“GO TO SLEEP!!” I screamed in my baby’s face, desperate to complete one sleep cycle before having another full day with my clingy toddler and constantly crying infant. I had an underlying dread that the final thread at the end of my rope was slipping out of my fingers.
As this baby reached toddlerhood, I saw some of my worst fears come true. Whenever she didn’t get her way, this child of mine let her emotions fly by hitting, kicking, thrashing, throwing, pulling; all the while screaming in defiance.
It was my fault. I was the reason she responded this way. If I couldn’t handle my emotions, how could I expect her to handle her own? She learned this behavior directly from the person she trusted most.
Did you catch it? That last paragraph was a lie straight from the devil and I had to fight hard to convince myself it wasn’t true.
Recognize the Lie
The enemy loves to take things that are true and twist them into a resemblance of truth. “When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies.” (John 8:44b; The Message).
I was exhausted and weak.
I took my frustrations out on my baby by screaming at her.
This was a sign that I needed help.
I ended up getting help by going to counseling.
Yelling at my baby was a sign that I was a terrible parent.
It’s because of people like me that birthing classes teach on “purple crying”.
My yelling at my child would result in her having emotional issues.
Every time my child yells, it is a direct correlation to that late night.
If I was a real Christian, I wouldn’t make such a big mistake.
My children would be better off with a less emotional momma.
Satan is a professional liar. It’s what he does. He was attempting to take some things I had done wrong and use them to define not only my life, but the future life of my child.
Now, I do not condone yelling at children for any reason. I firmly believe that if I feel such a strong need to yell, it is a sign that something needs to change about me. In that season, I needed solid sleep and some solid counseling. Today, my yelling signals a need to redirect my approach and realize that my children are far more important than the issue.
The difference between facts and lies is the layer of guilt added on by the lie. It’s subtle, but if you go back and read those two lists again you’ll see what I mean. The lies were filled with assumptions that my actions determined my worth and my child’s future.
Embrace the Truth
While the enemy uses words that destroy, God uses words that restore.
I make mistakes and fall short of God’s glory, just like everybody else. Romans 3:23
Because I’m not perfect, God provided perfection for me. John 3:17
He used those late night failures to wake me up to reality. Revelation 3:1-3
When I surrender to Him, I am restored. Job 33:25-27
My story is being redeemed and used for His good. Romans 8:28
The enemy would have me believe that when my daughter reacts with screaming, it is all my fault. But God used those trying years to refine me and show me where I needed to do some serious work. By learning about my own issues, I was given the tools to learn how to help my daughter.
Instead of ruining her, I have the opportunity to help her in ways that no other momma ever could. I get her. I can work with her. I can teach her how to recognize the tension before it explodes. I can help her breathe. I can love on her the way He has loved on me. Perhaps, God put us together on purpose so that we could grow together.
You are the Momma for the Job
Friend, if the enemy is whispering lies to you about your ability to do this mom thing, I’m here to remind you of the truth: God doesn’t make mistakes. You are the momma of your child for good reason. He placed you together on purpose.
If you need help, get it. One of the best things we can do for our children is demonstrate what it looks like to admit our mistakes and then work through them. When they see how you turn to God in your struggles, they will learn to turn to God in their own struggles.
Your worth is not in your ability to do things right. Your worth is in your identity as a daughter of the King. You carry His Name. Don’t let the enemy tell you otherwise.