But I realize I can't run away from them. If I truly want to be set free, I must deal with any open wound that made the journey with me until now.
The night before last, while tucking my son in to bed (there was actually no tucking involved, since it's an oven lately here in Southern California), he asked me to lie down next to him until he fell asleep. I did so, but only for a little while. As I stroked his hair and he pulled in closer to me, so in love with his mama, I broke and cried. He didn't realize it, but I couldn't hold the tears back. His love overwhelmed me. It hit me like a ton of bricks again; I am a mother and this child, this gift from the Almighty, adores me.
As I caressed his arm and kissed his forehead, I seriously attempted to think of something else, but I couldn't push the thoughts away. I wondered, "How can I make my son feel loved in a way I myself longed to feel when I was his tender age of 10?"
I have this moment in time when I can show him love. Tomorrow isn't promised, but we have now, this moment. I thought about what I had wished I'd experienced growing up, and as my son melted into me, I kissed him some more. "I love you," I repeated to him. Doubts lingered in my mind as I wondered if I could even show him love. My childhood didn't consist of much affection or physical contact; have I been loving enough, myself?
I wondered if he would grow up to resent me for not playing with him enough or for not giving him a sibling to play with. Sure, his cousins are here five days a week, but he wants a brother (he wants an older brother, though- good luck with that!).
I pushed away thoughts of the incomplete work I have pending still. I just stayed there and allowed myself to feel; to hurt; to think.
I don't want to make my son unjustly pay for my own hurts and insecurities. Yes, I have come short of the perfect mother; we all have. I don't aspire to be "Wonder Woman," nor do I wish to give my son everything he wants. I simply want him to know and feel that he is loved, as he is brought up in the love and admonition of the Lord.
Time is precious. Time is fragile and fleeing. It's a thief, but really, it takes what we allow. Most of all, it's a gift. What shall we do with it? Shall I waste it suppressing old wounds as they rise to the surface again? I'm tired of that.
I made a choice to surrender everything to Christ. Where is my faith if I do not? Where else would I go? To whom shall I go? He has the words that give eternal life (John 6:68).
Keeping a journal is a great way of staying in touch with our feelings. We can use it as a prayer journal, or simply a way to jot our thoughts down at the end of the day. Let's be done dragging our baggage around as if it were easy or helpful at all in our relationships.
Let us let go of them, be set free, and experience God's grace in all areas of our lives. There is joy in this freedom God gives. There is peace.
The love we've always had from our Heavenly Father, even before we knew Him, is abundant enough to restore all that is broken; all that never was, or never should have been. We can grab hold of this love as He fills our cups to overflowing, that we may in turn pour it out into our families, neighborhoods, ministries, and world. Together. Because we are better together.