Aftern Noah shared with me his hurt feelings and thoughts after a hard day, I experienced that all too familiar Mama Bear Syndrome that all mothers well know. For those initial seconds during which your child bears their broken heart and the few hours that follow, all you can see is your own child’s tears. All you can hear, is your own child’s hurts. But then, after the dust settles and pulls your own emotions back to the normal state of calm, thoughts of the other child/children emerge. You remember their small hands and round, sweet, child-like faces. You face the truth that they too are in the early stages of learning about life, words, feelings, hurts, happiness, and friendship.
It’s a long, long journey from childhood to the middle years where I find myself now as wife, mother, and grandmother…We learn so much, yet even still, all that we’ve learned can be momentarily jerked away in moments of intense emotional upheaval. We connect with what it was like to be a hurting child and recognize one we love so dearly is experiencing those deep hurts that change us from children, over time, into adults. All other thoughts are clouded by this truth until we work back to the starting point.
I know what it’s like by now to be the parent of a child who is hurting. I also know what it’s like to be the parent of a child who has hurt someone else’s child. It’s inevitable; we can’t avoid being in both positions over the course of the many years that we parent. Each is equally distressing and challenging. The goal? “To train up a child in the way he should go…”
I always marvel at the resiliency displayed in the life of a child. Though they may fall asleep with teary eyes and down-turned, sad little mouths, they awake fresh and new with the sun, reminding me of the scripture that is so dear to me, “His mercies are new every morning. Great is [His] faithfulness.” This is displayed over and over again as I see Noah with wide-eyed wonder ready to face a new day regardless of what the previous day held for him.
I recently had a chuckle at bedtime when Noah said, “every day I wake up feeling great, but by night time it’s all turned upside down on me!” I laughed, then, and said, “you get tired, Sweetie, we all do. That is why we must rest, now good-night :)”
Teaching our children to love through the hard times, to endure and to persevere is of paramount importance. We learn so much by interacting with peers. Just yesterday, not knowing what my evening would bring, I shared with one of my classes how we learn by experience that our hurts won’t kill us; that we can risk our feelings knowing that though we may be hurt we will no longer be devastated after many occasions of surviving the hurts of life. We are essentially strengthened by enduring and overcoming our many painful trials. We come to know Who sustains us. We learn that essentially all that truly matters is our relationship with God and then how it is expressed in all others. Our learning starts early and the journey is long, but oh how sweet it is when we truly learn to rest in God’s love and to be sustained by Him through all the storms of life.
I hope this clarity remains steadfast in me and that I can embrace every opportunity to encourage Noah and to teach him what really matters and why it does in a way that will give him a solid foundation of truth and of faith.