I had a moment recently where God clearly showed me something about myself that rocked me to my core. And it ain't pretty.
It happened two Sundays ago. Caleb joined another family as they were walking into church. I still had to get the two little ones out of the van by myself as Richie had come to church earlier that morning. Needless to say, my oldest born left me in the dust when he saw some of his favorite little friends.
I was a bit put out, because in my head, my perfect son would have first asked my permission instead of yelling his goodbye and ditching me. In addition, he would have asked if there was anything that he could carry in for me. And since I used the word perfect, I might as well add that he would have told me how lovely I was and that he would have held open every door for me. But...he acted like an 8 year old instead.
I busily made my way into church, got Samuel and Abigail situated, and sat down. We were to go up front this morning as a family to be introduced as "new" members of our church (yes, we've been there for two years, it's a long story that perhaps I'll share some time). Richie was handling some other duties at church, but his job was to collect the boys and meet me so we could all go up together.
When it came time, Richie did not find Caleb in class. He brought Samuel and said that Caleb's teacher had not seen him that morning. Panic wanted to immediately take over. But thankfully, my brain does function well under pressure and I immediately began to process.
I knew he had to have made it into church because he was with the other family, friends I trust deeply. Where could he possibly be? Could he be skipping class? I began to get my lecture prepared and developing his discipline plan while panic nipped at my heels.
As we walked into the sanctuary, I began scanning for our friends. I just knew if I could find them, I could find my answer. Or at least I would find help in locating him. Could he be sitting with them? No. My thoughts teeter totted between having a lost child and a rebellious child. And really, how could he be lost? So the explanation must mean a misfit child...
We walked on stage with the other new members and I continued to scan the faces. Holding back from grabbing the microphone and asking for help to find my child. Then, up he stands from the congregation to come join us.
Relief flooded over me. No lost child. No rebellious misfit. But amongst the relief, I was shaken. Shaken by my immediate reaction and how clearly God revealed a serious prejudice against my son in my heart.
Caleb (4) and me
I thought the worst of him. One of the first thoughts I had, and kept, was the worst about him. What kind of mother am I that I would just assume the worst about him? Sure, we've had plenty of discipline issues, but none that should have me assuming the worst. There's just no excuse for it.And I feel horrible. Knowing full well that our heavenly Father does not look at me and see the worst. Yet that is what I did to my own son. Ouch.
I try to make excersizing mercy part of my parenting. Keep realistic expectations. Try to start new after a discipline issue and restore the relationship. To exhibit the nature of God. Obviously, I still have a long way to go. Wow. I'm just thankful that God showed this to me before it went on any longer.
And it just makes me wonder what other areas in my life I do the same. 'Cause flat out, I don't want to walk this way. I want to be able to walk in His perfect love. And I certainly don't want to be in judgement, because I know what that will get me.
Lord, forgive me and Caleb, I hope you will too.