To be in relationship with God has been the most beautiful thing that has happened to me in my life. Reason being, with God every single day you experience you are growing – you are better, wiser from what you were yesterday and have worn away those fruitless old attitudes. God is amazing. He never condemns you because He brings correction which is gentle.
In March I experienced something of this kind for what I had been trying to deal with since last one year but was not able to understand. What happened was when my youngest daughter went to grade two; I have always wanted her to excel in her studies and extracurricular activities. I started putting in more effort rather than praying more. As a result I started having greater expectations from her by the day and would feel frustrated when she would not perform as per my expectations. Not only that, I started to pour my frustration on the school and their way of teaching which ultimately led to criticizing the school system, teachers, their way for teaching, etc. And by the way this was the school that God had chosen for my daughter two years back while she was going to her first grade when we were looking for a good school. Then I consistently started praying to God to make her shine bright during her achievement day. I would consistently compare my daughter to her other friends especially one of them who was outstanding in Mathematics and my daughter was not as good. The only motive behind all this was – I am an obedient child of God, God’s favour should be on my daughter and let the whole world know it!
Every time I would go for the PTM-Parent Teacher Meeting and ask about my daughter’s performance or meet her class teacher, she would always tell me one thing – your daughter is an all rounder, she is doing great and she is my best student because of her being an all rounder. But no! I was not taking it, I knew that my daughter was not doing upto (my) mark of expectation so now I knew that her teacher was either trying to please me (but there was no reason for it) or she was not a good teacher because she was not able to assess my daughter’s performance!
All this carried on till the day they finally had their Annual day and I kept praying to God do some miracle and let her excel in front of the world so He stands glorified. As I sat there, names and photographs of achievers of students who had excelled beyond school were displayed and I saw the photograph of my daughter’s friend who I knew was very good at maths. She was younger than my daughter and had gone to the national level of winning the Maths Olympiad. But what struck me instantly at that moment was that her mother never criticized her daughter, the school or the teachers. Oh my God! That was the moment and realization dawned on me. Just because for past one year all I had done was to criticize the school and its functioning, neither was I able to receive the positive performance of my daughter and because of consistent pressure on my young daughter I was not able to let her perform 100 %. I prayed and repented. I prayed and asked for God’s mercy to forgive me and instantly asked God to give me a spirit of praise, a spirit of encouragement and a spirit of patience. And to this day I pray this prayer daily for myself.
That moment changed me completely; it was like darkness was lifted with the light of God’s truth. God made me understand that when you criticize you make your spirit toxic. That toxic spirit does not let you enjoy your life or receive God’s best to you. But God is merciful, His surprise was yet to come, my daughter was awarded outstanding performance in academics and a certificate for bringing the most nutritious tiffin (which was indirectly a reward for me) and that was amazing. Thank God, God is merciful; thank God that His correction brings conviction and not condemnation-Shalini Mehta