Help our kids find Peace
Updated: Feb 13, 2019
Hey, Marina Magdalena here from the Mum Show! .
I thought I would take a few moments to give a big high five, fist bump, “you’re doing awesome”, to all those in the throws of raising kids and teens. When I was pregnant people would forewarn me of the sleepless nights, the tears and the hours of feeding that would soon be upon me. They would tell me to make the most of my free evenings now because my care-free days would soon be a distant memory - that is of course if I had any memory left at all once baby brain set in! And as soon as they were born, and I was indeed enjoying the early zombie months of motherhood, people would say, “well course they are easy when they are babies, you wait till the terrible twos…” and then…”Oh, when they hit 4, they become very defiant,” and “you know what they say about 7, wobbly teeth, wobbly souls,” quickly followed by, “yeah you may as well skip ages 10 to 12, nightmare years!”. And all of this is before my kids have even hit double figures! And I get it, because let’s be honest, there’s no smoke without fire. Hormones, brain development, life cycles and even what’s going on culturally, can leave our kids struggling, and I guess sometimes being forewarned by a fellow parent is like being given a, “you got this”, solidarity salute. But I remember feeling really challenged by this mindset when my daughter was very little.
We were caught in one of those “big emotion” moments, and not of the happy variety either. My little girl was upset, tears streaming down her cheeks, nose running, eyes bright red and looking wild. I cannot remember what had shaken her so much, but I do remember that having worked through my entire parenting repertoire, I found myself completely at the end of my tether and my little girl still spinning out. I had tried everything, getting down to her level, being affectionate, gentle voice, firm voice, deep breathing, I am pretty sure we even threw a song in there for good measure, and nothing was working. If ever in my life I have felt like an imposter this was it - my little girl was shining a flood light on my lack of adulting ability and I had no idea what my next move should be. So in a moment of exhaustion and disarray, I decided to check in with God, He is after all a very good parent. Internally, as I didn’t want to admit my complete incompetence to my daughter, I said,
“Jesus, now what?”
Very quickly I had a clear picture of a pathway leading up to the Cross. And I felt God say to me,
“Marina, I didn’t go to the Cross when everyone was celebrating me and living their best life. I didn’t go to the cross once I knew everyone had matured and was able to offer me some guarantees. When people were in chaos, when choices were wrong, when behaviour was bad and sin was rampant, THEN, I chose to go to the cross. Because when I see you, I see my child, made in my image.”
I went back to that picture of the path leading to the cross and I felt a whisper inside say, “show her the pathway to peace.” And all of a sudden, I saw my daughter very differently. Instead of being an angry 4 year old who had managed to completely dupe me, she was my little girl, struggling with some really big emotions.
Now I know that God has gone to extraordinary lengths to restore me, to take me out of my chaos and into his love. Through out Human History God has faithfully signposted the way back to Him. And so I decided, to love like Jesus, I needed to see past the behaviour, to meet her in her struggle and show her the way back home. I waited until she came up for air and quickly called out,
“Hey sweetheart, I love you! Just so you know, anytime you want this to stop, you say the word cuddles, that’s it, and you and me can have a hug.”
Almost instantly she stopped, paused for a moment and whispered, “cuddles.”
All of the disciplining, the strategising, the “taking a long hard look” was pushed to one side for a moment - because she was back. She wasn’t just a typical 4 year old having a melt down. She wasn’t just naughty or spoilt or wilful. She was my little girl dealing with some really tricky emotions. And I realised she needed me to see her, the real her, an amazing, beautiful, spirited little girl. She needed me to look through the chaos and remind her of what we have together so I could help her find her way back home.
So whilst I appreciate the heads up and nod to what’s coming round the corner, I’m making it my mission to respond to the inevitable (if it even is) with deep breaths, warm hugs and a determination to look closely.