We had a playdate this morning in a local gym. They set up all sorts of toys including tricycles, jump ropes, scooters, a slide so our children can run themselves weary and take nice long naps. 🙂 It’s a lot of fun hanging out while our children run safely amok. Today we were all talking about the organizational tips we had tried from our speaker last Tuesday.
The gym, of course, keeps regular gym hours, while the playgym closes at one. Aviana overheard another mom tell her son as she was trying to corral him toward the door, “The gym is closing. Come on!” It was a bit of a fib on her part, since there were 15 minutes left to play, but every mom understands that. Aviana, on the other hand, fell apart.
She started shrieking so right after she heard that, at first I thought she had been stung by a bee or something! She was freaking out that the gym was closing. Freaking out! All the moms and the gym moderator all tried to explain to her the gym wasn’t closing, but just play gym was going to be over. I’d get her mostly calmed down, and she would suddenly get all shriek-y again. I gathered up her sister and our stuff and we left.
She calmed down considerably once we were safely on the way home, but intermixed with other conversational topics, she kept asking about it–getting locked in, I think was her main fear. I think she understood the analogy I drew explaining that even though story hour gets over and they close the room where we have it, the library stays open. Even so, it seemed highly irrational, and it was hard to watch her get so worked up over something that I knew was nothing.
And then of course, the Holy Spirit stepped in with an analogy of His own. I had lost my temper with Aviana yesterday morning and once again behaved ridiculously. All day, I tried not to think of it, but suddenly, the scene would replay itself unbidden in my mind, and then I would berate myself once again. Finally, by bedtime, I was so miserable, I went on a crying jag while trying to explain to Kevin how much of a failure I felt, how unlovable I felt, how horrible of a mother I felt.
Every time, I would pray and ask for forgiveness again. Even though, I knew God had forgiven me and my sweet Baby A had already forgiven me, and we had already prayed together, I still felt like I had screwed up so massively (and realistically, it’s a rare parent who never grabs their child a little to hard, or never yells in frustration–and I do know this; for some reason I think I need to be perfect.) I wasn’t worthy of forgiveness. I know to a rational person this sounds extreme, but to me, at the time, it didn’t feel at all distorted.
Today on the way home, God reminded me that I cared so much about Aviana’s irrational fear of the playgym closing, and my heart hurt to see her in so much pain about something that was so silly.
He feels the same way about me. To think I’m so worthless, so unforgivable, so unlovable, just because in my anger I sinned, is every bit as silly and ridiculous. His heart hurts when I am so irrational, and He cares for me more and better yet, more perfectly, than I do for Aviana. He cares for all of us with a perfect unfailing love.
Just to drive home the point, in my quiet time He gave me Romans 8:33 to live on for the day, “Who dare accuse us whom God has chosen for His own?” (emphasis mine), reminding me just what I needed reminding of, that I ought not needlessly accuse myself over and over of being a horrible person. And most of all, that God has chosen me –and you– for His very own.
One thought on “A Parenting Parallel”
This was such a good reminder, Jessica. Thank you for writing this and being so real. I know I needed to read this and be reminded of who I am in God’s eyes.