Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Before It's Too Late

My heart is heavy right now as there are some people close to my heart that are burdened with a weight that should not be theirs. Situations lately have brought the issue more to the surface, and despite their best efforts its beyond their power to remedy the situation - as what can a child do, to ever fully earn the favor of their parent - even when that child is now an adult?

This isn't just one individual I'm thinking of, or two, or three......and in a couple of circumstances as well, the parent has passed away, leaving the son or daughter with that unresolved question of what they did wrong, to never fully merit the unconditional love of that parent.

Those feelings that perpetually run through their mind equated with their parent - frustration, shame, unworthiness, feeling ignored, feeling used, feeling like you aren't "good enough" compared to your siblings, feeling like you were more trouble than you were worth. Or maybe it's just "nothing". No reason why, no explanation - it's as if you just don't matter to that parent. I know I shouldn't judge, but it seems to me that if a person chooses to bring another life into the world, that nurturing that child with love is the most important thing that parent needs to do. And, at this age, time and time again, with every "hang up/issue" us 30-40 somethings seem to have to wrestle with, 90% of the time its traced back to that lack of parent support/love.....and so the legacy continues.

I can't force anyone of these parents who've already messed up to all of a sudden change their ways - and make it clear - abundantly clear - that they really do love their children - not just with words, but in actions. But, I can take these stories and apply them to my own life, and give my children what my parents gave me, the knowledge that NO MATTER WHAT, nothing will ever cause me to ever stop loving them.

5 comments:

JustMe said...

I have a story like those people you're talking about, and what God has shown me over the last few years is that MY parents also have their own issues from their own childhoods and experiences. That has allowed me to be a lot more graceful. I have even tried flat-out asking for hugs and words of praise but that's just not something they are capable of giving, for whatever reasons...but there ARE reasons, I am sure. As much pain as that has caused in my life, I wouldn't say my parents failed. I know they did the best they could to love me in the ways they knew how to express. It has forced me to rely on God to fill that gap (or, it SHOULD - actually, to be honest, I relied on my husband and expected far too much, and I still rely on food, in some very unhealthy ways...). It has caused me to be very intentional about physically and verbally LOVING my own kids. But you know what? They'll grow up and have their own tales to tell about some way I let them down. And I pray God will fill in wherever I have dropped the ball with them!

JustMe said...

One quote I've held onto from "Facing the Giants" is from when the coach was talking to the son who was disrespectful to his father:

"You can't judge him by his actions, but judge yourself by your intentions."

StephieAnne said...

Heather,

You are always so good at putting my "heated moments of frustration" back into perspective. I think I let myself get a little more "forceful" and judgmental because it was in defense of folks I care about deeply, and watching them be repetitively hurt makes me want to "take some folks on" myself, if you know what I mean.

But you are right - this behavior is often generationally produced, but if each of us can rely on the Lord for strength - and the only source of true unconditional love - then we can each choose to beat the cycle. Applause to you for doing that in your own family, and encouraging healing in your parents lives too..... "FAILED" was too strong of a word, but some of the behavior I've been witness to just got me so worked up!

And, I love that line in FACING THE GIANTS - we watched that movie again on the way home from Florence on the 4th.....

P.S. - Any chance we'll see you at the reunion? =)

Linda said...

I wonder if we all will or do feel like there was more when someone we loves leaves. I hear ya on this topic. Ugg. But I will say that I have learned SO MUCH about God being my Father and all that means in my relationship with Him. It is beautiful!

JustMe said...

Steph,

There is no chance you will see me at the reunion. I already have prepared an airtight alibi. Speaking of pain, I guess...there has been so much water under so many bridges, I really don't have the cajones to go there and see all those people and spend a night thinking about who I was then, and how things went so much differently than I planned, and where I am now....saved by grace, but kind of a failure in the world's eyes. If I were brave I'd go and tell people about all the things Jesus Christ has done in my life since 1990, but I'm not brave. I'm avoiding, and breathing a big sigh of relief on 7/31. Besides, it's just going to be a bunch of old people there, right??? hahaha.