I lost my temper – again. He’s just a little boy, he’s just pushing my buttons, he’s just testing the waters of independence. Why did I have to yell? Why did I have to slam the door? Why did I have to stomp away, knowing he could hear my footsteps taking me away from him, leaving him alone in his room?
He didn’t mean to make the mess. What is the matter with me? I know he’s in his room, feeling confused and afraid. I know he’s crying. The tiny cherub face that I love so much is probably covered in tears. And he’ll need a kleenex soon.
I take my moment of solitude and I use it to calm down, to pray, to regroup, to take my focus off the stresses of my day. There is so much going on! So much to bog me down, discourage me and make me lose sight of the important things in my life. I need to let go of my plans, my expectations, my perfectionism. For his sake and for my sake, I need to release the stranglehold of control I so desperately crave. I need to trust God with all I am and have, not just with bits and pieces of my life.
I know my little boy doesn’t deserve the reaction he got from me. I know he doesn’t understand my emotions. I know he needs his mommy right now.
I curl up my knees on the couch, lay my head on my hands and try to be still. I try to pray. How do I give it all over? How do I let it all go? I have to choose it. One issue at a time, one moment at time, one day at a time. I sing quietly to myself – a song that speaks of God’s majesty and power and love. One by one I give Him everything that comes to mind. One by one I feel Him take them. I want to grab them back from Him, I am so used to carrying the burden myself. I keep singing and releasing and breathing. I feel Him draw near to me and envelope me in an invisible embrace that can carry me through whatever life brings. I am safe. I am loved. I am a child of God.
The petty annoyances fall away, the selfishness melts, the self-pity scurries. I make peace – with my God and with myself. I give all my worries to the One who wants to carry them. I ask Him to forgive me and help me be the mother He wants me to be to this precious boy He’s given me to love and raise up.
Now I must make peace with my son. His cries have quieted. God must have touched His heart as He was touching mine. I open the door to his sky-blue room, and my gaze meets his big bright eyes. He knows me so well, this flesh of my flesh. He knows I’m done being mad, that I want to make peace. He knows his mommy is OK, she’s safe, she loves him.
I sit on his big-boy bed and hold my arms open wide. He walks into them and I wrap him in my love, just as I am wrapped in God’s love. I lay my cheek on his soft, golden hair and I say what I mean with my whole heart.
“I’m sorry I got mad. I love you.”
“It’s okay Mommy. I love you too.”
Just like that all is right in the world again. My son knows his mommy loves him, and I know I am loved by my Heavenly Father. Peace reigns supreme. We walk out of his room, hand in hand, on our way to clean up the mess in our hearts and our home – together.
Lord, may I always be a living example of Your grace, love and peace in my son’s life. May he look at me and see You. May I never make him doubt he is a son of God.
– Adapted from an article I wrote for The Link & Visitor, a publication of The Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec.