One of my kiddos just can’t catch a break. I will spare you the details but it’s not pretty. Some of it is life and some of it is poor choices and some of it, dare I say, most of it, is because middle school and high school can suck and because middle schoolers and high schoolers can suck as well.
I know this because I have raised four, and I was one myself.
I found myself this week, going to my child’s room with punishment to dole out but loving on them instead. There I was on the bedroom floor pouring out my own soul from a place of compassion and sympathy. The irony is not lost on me when I hear myself saying things like,
“It’s them, not you!”
“Their loss sweety!” or,
“I’ll hang out with you! I think you are fabulous!”
These are the sort of things my mom said back in the day that almost made me feel like more of a loser than I already thought I was and I can still hear her voice. I say the textbook phrases I know to say and then some. Ugh! I disgust myself just thinking about it! I know now that she meant every word and that whether I knew it or not, God would use these words to soothe my wounded soul. A mother will go to great lengths in order for the soul of her child to feel it’s worth. That thing that God put in you… that thing the devil wants to rob from you? Yeah, your mama sees that and is desperate for you to see it too!
I watch to see if my child is H E A R I N G me and buying my cliches… I sense reluctant trust in the eyes staring back at me, so I continue.
“I always felt too awkwardly mature and yet too immature in the presence of my peers. (I still do every now and then.) I cried sometimes in the bathroom when I had no one to eat lunch with, and I felt left out often. People can be unkind.
I don’t know why it happened. But it did.
This I do know…
It made me a really compassionate adult and it gave me a strong desire to be a good friend. It makes me scan the room for someone who may be lonely and I try to always be inclusive. I would not be this way otherwise. I have often wondered why God couldn’t just hardwire me with compassion and “good friendship” qualities instead of seemingly beating in into me through the school of hard knocks, until I screamed, ‘Okay! Okay, Uncle! I promise to always be a good friend! Sheesh!’ I will certainly add that to my list of questions to ask God when I see Him. (right along with “What was the deal with lice and cockroaches!)
I also know this…
We are not robots and we were created with free will which makes things very messy but sweeter and more appreciated when hard fought for.” I told my child about the mean girls and bullies and the prom I didn’t go to. But also the day I met my husband and about my picture perfect wedding and the one time I met Charles Barkley! (because let’s not forget I’m a cool mom!)
“This is only a season”, I say “and the good thing about seasons is they have a start and a finish and then you get a new one that looks and feels totally different.”
We talked for more than an hour and there were tears and then laughter. I said the cliche things that my mom said to me, not because I had nothing else to say but because they bring healing and life and they are true.
And the truth sets us free.
Somewhere along the way, we believed a lie that because these word come from the person who knows and loves us best, that somehow they are less true? We talked about loving ourselves well, loving our neighbor and loving our enemies! We talked about self care and choosing joy, which are the hidden gems and keys to survival in seasons like this. Hey, just because other people treat you bad, doesn’t mean you have to as well. Go treat yourself good!
The night was a lot to take in so we recapped and made the only obvious choice! We ordered take-out and binge watched TV.
Because this I also know to be true…
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
And we are to comfort others with the comfort we have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
When I was in need of comfort (and at times forgiveness) my mom spoke words over me that were meaningful and true, that went deep down in my soul like honey, and my soul felt its worth and it saved my life. It turns out my mom was right!
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24