And women shall be saved through childbirth...
I've never known what to think exactly about this passage and it has always irked me a little. I have heard pastors and fellow moms expound upon the meanings and I have looked up the commentaries and all that but never has it really meant anything to my heart until this week.
My heart has been heavy to the point of breaking. Many tears have fallen and many prayers have risen.
My daughter needs Jesus. And so do I.
SJ has always been a serious child. I think this contributed to her colic as a baby. She is easily over stimulated and over whelmed by people and new situations. She likes formula, routine, consistency, rules.
However, once we sort of figured each other out... somewhere between one year and 18 months, life with her was such a joy.
She is terribly cute and funny in her seriousness and very communicative at an early age. We had normal girl drama and fussiness but up until her third birthday, toddlerhood was pretty easy.
At the three year mark we started to get some of the stronger will coming out.
Then, since my return from the most recent visit to France the tantrums began. However, they were few and far between until the past week or two. We could usually avoid them by avoiding situations where she might be overtired, overstimulated or over hungry... however, life is not perfect and predictable so even that wasn't fail proof.
Since returning from Christmas, they have been every day, every bed time and many times in-between.
For some one who is naturally compliant and sensitive, this is a struggle.
When SJ hits me or screams in my face I just want to cower and cry.
I am not saying this to say my nature is better than hers... absolutely not. I'm saying my weakness is perfectly fitted with her weakness to create quite the storm of emotion.
However, once I hit the bottom of the parenting barrel, I looked up. Since then, I have been trying to fix my gaze on things above... on the One above who I desire to please more than SJ, Drew or even myself (gasp). I am fixed on the loving gaze of the One who loves my daughter right in the midst of her rage and who loves this mama right in the middle of her weakness.
And each day I have felt His strength through me.
The strength to not take every fit and act of defiance personally (though I still do sometimes).
The strength to hold the raging child with peace and love and patience.
The strength to remember to pray pray pray... and then pray some more.
The strength not to give in to my self pity and depressing moods but to keep persevering.
None of that strength is from me. I am not a boot straps person. I am a call the husband weeping in the car with a screaming child strapped in the back seat sort of person.
I am a curl up in a ball and cry or watch TV until I forget person.
Only in Christ is there any good, any chance of a glimpse of good parenting, any ability to love beyond what naturally pleases me or makes me feel good.
And I have seen Christ emerging from me little by little day by day and then this verse comes to mind and I see Him saving me.
Not that my salvation was in doubt until now but I see him making me look more like himself. I see the changes this struggle is bringing and hopefully will bring in the future. I see that with out this challenge... with out this hardest thing I've ever done called parenting thing... I would not have this growth in the same ways.. I would not taste the sweetness mixed with the bitter and sour.
Today I am encouraged that though I am one step forward and two steps back with my toddler, than I am ever forward on my journey with the Lord and that HE IS FAITHFUL. yes.
And He is LOVE.