This is probably for me, an interesting title to this week’s post as many of you who know me would know that, I haven’t got any kids of my own so may not think I’m exactly qualified to answer or respond to this question. Though its self-evaluating, I suppose it conjures up all sorts of imaginations that may not be as accurate until I actually birth kids of my own – an affair that I’m sure to dread in terms of the pain….ooo me and pain are not friends and do not work well together at all!
But I’m the elected lady so I’m gonna keep it real and tell you the journey that caused me to come up with this question. So, if many of you remember from my last blog, I said I’ve been giving private tuition to two students. In case I didn’t mention it, let me talk about it a bit.
One pupil I have is a mentee of mine- who I’ve purposed to adopt as a sister because she needs a big sister and to protect her identity I’ll say her name is Nora. She’s a GCSE student and I help tutor her in areas she struggles with in Science and Maths (yes its not my strongest subject but hey I might as well give it a go and if her grades improve then Praise the Lord God). The usual systematic process we do is we pray before we start anything and then we laugh, joke and use objects for her to understand an area or a rule that she’s not confident with. Or I simply give her work to do and she does it. We’re 4th week in and I’m seeing a change in her as she was struggling with major identity issues and slowly but surely, she’s morphing into this wonderful teen that she actually is. Often, its quite nerve racking for me to teach her considering the fact that I’m conscious of the fact that I basically have to relearn subjects I swore I would avoid as an adult – Yes for those of you who think you’ve had a lucky escape, best believe you’ll find yourself revisiting those subject enemies that you have to conquer again but this time from a totally different angle!!
Second student is a beautiful, gorgeous little 4 year old girl and to protect her identity for legal purposes I’ll call her Natalie. Gosh this girl is so intelligent! She speaks as a ten year old except limited by words and some speech because she’s 4! Moreover, she expresses her feelings and emotions so matter-of-factly that its incredible to see her with such a big personality. I stand in amazement at the beautiful creation stood before me that God used when connecting sperm and egg together to make her. Now with her, I’ve been tutoring her for 2 weeks now. This week was the second week. But how I even got this opportunity was even a miracle! it was by chance that her grandmother randomly asked me if I gave extra tuition. She had asked me after I spent time praying and ministering to her after a Wednesday early morning prayer at my church. So she asked me this question to which I replied, I do and then she hired me then and there to tutor her grandchild! Thank God that through nflame and sublime I’ve been CRB cleared so I showed that to natalie’s grandmother and met the mother later that afternoon to discuss what she wanted.
Then last week Monday, the little girl Natalie just fell in love with me and just played and was so excited about me teaching her that she wanted to show me the whole world as it appears through her eyes. So, at times it was hard to get her to settle down and I realised that teaching a little girl was going to be more of a challenge than I thought. Moreover, times when I had to discipline her to just sit and listen, I had to remember to respect the boundaries of the parent of the child so as to not put myself in any trouble. By the end of that lesson, we read a book and she sat on my lap cuddled to me, sucking on her little index finger- aww she has the cutest hands ever! Success!
So, paid I was, until the next week which was this week. And, on Monday, this time Natalie, wasn’t cute, little girl but cute, little, almost but wasn’t near a nightmare! She tried my patience but by the end of it I had more Love for her than I did when I first met her. And its so cute to hear her call me aunty, and say the three little, simple words that resonate so much power and meaning that it ricochets shivers down my spine “I LOVE YOU”. wow. let me pause here. I LOVE YOU. The three clichic words that are so overused in our society but hold no meaning. The three words that have been buried in the midst of suffering, caught in a web of hatred, lies and unfaithfulness because adults have misused these three words and perverted with Satan’s snare, the true purity of the words that people desire to hear yet hate to feel. Yes, these three simple words when heard from the lips of a babe, a child carry such healing, power, innocence and the ominous sense that this child would be affected by life’s darts that those words would take effort to really mean such things to them. These three words that need purifying everyday by God who IS LOVE to even have the deepest effect on a single human being. These three words, that when they were uttered out of the lips of this 4 year old girl shot like a spear into my heart melted every guard and annoyance I had towards her playing up determined what my actions were next. Like auto pilot, she hugged me and I picked her up and hugged her and whispered the words back, “I LOVE YOU” and guess what? I meant every word of it with every fibre of my being.
This nicely brings me to why my title to today’s blog?
Well, because I’ve been working with young people for a while, especially with the ones who’ve been coming in off the street, and now in a more close proximity setting of tutoring and mentoring, it made me think about what it means to be a parent. What are the foundations? how do you parent a child who is already being parented where you see the flaws and you want to correct knowing that that would be done to you once you have children – its almost inevitable. How do you avoid the pitfalls? How does one support a child? what does it take to be a mother? How do you discipline them? How do I do it without making a complete idiot of myself?
Then I was reminded of how God does the job of both parents to literally everybody. I realise that he demonstrates parenthood in the most unconventional way to what we’ve probably been taught parenting is about and he does that via experience. And though I’m not a parent, I am in many ways. In Isaiah 54 it says (and sorry if I’m sounding religious~ not intended to be so but its for the basis of making an emphasis on a point) “More are the children of the desolate wife than she who has given birth…” (paraphrased) I realise that the position I’ve been entrusted with to these young people and little children, is not one to be taken lightly but a privilege serving them with a faithful, loving and consistent heart. And that first stems from the root of Love and Passion for these kids. I watched, Natalie’s mother loving on her daughter and the new baby in her arms and saw that what she had was no different from what I had except probably deeper because she gave birth to them and she also lives and raises them on a daily basis. Realising this responsibility, made me feel somewhat anxious and gave me this sense of foreboding as I wondered whether I was really cut out for this and whether I was really doing a good job. Especially when it appears that there’s only little progress and not major progress. I even wondered that with the way i get on with these guys and the way sometimes I slip up, will it be more painful with my own? How would I be as a mother?
Then I remembered the words of Deborah, a wonderful Judge. who declared “I saw the desolation of my people….Until I arose a Mother in Israel”. This answered the question for me. Someone has to do the job so it might as well be me. I don’t have to qualify for the job by giving birth. I’ve been qualified simply because I am willing and I’m a woman- a man with a womb- who can carry the promises of life for these ones who struggle to navigate through life. I have had enough experience to help the little one’s pull through and I am willing to learn. But above all, I have Love. I have the Love that has been loved to me that I can love others. The LOVE that is pure that is overwhelming my soul that only has one outlet and that is to share that love. And this love is not my own but the one He Gave me. The Love I didn’t have for myself before has loved me to health and is still loving me to glory, and will love these Kids to strength.
And as usual, things like this always conjures up songs and music that connect me to my understanding and it clearly reminds me of my painting of a baby in midair that I did in GCSE Art some years ago. The first song that came to mind was Jason Upton’s When it Thunders which describes a relationship between a Father and his Child through the storm and this song has had imminent impact on my life. I’ve at times border-lined obsessed over this song and left it on repeat for 7 days. yes. call me crazy but I love it!
And also the other song by him When you were a child:
What’s inspiring you? please share. Peace out. Loving you, Loving JC!
Keeping it real, Elected Lady xx