“But mom, I didn’t know you were still proud of me…”
Ouch. What did he mean still proud of him? Of course I’m proud of him. He’s my son! My precious, stubborn but sweet, gentle but ornery, amazingly created by Christ himself, son!
You see, earlier that same day, we had a moment. You know those moments when your almost five year old doesn’t want to listen? No. Matter. What. Yeah, one of those moments. So I sternly said I was disappointed in his behavior…(other conversation was had, but that’s the main point for this story!)
The day went on and we all went about out business as usual. Bedtime rolled around and after finishing the boys’ prayers, I told them I loved them and was very proud of them. Insert his comment. Insert my aching heart and tear-filled eyes.
“Why wouldn’t I be proud of you, honey? Of course I am!”
“But mom, remember when you said you were disappointed…”
After they were all peacefully sleeping, I got to have some of my favorite time, reflection time. I was actually burdened by the comment. How many times do I say things or maybe fail to say things that make a huge impact? And, so many times without even thinking about it. I’m proud of you. So easy to say, and so sincere, but do I always listen to the prompting to show love and speak kindness? The answer is no. But, why?
Sometimes, I’m just too “busy”. I may get distracted, sure. But the main problem is fear. Fear stops me. Not as much with my children (I praise them all day), but with other relationships. What will they think if I say… I don’t know enough to say anything… Will I upset them…I don’t want to be “that girl”… They know I’m no better…
This week alone has been an emotional roller coaster. Not really in my own personal environment, but in many of my friends and even some acquaintances’ lives. There were moments of pure celebration and moments of extreme brokenness, and honestly everything in between. And you know what? Even with all the emotions, it was an awesome reminder. A reminder that we must show love. We must speak truth. We must encourage when we have the opportunity. We must extend grace. We must listen to the conviction to pray alongside someone, even when it may be uncomfortable.
Will it be perfect? No. Will we always know what to say? No. Will everyone be receptive? Maybe not. Will people think we are strange? Perhaps. Does it matter? NO. Because someone may be feeling just as my middle son was. Listening to the last comment that left them feeling defeated. The last comment that broke them. The last really bad moment with someone they really love.
And perhaps, God is working through us to ignite that Hope.
I recently went through a major pruning season. I could quite possibly still be in the midst of it! And one thing I’ve really become aware of is that it’s not about me. None of this is about me. And that’s a relief! God has created me in His image and how He wants me. How HE wants me. And I’m good enough. I’m able to do the work He has planned in me and do it well…with Him!
Will it be perfect? No. Will I always know what to say and do? No! Will everyone be receptive? Probably not. Will people think I am strange? Absolutely. Does it matter? NO! Am I ok with that? I’m getting there. Will it all be ok? Yes!
Because God is working in and through me, and I have Hope.
Whatever your gift is, share it. Whatever love is on your heart, give it. Whatever fear is stopping you, crush it. It’s not about you. It’s about what God is doing in and through you. And, that’s pretty exciting.
Now, who can you go out and bless today with love and service? Who is looking for Hope?