The Bully & the Hero

My mama-heart is hurting today.

My oldest son, who is 7 and in second grade, has had trouble this year with a few of the kids in his class. For whatever reason, they’ve chosen Sean as a target…he’s had to deal with name-calling and intentional rough-housing. Once he finally told me what was going on, I’ve had on-going talks with his teacher. She has done a great job at keeping things in hand and I felt confident that things had gotten better.

However, she wasn’t at school today. And when I went to pick him up to take him to a physical earlier today, I was surprised to find out that he was already in the office….specifically, the principal’s office. Although Sean gets into plenty of trouble at home, he has never gotten into much trouble at school…so my stomach immediately dropped. I was completely unsure of what to expect.

He came out of her office all teary-eyed and with his head hanging low. The principal quickly explained that he had punched another kid in the nose…and although Sean explained that the other kid had hit first and called him a loser, the punch-in-the-nose response was not the route he needed to take.

I assured her that we’d definitely discuss the behavior and I walked Sean out to the car, where he promptly burst into tears. I asked him if he was upset because he had gotten into trouble.

“No,” he responded through sniffles. “I just don’t understand why he wants to be mean to me.”

Cue mother’s heart breaking.

Because I don’t understand, either. And I can’t stand hearing my child question himself as he has been doing these past few months (am I really smart, Mom? are you sure? maybe I’m really a loser. maybe I’m terrible at running. I’m just a slow-poke…etc…) because of a bully.

I try to be strong for him. I tell him the truth where he is being fed lies. I build him up and love him, love him, love him. I intercede when I can. But it breaks my heart to see him hurting.

As I was driving over to the doctor’s office, trying to not burst into tears myself, I was struck by this thought: If my heart aches this much over my son’s pain, how much more does God’s heart ache for us?

The only reason I can love my kids with this passionate, unconditional love is because God placed that love within me. His love is unfathomably bigger than mine…

It takes all of my self-control to not just pull Sean right out of that school, because I don’t want him to face these hardships. But I know that I can’t remove every problem from his path. To grow into a functioning, healthy adult, he needs to learn how to handle difficult situations. However, I am there every step of the way to hold his hand, to remind him of who he is, to be a safe refuge in a world that is not always kind.

Maybe your heart is hurting and you think that God isn’t there with you in your pain. Maybe you think He doesn’t understand what’s going on or maybe He just isn’t all that interested…but He is.  He hears your cries and He aches for you…Psalm 56: 8 says He keeps track of all your sorrows and collects all your tears in His bottle….another version says “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.”

He is looking at you with that great big all-compassing love and He’s waiting for you to run into His arms…Psalm 34:18 tells us that the LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. If you let Him, He will be the strength you need in your weakness. He will calm the storms in your heart, if not the storms in your world. He is your safe place.

If He didn’t care so much, then He never would have sent His Son to bear our sins and to be wounded for our healing….to die so that we might have the life He intended for us to have.  (John 3:16)  “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  ”

  Yes, He knows your pain. Yes, He sees every tear. Yes, He is there. Yes, He loves you- loves you – loves you.  

This bully in your life? His name is satan and he is a liar. He wants to make you doubt every good thing in yourself and in your life. He is out to hurt you. He does not care if you cry. He does not care if you spiral into despair. That is his goal.

Go to God. Please be a tattle-tale. Tell Him every single lie that satan has told you and let Him fill you back up with the truth! 

Yes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Yes, you are redeemed. Yes, you are a new creation in Christ. Yes, you are the child of the Almighty God and King. Yes, you are loved  with an unshakable, everlasting love!

My husband’s advice to Sean has been this: stand up to them. Tell them they’re wrong. Don’t be afraid and they will leave you alone.

The advice of James to you: RESIST the devil and he will flee!   (James 3:7) Paul tells you to put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes! (Ephesians 6:11)…but before that, he says “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10)

You are NOT in this alone. Let me repeat: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1st John 4:4)…..But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).

This fight —these heart aches — these moments of please help me….we have a faithful Father longing to hold our lives through it all. Take it ALL to Him. He will, in His time and for His glory…because He loves you…He will give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)

(Matt. 11:28) Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

 (1 Peter 5:7 ) Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

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