Have you ever felt like a horrible person? A horrible mom? A horrible friend? Two days ago, I was a horrible mom for a second — or, truthfully, for about 2-hours.
My son said to me, “I can’t tell you the things I tell daddy! I’m not telling you anything!!”
My insides boiled at this comment; my son had hit a nerve. All I want is for my son to know he can share anything with me. I want to be close to him. I want him to know I am safe. But now he’s saying I am not good enough and that I am not safe. Ahh!!! I felt panic come on me. My inside was triggered with, “Fix this! Fix this! Fix this, Kelly! You are not a good mom. You are messing things up. Fix this!” Overwhelmed by my emotions, and the fear I couldn’t make my son want me, I blamed him for my feelings.
I said to him, “You are dishonoring and disrespecting your mom. You are grounded entirely until you can respect me.”
Immediately, after I demanded it, I felt the heavy weight of shame. I can’t demand people love me or ground them until they do. I can’t yell at someone to be close to me — that doesn’t work. More upset at myself, I got more upset.
I yelled up the stairs, “And, stay up in your room too! And, write me a note of what you did wrong.”
Then, I hated myself for saying it.
Alone with my daughter now, I admitted to her, “I am just angry at myself for how I am handling things.”
She wisely said, “Why don’t you just apologize?” So, I did. I apologized to my son that I got triggered. I apologized that I reacted. I apologized that I took my fear out on him.
Later, upon reflection, I had to recognize that a thousand levels deeper than his hurtful comment, was me — a little girl who felt unwanted again. A little girl who was often left sitting on the sidewalk at school while the other kids played together. I don’t want to be unwanted again. I hate that feeling.
And, that’s why I got triggered. I got triggered because I am afraid of being an abysmal failure. Left, by the ones I love most.
But, if I had stopped and paused in the heat of the moment? If I had reflected I might have been able to see things differently. I might have been able to think about God’s Word to me. What would God say?
I think He might say to me:
Kelly, “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Ro. 3:10)
And I might have realized: Everyone makes mistakes.
Kelly, “Even before (I) made the world, God loved (you) and chose (you) in Christ to be holy and without fault in (my) eyes.” (Eph. 1:4)
And I might have realized: I’m am chosen, holy and faultless in Christ Jesus. I can move back to a firm standing and positioning in Christ, and out of shame.
Kelly, “His divine power has given (you) everything (you) need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called (you) by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Pet. 1:3)
And I might have realized: I am being called right now by God’s goodness to bring God glory. By His power, there is a better way that I can walk even though I feel triggered.
If I had paused, and hid-out in a closet or something, I could have returned back to Father God’s loving arms and found a more sound, biblical way of thinking. I could have prayed about next steps. I could have calmed down. Unfortunately, I didn’t. But, next time, I will.
I will because situations don’t define me; the Word of My God does! To get to His Word is to find power. This is how in horrible, no good, rotten situations I will — rise up, strong! It is how I will show love even when I feel hurt. It is how triggers won’t rule me.
What about you — what triggers try to rule you? What boils your blood? What is God’s truth to you? How might His Word console what hurt rests under the surface of your pain.
We truly do have all we need to walk out a godly life, sometimes we just have to pause enough to receive it and to believe it! How do you make room to hear the Lord when the world feels like it is falling on you? How can you calm yourself enough to breathe in His love when the going gets tough?
Prayer: God, help! Help me when temptation comes. Help me when the going gets tough. You say, there is always a door of escape. Show me the door. Show me the way. Show me the paths of grace and life. I thank you that you are always there to help me. Lead me in all your ways. Lead me in the way of love. Heal my inner pain. Heal my sadness. Heal rejection. Heal anger and bitterness. I want to love you and others with all my heart. Grow me in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.