If you are a parent like me, I bet you wish that there was some sort of parenting guide or instructions that came along with having kids because it gets really tough at times. When I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a parent because I was so inspired by the way my mother showed my brother and me (at that present time, it was only two of us and not four) her love and devotion towards being an awesome parent to us. Little did I know... being a parent comes with a great deal of challenges at times.
Being a very transparent person, I have absolutely no issue with sharing that my two sons have separate fathers. My oldest son Elijah is such a charismatic and intelligent child but over the course of many years now, he has displayed some character flaws and natures about himself that leave me clueless and often asking God "How did I end up with such a defiant and difficult child?" In fact, Elijah is the son that keeps me on my knees crying out to God for help because there have been moments I felt I did not know how to love and raise him effectively. See Elijah is almost 12 years old and has only seen and been around his father a total of 4 times in nearly 12 years as his father is very absent. It is my belief that while Elijah's first 4 to 5 years were a breeze and beautiful... part of his acting out may be from the absence of a father figure. I have often heard him mention that he's jealous of seeing his brother and others have a relationship and presence with their fathers yet he does not. My immediate responses to him were "Son, being jealous of others will affect your heart and spirit negativity. Do not be jealous. Know that even on the days and moments that my love and presence may not be enough to you in that very moment... I still and always will love you, I am here for you and I need you to know that you are not a mistake. You were conceived in purpose and born into this world with a purpose." His reply was "Thanks Mom, I know that you love me."
As a parent, this breaks my heart and I've found myself trying to compensate for his fathers absence for many years yet and still there are times Elijah will act out in school or not comply with his teachers and then it mounts up to an enormous level of stress for me. Recently, he was on his tablet and had gotten so enraged with anger at him losing a game that he punched a large hole in his bedroom wall. When I saw it, I became so perplexed but remained calm and asked him what happened. He went on to state that his younger brother had done the damage and it was in that moment that I knew he was not speaking with integrity and truth therefore, I had become infuriated. In fact, I was so livid that I had to reach out to PawPaw (my second dad) to vent and I told him that raising Elijah was becoming very difficult for me and that I was trying my hardest to not give up on him but just felt drained and hopeless. That evening I got on my knees and cried out to God for what felt like the hundredth time about the same child the Lord had blessed and entrusted me to raise. I asked the Lord for His strength, His wisdom and His love in me parenting my sons. About a week later, I scheduled a Counseling session with a Licensed Professional Family Therapist/Counselor which was an important step for me in my despair.
After scheduling the appointment for Family Counseling, I continued to pray and seek God for my daily dose of sanity. While fasting and praying, it came to me that I was much like both my parents. See my mom is queen of taking on the problems of others and leaving herself drained, unfulfilled, and off balance. My mom is also queen of chances and giving people the benefit of doubt. Often trusting too much too soon and never testing their fruits to see if the people she grants so much trust to are worthy. My dad on the other hand.. He is king of prayer but he will cut off and prune anything and anyone that he feels serves his life and calling no purpose. He grants mercy and grace but after carefully observing the character of people. My dad will cut you off and leave you where you stand if you hurt and betray him. He says what he means and means what he says. He can love you but from a distance and his trust requires proof of passing test. Like my mom, I have often taken on the problems of others and left myself drained, unfulfilled, and off balance but on the other hand, I am very much like my dad. I say what I mean and mean what I say, I carefully observe the character of people especially in matters of trust and will without a doubt cut a person off in a hot second when there is no fruit of purpose proven for them being in my life. Being like both of them has proven to be a great gift but only when I am able to appropriately balance my judgement and actions.
Like me, both my parents had been scarred severely at young ages leaving them to learn and grow from harsh lessons. As most of who any of us are, stem from the start or beginning of our growing and nurturing... We are not a total sum of our past however, most of who and how we are now has a direct correlation with our past experiences. While as an adult and parent, I can see that my parents raised me the absolute best way they could and knew how but unlike my parents, counseling was not an option or resource to them so I am blessed and grateful for my ability to get help where there is help.
On this past Wednesday, January 20, 2021, I had my first counseling session (with my son's young age, they require that the counseling session begin with the parent before getting to the child) and it was surprisingly great! Our Family Therapist/Counselor actually gave some really great advice and homework and I was excited to share my lesson and information with the kids. I got home from work and was in such great light and spirit that God began to reach my children through me as I began to share my day with them. I told them that I had a great day and that I also had a counseling session earlier. My oldest son inquired and asked "Are you okay Mom? What was your counseling session about?" I answered "It was about you!" He saddly dropped his head and said "Oh I get it, I am the problem." Here is when God's spirit and grace stepped in as I replied "No son, you are not the problem and you are not a problem. It is your actions that create problems." I then began to give examples of the problems his issues had caused and reassured him that HE was not the problem. He followed up and said "Mom you have this aura around you. I wish that I had with God what you have with God." I responded to him saying "Son, all I have from God is the same as he wants you to have but it comes by way of having a connection with God and spending time with Him." And while I could go on and on about our family conversation and how it turned into a mini bible study and invitation to Christ, I would end it here by saying to you all that it was the best conversation and moment to date that I have ever had with my children! Sharing in God's light, love, mercy and grace was the most beautiful and precious gift God could have gifted my day with! Though my day ended with a bit of trouble and some problems with people... God gave me the heart and mission to share with my children what I would like to leave with you.
People and their issues are not the same and they are completely separate.
The problem is not with the people but with their actions.
With that being said, when someone does or says something that bothers, hurt or offends you... Offer them the same grace and love that God extends to you daily. We are not defined by our problems but by our purposes!
May our lessons be plenty and our journey's be joyous and beautiful!
God bless 😘