At the bottom of my recent blog post, Journeying Towards Acceptance, is a beautiful picture of my daughter and I on my wedding day. That picture used to hang, framed, just outside her bedroom door. It was a reminder of who we are to each other regardless of the bumps along the road: mother and daughter.
This morning that frame is shattered and the photo ripped in 6 pieces.
Trying to live up to the image of being all-loving, forgiving and understanding is an impossible feat. For me, at least.
The broken photo is my favorite of us. We are both beautiful, smiling and happy with our worlds. But that still-frame in time doesn't show the endless chaos that takes place as our worlds collide daily. Moment by moment I make a choice: Will I be calm, understanding and loving in my reaction? Or will I allow anger to take control?
Today my anger focused in on one smiling woman and a happy girl. Today those two people don't exist. At least not together.
I believe in demons and angels that walk around with us and whisper ideas into our minds. I believe in a heaven and a hell and in God and in Satan. I believe that through even the slightest opening of a door evil can slither in and we are none the wiser until that evil reproduces itself over and over making its presence impossible to ignore. Much like weeds. I hate pulling weeds. So when they're tiny, harmless, barely there, I ignore them. What I should do instead is pull them out because they have no roots yet. But wait awhile and their roots will grow. I have come across some weeds so large and deeply rooted I couldn't pull them out even with all my strength. That's when I realize I need to call for help.
I had to ask for help once. A few months after being married my life changed and I learned things about myself that have changed me forever. That's a tough story to tell and not one for today and probably not for a very long time.
It's been a long road since then and we have come so far as a family. I began the process of learning to separate emotional lies from Biblical truths.
One huge realization that took way to long to figure out is that I don't hate Marie. I don't even dislike her. It's quite the opposite actually. But does that make sense next to how angry I feel towards her when she acts out yet again? No, it doesn't. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
Anger is my go-to emotion. It's strong and powerful so that it easily clouds my true emotions. The ones that are okay to feel and even embrace at times. Such as disappointment. But as I am feeling disappointed every single day, well, that emotion gets drab. Anger, on the other hand, well I can really feel anger. It awakens all my senses and makes the cold house feel incredibly hot. I can feel the semblance of control as I hear power coming through my voice and I can see the effects that has.
But how is any of that positive and good for my family? For my husband? My kids? What about the baby, the most innocent of any of us.
I really wanted to stop the line of anger issues with me in my family. I wanted to learn to be better and show all of my kids what Jesus' love looks like. But that's not what's happening. Even if I'm not using words, my eyes can say so much.
Today I am feeling very beaten down. I'm upset because that is so different from the past few days of feeling accomplished, optimistic and like a grade A parent. Like I have said before, when I get lazy in the fight Satan attacks.
I've been to counseling a lot through my life but there is only one guy that I really liked because he helped me see things about myself that still stick with me. Here's what he had me do:
First, I drew a picture of myself and drew/wrote what I liked about me.
Then, on a paper protector (plastic sleeve thingys), I wrote everything negative that I saw in me in black marker.
Well, when you put the black marks over everything that is good and true about me it's awful hard to see all that good stuff. In fact, I couldn't read any of the words or see any of the pictures. It was all a jumbled mess. This is what shows. What I see, what others see, what shows best, are the black marks.
When I look in the mirror I tend to see a beautifully, wonderfully made woman overshadowed by black marks of sin.
Isn't this something we all do? Isn't this what causes rifts in relationships? I can rarely get past those black marks in other people - even in my own family. My parents, relatives, my kids, myself, my friends.
The flip side is that we each can have Jesus who sees the black marks but He can erase those, piece by piece so others can see what he sees. The beautifully and wonderfully made person in the mirror.
So today, that's my prayer. All my reflection shows are the black marks and I see too many to count. Today, before I go to sleep, I have hope that Jesus will erase just one of those marks so that a small piece of the beautifully and wonderfully made me will shine through. One shining light in the midst of the dark.
Disclaimer: The picture was shattered against a wall when no one else was around.