Friday, May 4, 2012

When Parenting Stings

"Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me...

You Know Me,

you know me.

You perceive my thoughts from afar.

Before a word is on my tongue, you-know-it-Completely...

You know me, completely." (psalm 139)

I have spent, days, months, years, wondering if I might ever change, wondering if these dark spots in my being might ever become something bright for His glory?

My Siah and I, three out of the five nights in a week, we go to bed not understanding each other. 

I thought these days might come when he was a teenager. 

But he's seven, and these days are here, and I don't know what to do, how to move into HIM, how to conquer that feeling of being paralyzed in a moment that secretly, I was hoping all along would never come... that moment when him and I turn off the lights and both whisper goodnight, simply out of courtesy. 

He falls asleep broken. 

I fall asleep broken.

On night two, he tries with all his seven year old might to tell me what's going on in that angry, yelling, broken heart of his, 

"I feel. Well, I kinda think I fell like... Like you just don't like me."

A sharp, sharp sting right to the very center of a Mama's heart.

How did we get here? 

We both sit there quiet in the dark and I can hear that still small voice, His Spirit asking me so gently to humble myself and model restoration to my son by being the first to admit that I played a huge part in the sting of the day. 

My Siah, he listens as I lay it all bare. His big brown eyes look into mine. 

He's looking and listening but his lips are silent.

This was never the plan. This messy way of life, of family, was it supposed to hurt this bad?

There's so much in this parenting that no one ever tells. And maybe it's not because they don't want to tell. But maybe it's simply because there are places in parenting that require an insane amount of courage to walk through, and they can't just be told, they need to be lived. 

On night three, my son and I talk in the dark, again. Although angry, I know my greatest tool is love, and I put aside all the moments in a day that make little sense, and I pour out what both of our hearts need the most...

"My Siah, there is nothing you can ever do, EVER, to make me love you less."

With a sentence, his face softens, his heart softens, and he reaches up and wraps his arms around my neck, tears streaming down his face and mine.

Peter was right ya know... When we chose love, we cover up a multitude of black.

This parenting is a process. And I want to learn to choose to walk through all it's moments with a willing heart to put myself aside and press into whatever He has for us to learn as a family.

What I need the most is Christ. 

What I need TO WANT the most is Christ. 

I don't need to want to be the perfect parent. 

What I really need, is to remember that there is only one perfect parent and He_Knows_Me... inside and out, He knows me! And He knows my son. 

He knows my words before they are even on my tongue. And he restores him and I when those words sting. And He is faithful to teach me with His life, how to chose better words towards my son. And He is faithful to forgive all that I've messed up and to take my mistakes and remove them as far away as the east is from the west. 

He is faithful to make all things new in me. 

I simply need to believe that He will actually do in me what He says He will do.

I will not stay the same.

And when I find myself muddling for days on end, I want to remember that He's never left. 

These days, months, years... the ones that carry the dark spots of my heart, they will somehow become bright for His glory...

He knows me, completely.

And, somehow,

in His knowledge of everything,

He knows how to take brokenness,

and turn  it into a bright shining star in the pit of a vast black sky.

Bringing HOPE,

for a broken Mama who wants nothing more most,

than Christ.

This morning,

he came into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around his Mama and said it with his head resting on my chest, resting on that place that houses my heart,

"I love you Mama."

Sometimes the sting pokes a hole just big enough to let love seep in deep.