In a few minutes I’m going to be having a conversation that I wish didn’t have to happen. I wish I could travel back to last night and take back words that were said. I wish I could have stayed calm instead of ALL THE YELLING. I wish I wouldn’t have slammed that bedroom door when I walked out.
It started out as a whiney complaint from my daughter about the books I chose for her to look at before she went to sleep. She didn’t want THOSE ONES.
I explained (perhaps in a slightly annoyed but mostly just a mommy- is -tired- and- so- ready- to- be done tone) that I had told her to pick the books she wanted. She refused and told me to do it. So I did and now here we were with the whining. I told her she could either read the ones I chose or not read any.
And then the tantrum started – a complete and total meltdown. Zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. Crying and screaming so loud it hurt your ears.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, all the shrieking woke her younger brother. Yes, the one I had just spent the last 30 minutes trying to get to sleep was now awake again. Usually he’s not that difficult, but I had apparently traumatized the poor child by leaving him for a few hours earlier in the day so now he wasn’t letting me out of his sight again without a fight.
So now I started a tantrum of my own- a complete and total meltdown. I erupted, my words a fiery, hot lava pouring destruction over everything and everyone in its path, only to be left with the bitter taste of remorse in my mouth. With a final slam of the door my own tears slowly began to fall and my shoulders sagged in defeat.
Thankfully my husband walked in at that moment and was able to take over because Mommy. Was. Done.
He worked his calming magic and had everyone quiet in 15 minutes and then proceeded to speak encouragement over me that I so desperately needed. I was questioning my value as a mother and doubting how I could possibly be used to lead this ministry.
I have never understood Paul’s words in Romans more clearly than I did in the moments after all this went down. In chapter 7, verse 15 he says “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (ESV)
I know that’s not the way I should respond to my children. I don’t want to respond that way. I don’t even know where it comes from other than just plain old sin. I want to do better. Sometimes I do better. But I always need Christ’s strength to help me.
I suppose that if even Paul struggled, then I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m having a hard time too. And although this was a very difficult moment and not one that I am at all proud of, I hope that by sharing it maybe another mama out there will be able to say “Oh good, it’s not just me!”.
Becoming more like Christ is a process, a journey. Some days are easier than others. But if we lean in to Him, He will help us through the hard ones.
It’s almost time to have that conversation with my sweet girl and humble myself before a four year old. I’ve already asked the Lord’s forgiveness and now it’s time to ask for hers.