Four friends had come over to play with nine-year-old Sally. Sally disappeared. Her mother, Ruth, found her under her bed crying, “They don’t want to play with me.” Ruth had been here before with Sally. Sally perceives and then interprets much of what happens to her in a distinctly negative way, turning innocuous events into personal slights or insults. It was happening again. “Sally, your friends have been looking all over the house for you. They want to play with you.” As before, Ruth had to keep it up for some time before Sally finally believed it, dried her eyes, and came out to play. Ruth knows this situation may recur again for quite some time, until Sally finally understands that she is loved and accepted just as she is. Ruth encourages her to see God’s love for her and to draw on it. She does not encourage Sally to ignore truly bad behavior from others but to temper it with this perception of love. Ruth has help. She has a support group of Christian mothers who encourage her. Above all, she has God’s help. A sad story? No, a good story. Sally trusts her mother and shares her true feelings with her. Her mother is there to walk through this with Sally and understands the importance of it. A counselor would say this is just what parents are for – to help their daughters and sons to see reality rather than to distort it. Reality is always better than unreality a wise counselor would say.
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