It’s one of the hardest things I have ever done; but I swallowed hard and just did it – I prayed for her. She was causing a lot of stress in my life – and I had to deal with it daily. There was no way to get away from it. So I prayed for her. I asked God to bless her in her life; and I asked God to help me be Jesus to her. I didn’t want to – I wanted to choke her actually. But we all know that would not be the best way to handle it – so I prayed. And when I did – something really cool happened. My heart changed. I felt more compassion for her. I felt more patient and merciful towards her. God gave me the tools I needed to be the Godly woman He calls me to be. He lifted the burden of handling this all on my own.
My daughter, Ashley, was being bullied – pretty severely. She was in the 6th grade. There was this group of 3 or 4 girls that took every opportunity they could to call her names and corner her. One time she was in the school bathroom – minding her own business. This group of girls came in and cornered her. She could not get away. They begun to push her and say hurtful things to her. When she did manage to get away – she was so upset that we wound up at the police department that evening. Turns out if the girls would have moved her 5′ or more while she was cornered – we could have charged them for kidnapping. That didn’t happen of course – but it had to stop nonetheless. So we filed our report and went home.
That evening as I was tucking my daughter into bed – we started talking about prayer. I asked her if she had ever prayed for these girls. One of them in particular (we will call her Kathy) was the instigator. If she wasn’t at school – the bullying didn’t happen. So I asked her; “Ashley – have you ever thought about praying for Kathy? You should have seen the look she gave me. It was as if I had asked her if I had 5 eyes. I explained to her that Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) It was a hard concept for her to grasp; And understandably so….so I prayed with her. We prayed for Kathy. We prayed for her almost every night for several months.
The school year came to an end and summer was here. She didn’t have any run ins with Kathy and her gang thankfully.
When the school year started back up – Ashley decided to join cross country. Guess who else was on the team. Yep – Kathy was on her team. We encouraged Ashley to stick with it and we made sure we kept an eye on the situation. Then something really cool happened. Ashley and Kathy began to talk. They began to run together. They got to really know each other Before we knew it – Ashley was asking if she could invite Kathy over to stay the night. While her dad and I were apprehensive, we consented. We were pleasantly surprised. Kathy turned out to be a fun girl and we enjoyed having her around.
Ashley and Kathy remain friends. They have different goals in life and do not hang out anymore. But when they pass in the hall – Ashley gets a high five instead of a low blow.
Mercy. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Friendship. A Life Lesson. All of these and more were gained by following one simple teaching in the bible. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed all of them.