Son, Your Words are Painfully True

Lately, I feel like my son has been speaking my mind, uttering my junk.

Like he’s been speaking the real things and the raw thoughts that I don’t always want to share and certainly hesitate to reveal. He’s been sharing right from the pit of his little, imperfect heart, sparing no tact and spewing the honest things. He’s been acknowledging the hard and messy thoughts that swirl in his head–the things he struggles with and the things that make him uncomfortable, worried, and down-right angry and scared. He’s not mincing words, dancing around the truth, or sugar-coating his frustrating realities and his sinful tendencies. And as he shares, he seems to share with unashamed courage, not worrying how I’ll perceive or receive his muck and yuck.

And it’s been good for this mama’s heart. SOOOO good.

Why?

Because it’s not only given me “conviction space” to acknowledge and accept those raw and real thoughts that I also have, but it’s also created a place for me to process his yuck and mine…all at the same, sweet time.

So, in an attempt to remember these moments (uploading memories) while simultaneously practicing the authenticity I preach and so desperately crave (downloading grace), I thought I would share some of my son’s words–the raw and real thoughts that have resonated with his mama’s heart…and maybe yours, too.

1. “Mommy, sometimes I just want my life to be how I want it to be, and I don’t want anyone else to tell me how to live.”

Isn’t that the real truth?!?! How often I desire to live my comfortable, safe, and desired life, not wanting anyone or anything else to threaten my safe things and my valued places. I want control, and I want it my way. I want things to go as I plan, as I want, and as I think would be best. Though I don’t always say it, “I want my life to be how I want it to be,” and I struggle when it’s not. I don’t want that bowl of suffering or that cup of hard; no, I want ease, and happiness, and a whole bunch of things that go my way on my timetable. Can I get an A-MEN?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

2. “I hope that church goes quick because I like to go home and do what I want to do.”

Ouch. Ever said or thought that before? I know I have. Sitting in church, I find myself thinking about the day or week ahead. I find myself eager to get home and relax, unwind and lay on the couch. I find myself struggling with adding another “church activity” or another “time obligation,” finding lame excuses and other weak reasons as to why other things should take precedence (including but not limited to…family time, down time, and me time). Church and community takes time, energy, and a whole lot of grace. It requires transparency, compassion, mercy, courage, and honest reflection. And let’s be honest, sometimes it would just be easier to “go home and do what we want to do” rather than invest in the C-H-U-R-C-H. Right?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

3. “It’s hard to be gracious to Evie because she isn’t acknowledging me being nice.” 

Ai yi yi. Been there, felt that. It’s easy being gracious and kind when people are responding like we want them to, right? But the second your efforts aren’t noticed and the hot minute that your love isn’t accepted? Yikes! That is the stuff that hurts the pride and humbles the spirit. It’s easier to be merciful to those who are merciful, and it’s easier to be gracious with those who are gracious. Didn’t he see how I bent over backwards for him? Didn’t she notice how hard I was trying to act differently? Those times when your love is shoved off and your generosity isn’t blinked at can be downright hard. We want our fruit to be acknowledged, and it’s hurtful and even angering when it’s not. Been there?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

 

5. “Mommy, sometimes I get so angry that I want to burst.”

Yes, yes, and yes. Sometimes my anger is so red-hot and lava-mad. Sometimes my ignition is quick and my fuse is short. Sometimes my anger comes out and sometimes my anger stays still. Sometimes my anger boils out when I don’t want it to, and sometimes it seeps out when I least expect it. Sometimes my anger looks like irritation and sometimes it sounds like a ROAR. Sometimes it looks aggressive and sometimes it looks passive but most times…it just feels scary, shameful, and 100% sinful. Ever had those feelings?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

6. “Sometimes I get really scared of new people and their eyes.” 

Ummm…me too, son. Me too. New things are hard for me and new people and new interactions can be scary, especially when you’re afraid of their gaze. Worrying about what they think, and how they’ll perceive you, and if they’ll accept you. Concerned with how you’ll come across and if you’ll be “too much,” and whether or not it will take effort and energy that isn’t easy. Insecurity that breeds fear, and fear that breeds more fear, and fear that gets you stuck. I’ve been there. Have you?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

7. “I feel really special when you need me.” 

Yep. It’s nice to feel needed and wanted. And though there isn’t anything wrong with wanting a role and a place, there isn’t anything good about feeling “less than” and “unloved” when you don’t. We want to stand out; we want to be needed; we want to have a niche; and we want to be WANTED. Do I make a difference? Do I matter? Am I seen? Do they care? So when those friends don’t reach out, and those family members don’t seem to remember, and that boss doesn’t recognize, it’s easy to cling (and even fight) for an identity that is rooted in being loved, pursued, needed, and known. You too?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

8. “Mommy, I don’t always like when things change.” 

Son, your apple fell straight from my branch. I get it; I really, really do. Change is hard and even scary; change is unknown and even uncontrollable at times. Change requires adjustments and “letting go;” it demands trust and acceptance. Change isn’t always pretty and easy, happy and fun. Change can require new actions and new thoughts; it causes shifting and assessment. Change can be good and best, but man…oh man…change can also be overwhelmingly new. Sometimes it feels easier and safer to stay in the “old” than to live in the “new.” How ’bout you?

Son, your words are painfully true. 

But, son, if there is one thing I’m learning and encouraging both you and myself to do, it’s this:

No matter the change, no matter the hard,

no matter the feelings, no matter the frustrations,

no matter the roles, no matter the remembrance,

may we find rest and refuge in the ONE who sees it all, holds it all, and cares about it all

the ONE who is NEVER, EVER overwhelmed by any of it and any of us.   

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