It has been easy for me to become disillusioned with the church programs I was raised with as I cope with the damaging effects of pornography and addiction.
“There was never a lesson in Sunday school about boundaries.” I’ve been known to spitefully accuse.
A few weeks ago as I brushed my little girl’s hair for church I had a strong impression. I realized that at church she is learning all the important things she will need in order to face the challenges ahead of her.It’s possible that women all over the world have wondered why Sunday school lessons weren’t “relevant” to their crisis. For example, there wasn’t a lesson about how to cope with losing everything in a natural disaster, or how to process through the feelings of an untimely death of a family member. I’m sure there is a broken heart who wondered why she never had a lesson in young women about the anguish of a double mastectomy.
The gospel is universal. It is designed to offer peace and joy to the souls of all who suffer. And while I still plan to teach my daughter about boundaries and self-care, I realized that at church she is learning exactly what she needs to know.
There is a loving God in Heaven who knows her.
Blessings come from living in obedience to God’s commandments.
The safest answers will be found in her heart, planted there by God through the Holy Ghost.
Jesus Christ suffered an atonement that qualifies him to be her most loyal friend and advocate. He will always remove her pain and shortcomings when she turns to him.
Joy is found in kindness and charity.
Her body, no matter what it looks like, is a sacred creation and can be capable of amazing things when she cares for it.
Her virtue is hers to protect and respect.
Honesty and integrity will give her a clear conscience and confidence.
Reaching out and offering love to others will be her greatest source of happiness.
I find myself occasionally facing fears about the suffering my children will inevitably face. In my codependent moments I become desperate to control the information they receive and the circumstances they face. But when I look back at my own journey into recovery I see a beautiful patchwork of guidance, friendship, leadership, lessons, websites, and resources. A friend here, a blog there, a 12-step meeting, and a “chance” encounter.
God can’t possibly have individualized Sunday school lessons for each of his suffering children. So he sticks with the essentials. And then with providential power, God orchestrates His world to provide what each of his children need, when they need it.
He is the God I worship, and the God I want my daughter to worship. He can be trusted. He will provide.