girl in the hammock.  Such a picture of carefree innocence.

Such an antonym to the churning worry that lies beneath her surface.

I could go on about how trust takes time.  How she’s been let down before by those who should’ve been able to protect her from the leaving abandonment.  There I said it.

But what really hits home is the contrast.

She goes about her days happy as a clam.  Flitting from fairy to pixie.  And underneath lie the questions.

Am I safe?

Am I worthy?

Am I loved?

I don’t have the magic truth that will be the balm to her soul.

And so we dance the dance.  Parry the questions.  Again and again and again.

And maybe the best I have to offer is in my willingness to waltz when she asks.  Meeting her toe to toe.  Looking deep in her eyes.  Letting her read my very soul.

Being a truth teller.

And again and again and again.

I love this girl.

She is my heart.

And she is so very, very worth it.


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