Of the many many things I know I’m not prepared for when it comes to parenting there is one that really caught me off guard recently: hurt feelings
I knew kids can make you angry, frustrated, and worn out, but having them hurt your feelings….to the core…never really crossed my mind. I just thought I’d always be able to put things my young child(ren) say to me in a box labeled “they don’t really mean it” and move on. However, this time I didn’t move on so easily.
Before you go getting all upset about that statement let me add a few side notes to it. Yes, children don’t always know the weight of what they say. Yes, children can speak out of anger and say things they really don’t mean (WE ALL do). Yes, I am the adult and need to take these things into account…ABSOLU]TELY….100%… I believe all of those things!!! However, in the moment (which I’ll share below) it hurt. Just go with my vulnerability (without judgment please)…it has a purpose.
Recently we were at someone else’s house with RED for awhile. These folks have children a little older than Red and they have lots of toys and well their house is just FUN!! Any kid would be in heaven there. Heck….I want to play like a kid when I’m there. Once it was time to go back to our house Red didn’t want to leave (understandably…the party was still going on). Finally we were able to corral him towards the car.
Later that night when I was laying down with Red for a few minutes, as I often do (that’s our time together and often when he shares things with me that are really on his mind) he said to me “Momma, I want to go live with __________ and I’ll come visit you and daddy, I promise”.
I froze. I didn’t know how to respond. I quickly kissed him goodnight and left the bedroom.
It’s important to note here that we finalize our adoption of Red this week. For those who don’t know our story this is a great time for you to read my posts titled Chosen-Part 1 and Loved-Part 2…these will help put you in my shoes for a minute.
In my head I knew all the things I listed above…he’s 5, he doesn’t know the weight of what he just said, his little mind is thinking about the FUN he had while there and nothing else. However, knowing all of this, it still struck me deep and the enemy took delight in it . As I sat on the edge of my bed sobbing the lies the enemy whispered in my ear were very real. Things like… I wasn’t what Red wanted or even needed and I had no business trying to be his momma. Areas of insecurity where I’ve let the world shape my identity started creeping in.
Once I realized what was going on (that I was allowing the enemy to have his way) I quickly rebuked the lies and ask the Lord to transform my mind (Romans 12:2). The Lord then gave me some perspective…He didn’t say it to me in a voice I could hear, but it was as though he whispered it straight to my heart: “This hurt you are feeling is just a taste of how I feel when my children choose the things of this world over their Heavenly Father”.
This is so often the same thing as God and His children. I could just picture Him watching me time and time again choosing the things of this world (money, success, popularity, beauty) over Him. I could picture Him sitting there watching me make choices that seemed “fun” at the time, but all the while He knew there was a better way…His way. Then in spite of my daily rejection of Him, God loves me anyways. No matter what! With open arms He welcomes me back to Him.
Now, knowing how much I love Red and how I’ll always love him (no matter what) I’m all the more aware of Christ’s own love for me. It’s an even greater, more unconditional love than I could ever offer a child. With this knowledge I find confidence in my unpreparedness, weaknesses, and imperfections in life. Just like I want Red to come to me with his real self..the Lord wants me to come to Him as my real self….just as I am.