She looked at herself in the mirror, all 3-years of her life, and sized up her outfit. Her dress had layers of tulle, her face had a smile and her pigtails were long, nearly reaching her shoulders. She waved her head a bit and considered them as I said she looks, “Oh so cute…”
“Are they all going to laugh at me mommy?”
She’s already asking herself this question? God, please don’t let this question rule her life, like it had mine.
Oh how I didn’t want her valuing her worth on no-filter 3 year olds with mouths that sound like waterfalls of ruthlessness. Oh how I didn’t want her to determine her beauty based on comments. Oh how I didn’t want her living her life based on others opinions. Oh how I didn’t want her to pander to mankind. Oh how I didn’t want her to lose herself.
My heart sunk.
“No Madison. I think you look fabulous. But, even if they do laugh. You know who sees you? Who loves you? God does. Always.”
I deeply worried my words would fall empty, repeated words, landing in the great abyss of things moms speak, but are never truly heard. Please, God, no! I could almost see the thieves of school, boys and society snatching truth from her. Ripping it out of her heart. Claiming it as theirs.
How do I seal up beauty within her?
We headed downstairs. Me? A million questions stirred. Can I really do this? Will she ever know? She is more than a cute dress. Her small hand clenched mine.
“Mommy, do you think he will like my dress?” She looked longingly at me, inquiring about her brother.
I shrugged, already overwhelmed with the barrage of thoughts firing off in my mind.
We made it to the kitchen.
Son stared at her. She stood there.
He looked at her. She waited.
He formed his hand into a known symbol: a big thumbs down sign.
What?! What in the stinkin’ world?
And, as if every single one of my insecurities was highlighted, I felt completely and entirely angry! Furious. I felt like my very own son had degraded – me!!! Her!!! Every single woman who ever wanted to feel good about herself!
But, he hadn’t.
As he put it, he was kidding.
But, as I saw it, it was no joke. He transformed. My son was all those people who hurt me. He was every single detractor of my worth. He was completely wrong. He was messing up my daughter. He was in trouble: I badgered him. I nagged him to say he was sorry. I came down on him. I was unforgiving. I was obnoxious.
I projected my fear, to try to protect my heart from the past.
Do you ever do this?
We might be prone to project when:
- We respond super sensitively.
- We make comments predictors of our worth, then hate others.
- We become a punisher.
- We are extremely, overwhelmingly and exceedingly angry at a person.
Yes, my son was rude, but projecting had made me a monster. That’s usually what it does.
And, so, here I sit. Guilty? Yes. Totally.
But, forgiven? Yes. Completely.
I am not perfect. Neither are you.
The fact of the matter is we are all still working through our pain with God, aren’t we? We are all still realizing the areas we’ve once been hurt, aren’t we? We are all still in the process of letting redeemer redeem the beauty we once lost, aren’t we?
God forgives. And, my son will forgive me too. I will tell him my story: a story where I was put down, hurt and let down by the world, a world that can pick people apart instead of loving them.
I will let him know how I never want to do that to him. And, to daughter? I will hold her hand through life, keep my voice next to her ear, relinquish control and let God take the lead. I will trust that even in her hard moments, he won’t let go of her hand.
All through the month of February you will find freedom messages on Jami’s blog about the truth about how Jesus feels about you. From our darkest fears to our greatest folly He is with us – and for us! You can check out these posts by following this link!
Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.
Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
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How do we, as women, become so appearance obsessed? When I was in school (I hate to admit) how I looked was primary and my school work was secondary! Starting in 4th grade I had to put up with boys making inappropriate comments and yet I didn’t ever discuss this with my parents!
Enjoyed your morning prayer on Periscope. I wanted to do a video of some sort, but I don’t think I have the youth behind me.