(Originally posted on our former blog site on 8/7/2013)
As a mother of two boys I have heard my fair share of screams.
There is the “brother has my toy” scream, the “you’re not paying attention to me” scream, the “I’m too tired to communicate” scream, the “I hurt myself” scream, the “I’m dying” scream and then, the worst of all, the “I just got a shot” scream. Not I’ve BEEN shot. But the… “you took me to the dr. and they pierced my innocent skin with what seems like a ten inch needle that reached to the depths of my soul” kind of shot.
Taking my five year old into the doctor’s for anything that requires a shot is pretty much my sign to prepare myself for total embarrassment because the world is about to end.
He literally screams at the nurse with huge crocodile tears and every time I feel like the worst mother imaginable. Realizing that this can be such a traumatic event (as it was for me also growing up), I made sure to speak very nicely when the nurse came in to give my youngest son his round of shots for his one year old checkup. I am sure this is the part of the job that they dislike the least, unless they are a special kind of person who thrives on torturing children. I think I have met a few of those. In this case it was a sweet elderly woman and I braced myself for what was sure to be a doosy.
I held Jacob’s legs down, turned away, and closed my eyes as if the action of not seeing would actually help the situation.
And then I heard something that I had never heard before…
“I’ve never gotten that reaction” the nursed said as she was putting his clothes back on. What reaction? Is he ok? Did he die? Did you even go through with it? What happened exactly?
I looked up at the nurse who was smiling from ear to ear and she simply said- “he scowled at me”. Instead of screaming bloody murder or kicking her in the face as justifiable payback, Jacob just simply took it like a baby... and scowled.
I could hardly believe it so I decided to go against my motherly instinct of closing my eyes and watched his face as he got his most recent immunizations. Sure enough, my little 19 month old albino baby looked straight into the nurse’s eyes and after getting three shots his once smiling face turned into one of silent anger. I didn’t know whether to be proud or frightened of him.
What kind of a baby just scowls?
After writing the blog last week on WHAT-THE-WHAT (WHAT am I feeling?... THE reason is… WHAT does the Word say?) I have gone through my own plethora of feelings as we all do in the course of a week. We never know what life will throw at us or how to prepare ourselves for such an event. And in each situation I have come to realize that everyone reacts differently.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel.
They just are what they are. Emotional reactions. Feelings.
It would be so much easier to not feel, to not have to deal with the filtering of our own emotions. To just know the right thing, believe the right thing and do the right thing without the constant nagging of feelings getting in the way. Life would be so much easier that way. To not have to look at a mirror and FEEL worthless, FEEL like a failure, FEEL weak, FEEL invisible, FEEL anything that isn’t the truth that the Word speaks about us. But we do have those feelings.
Some may cry, some scream, some scowl, but we all have our own unique feelings.
I don’t know what you are facing, what mountain of an emotion that has come up in your own life, but I am praying for you. I am praying that the feeling and all of the reasons for it will be silenced by the peace that comes from the Word of God. That you would rest in Him knowing that it may not be all right in this moment but He is enough to get you through. That when you don’t have the strength to stare something in the face with great confidence, you can still look calmly into the eyes of the one who has hurt you and whisper to yourself “despite how I feel right now, I will choose to forgive you”... even if it is with a scowl on your face. And then tomorrow when you wake up and that thing rises back up you remind yourself that you still choose to forgive. And you choose it for every day after that.
I do not write this as one who feels they have it all together, but as one who has had her own strength drained from her body. One who’s assurance has now been replaced with a quiet confusion. One who’s own voice has been reduced to a whisper.
I choose God over this hurt; I choose truth over this feeling, I CHOOSE.
It hurts and I don’t understand but I choose. I am not reacting or handling it like that person over there, but I choose. It’s taking a little longer than expected but I choose. What happened wasn’t right but it doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice my righteousness for it, I STILL CHOOSE. You can do it. We can do it. With all the boldness of a lion or the meekness of a sheep... to each their own.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! AMP