“Mommy…I want to get my ears pierced,” says my four year old daughter to her mom who cannot stand when she stubs her toe. Deep breathe Mommy, what are you going to do about this? Options, what are my options?
1. Say “No! You are too young honey. Maybe when you get a little bit older.”
2. Say “Are you sure? You know it really really really hurts.”
3. Go on a rant about how you don’t need earrings to be beautiful thus pushing all my adult complexities onto my four year old daughter.
4. Say, “Sure Faith, whenever you are ready to go I will take you. It does pinch when they put the earrings in, but I will leave the choice up to you.”
You guessed it. Despite my beating heart, motherly fear, and questions about what type of message this teaches her…I said yes and off we went.
She had her moments of doubt. At one point she asked me, “Mommy is this going to hurt?” To which I immediately gave her my honest assessment and an easy “out” if she wanted to take it. Her eyes glanced down for a second and then she said “Yes. I still want to do it,” and off into the chair she went.
Let’s put aside for a second that one of the ladies completely messed up on one ear and put her through more pain than if she had done it right the first time! Let’s put aside for a second that even ONE tear did not feel worth it to me for her just to get stinking earrings put in her ears. Let’s put aside for a second the doubts I had about “What the flip are earrings for anyway?!? What did I doooo?” Let’s put all that aside…
I watched my daughter have a complete victory in her little life. She decided she wanted to do something, weighed the pros and cons, experienced some pain from her decision, and in the end announced happily to the whole world that she was so excited about her new earrings. What courage she had! What strength and confidence and boldness! I was so proud of her and so in awe of the boost of confidence that came from doing something difficult.
I want to be like her. I want to be bold and confident in my decisions, whatever they may be. I want to stand strong behind earrings OR no earrings. Job OR no job. Makeup OR no makeup. Pants that fit OR pants that don’t fit. But I get to decide. As a mother I decided to step back and trust my daughter with this small decision in her life. On the biggies of course I interject, she is only four. But on this one I let her lead.
I am so thankful that God does the same with us. His “biggies” are listed clearly in His Word. He has given us clear guidelines to Godly living. But the earrings in between the biggies? He wants us to have the courage to trust in the strength He has given us. To make decisions and stand confidently behind them.
Today, may you have the courage to be beautiful in whatever way you want to be.