Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clinging to the Truth

Dear Macy,

My precious baby girl. You are already six years old; I can't believe how you've grown before my eyes. Sometimes I watch you, and I become overwhelmed with the full blown girl in front of me. We have definitely entered the next phase of parenting with you and it is frightening and exhausting and completely wonderful.

I have to tell you some things I'm learning about you though. So that I can get them clear in my head and continue to hold a mirror up to you so that you too can grow to see them clearly in time. They are things that I am afraid you are just beginning to battle, and you will have a long and tear filled journey ahead of you I'm almost certain. But oh my sweet girl, I promise you, I will battle with you. I will help you, I will show you truth and I will be your teammate. Because I know this struggle I am seeing in you and my heart breaks that it will be yours too.

You my daughter, are self-righteous.

And you are struggling right now, really really struggling, to see your wrong doing in any and every circumstance. You do not easily admit fault, you look for every which way to blame someone else, and to distract from the truth of your guilt; even by bending the truth. You're not bending it like in a bold face lie you know you're telling. It's worse, more tricky than that. You are lying to yourself. You are working yourself up, in crying and fits and complete uncontrollable despair and you are telling yourself LIES. Your emotions are distracting you from being honest with yourself about the situation at hand and so you truly convince yourself of these 'it's not fair' and 'everybody hates me' lies.

I am not a stranger to these tactics, they get worse as you get older. And so my daughter, I see you. I see you. And I love you all the same, and it hurts me to watch such a complicated struggle go on inside of you. But don't worry. I am here, and I will help you.

Tonight we had a good talk. I don't know how much you will remember, but I sensed the Lord step in and give me wisdom and words for you, so I want to record them before I forget them. Cuz like I said, this is a complicated struggle, one that stirs deep wounds and memories in me, and I often feel incapable of steering you down a different path than the one I've walked.

It started out with a silly choice you made to come back to the table and eat your dessert without cleaning your room like you were supposed to. You let us believe your chore was done and ate your cookie anyway. So when the 4 of us sat down to read Magic Tree House and I discovered the state of your room, I let Daddy and Carter go ahead and start reading while you picked up your room like you were supposed to. You were missing the beginning, and you came completely unglued.

You began reeling with excuses and tears of injustice, when I stuck to my guns you became mad and huffy. The amount of times I had to stop you and correct your attitude and disrespectful comments while you were stomping around picking up your room ended up making you miss the entire chapter of the book. You were so so upset.

Climbing in to bed with you I waited for awhile until your tears calmed just a bit, but your sobs were still consistently about how unfair it was and how I didn't like you and how nobody cared about you. When I asked you who chose to not clean their room, you wouldn't answer. Instead you started talking about a bunch of other things. I could tell you were so distracted you couldn't even keep your mind focused on why you had actually received the consequence. We were making little progress.

I asked you to give me three feeling words and you said, "Stupid, Sad and Angry." We started with Stupid and you said you felt stupid because you felt like nobody loved you, even God. While I had a suspicion that you did not actually feel that but simply thought that would get my attention and I would feel sorry for you and let you off the hook, I decided in that moment it would do no good to convince you you didn't actually feel that. We'd simply go round and round.

So instead I told you there was a tricky problem with feelings and I was gonna tell you a secret. You were a little intrigued, I felt your little body relax a bit and quiet itself to hear me.

I told you that the bible says that feelings, more than anything else, are tricky and can lie to us. So it is our job to take our feelings and check them against things we KNOW are true, even if we don't feel them. And then we cling to truth. I asked if you knew what it meant to cling to something and you said "No", so I wrapped my arms around you and squeezed you as tight as I could. You giggled a little and rolled over to face me.

"That's what it means to cling. To hold as tightly as you possibly can to something and not let go. And the bible tells us to cling to what's TRUE." I said.

So then I helped you check what you were feeling against what was true. We talked about how we know it's true that God loves you no matter what. And we know it's true that you have lots and lots of people in your life that love you. So your job, if your feelings try to lie and tell you no one loves you, is to tell your feelings to 'Get out of here!' cuz they are tricking you.

This seemed to make sense to you. So I went a little further.

"Macy", I said "What is TRUE about tonight? Did you chose to come back to the table for dessert without cleaning your room first?"

"Yes" you whispered.

"So is it anyone's fault that you missed the book tonight besides yourself? Is it really unfair?"

Your response was barely audible, but your mouth formed a little "No" and I didn't push it any further. I know how hard that admission is. And I'm very proud of you for seeing it.

We talked about alot of other things after that too. We made a deal that I would always help you figure out if your feelings were tricking you, but you would need to always trust me enough to share them with me; and then trust me enough to believe me when I pointed you toward truth. And then we prayed and your little words brought joy to my heart.

"Dear Jesus, please help me cling to truth."

Yes Macy, YES. YES. YES!

Tonight, you went to sleep calm.

Oh Macy Grace, I love you so so much. Hang in there sweet girl, I am on your team.

Love Your Mama

1 comment:

anjuli paschall said...

this post was so encouraging for me to read. it is SO easy to not go to the heart of the issue with our kids. you could have just let her go to sleep and forgotten about the issue, but you went to her heart. this is such a good reminder to me. thanks katie.