Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Disappointment and Hurt

I consider myself to be a good mother. The kids are one of the top priorities in my life and life does tend to revolve around their needs. I know I will have to help them face and deal with disappointment in their lives. It seems like it will get harder as they get older. I can remember disappointment in my life growing up through friends, missed opportunities, and not making the team. So I guess I have some experience and can empathize. But it never really crossed my mind that I would at times be the CAUSE of disappointment and hurt in their life.

I'm not talking about the kind of hurt or disappointment that comes when you accidentally slam your sons hand in the sliding door of the van. That hurts, but I don't think that physical pain is anything compared to the heart hurt that our kids are exposed to.

One night we were all busily making notecards and Grant got this great idea to make a card for Mike. It was adorable it said, "Merry Christmas, Thank You For Being Our Paster!" He wanted to meet with the Elders of the church to plan to get everyone to sign it. Once he gets an idea in his head there is just no talking him out of it. With all my motherly compassion, I quickly dismissed the idea and swiftly broke his heart. His eyes filled with tears and he didn't want to help anymore and went off to his room. I felt horrible. If I make one of the girls cry it isn't too big of a deal because they do it all the time, but our laid back boy hardly ever has an emotional breakdown. Anyway, we worked it out and he had a plan which I think we all forgot about in the midst of the Christmas frenzy anyway. Nevertheless, It was an eye-opening experience for me.

At times I can be the cause of hurt and disappointment because I am tired, busy or thinking of other things. It is so easy to flippantly put down an idea or story just because it seems insignificant to me and I'm too busy to stop and pay attention. Or at times I get mad and yell over something, like a muddy shoeprint on the floor, that just isn't a big deal. All those times are so frustrating to look back on because usually the kids are just innocent victims of my bad mood or inattentiveness. I realized that I have to pray for help to not act on my emotions. And to not be so into what I am doing or listening to on the radio that what they have to say or need sets me off. (and of course there are times when they need to learn to wait).

There will also be times when I HAVE to cause disappointment. They may want to do something that is wrong or will hurt them. Sometimes leading them towards Christ will require no's that will be disappointing at the time. I have to learn to accept that as the parent I can't just be their buddies and let anything go. That's not what is best for them.

I want to be able to hug them when they are disappointed, hurt with them and encourage them. I want to not disappoint them myself whenever I can. But ultimately I guess I need to teach them to have faith in the One that will never disappoint them. He is never to busy or snaps back because He's in a bad mood. He understands their feelings and thoughts more than anyone else. This is another place where we want to run into Jesus' gracious arms. I think I better do that too because disappointment and hurt do not magically disappear when you turn 21. And I know drawing on His strength is the only way I can attempt to avoid causing those things in my kids.

And Jesus is the only one who can help me deal with my disappointment in myself when I mess up. He is the great healer and comforter which I need a lot of because it seems like I am blowing it all the time. This is such a big job and so important to me, but in order for it to work I need to rest in God's hands. Why I keep trying to do it on my own is beyond me!

Romans 5:3-5
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Psalm 42:5
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.