I find myself frustrated this morning holding a hurting child as she screams and thrashes in my arms.
Doing all within her power to keep me away from her heart.
I am not frustrated with her but with myself.
Frustrated with how many times I have failed to connect with her when given the opportunity. Frustrated that I couldn't deal with her (seemingly) milder attachment issues when she was younger. Frustrated that after all this time, and all the books, and all the therapy, and all the training that I still find myself falling short of my goal!
My mind drifts to times I have been frustrated with my attached kids for not being at the end of the race instead of in the process of running it.
How quickly I get irritated at Caleb for not sitting in "big" church with a happy heart.
How disappointed I can be when any of the kids pass up an opportunity to help someone because their eyes are fixed on playing instead.
How quickly I get annoyed at Seth's whining.
I get so caught up with the fact that they haven't finished the race, haven't met all my
goals for them that I forget that they are in process.
In process there's going to be fits, there's going to be rages, there's going to be times that they flat out disobey. For my attachment kids-they are going to say and do horribly hurtful things.
That's because they aren't there yet.
They are in process.
They haven't mastered self control.
They haven't learned how to serve selflessly.
They don't know the joy of obedience to a loving parent.
And that is OK.
And the thing God gently whispered in my ear today, as He so often does is this:
"You are in process too.
"There is mercy and grace and forgiveness for you too.
You are not at the end. I expect you to fall.
Each fall brings you closer to Me.
I can redeem your mess!"
If you struggle, as I do, to receive God's gift of mercy and grace PLEASE PLEASE watch this 2 minute video by Matt Chandler:
So as I absorb my 4 year olds screaming, hitting and thrashing I am overwhelmed with gratefulness. Thankful that I get to be her Mommy. Thankful that God has given me resources to understand her hurt and help her heal. And so very grateful that I have witnessed Him heal. What a privilege to be able to help a child learn to love and trust for the first time.
If you are on this journey, parenting a hurting child, be encouraged!
You are not alone!