I Will Not Tell You That You Are Okay When You’re Not
My son often cries during bath. Not just when soap gets in his eyes, but when any droplet of water enters his pupils. He wails. He flails. He screams.
Recently, for the first time in many years, I got the not so fun experience of getting shampoo in my eyes, and baby it burned!
I remember at that moment asking the Lord to let me remember this pain for the next time my son insists the shampoo is burning his eyes.
I want my children to know, whenever they say they are not okay, I will not deny their feelings.
To my son, and daughter: I will not tell you that you’re okay, when you are not.
Even when I think it’s silly.
Even when I think you are being dramatic (after all you are my kids).
Even when I think you barely bonked yourself.
Even when I know that heartbreak was always coming.
Even when I want to scream, “don’t let what someone says about you get to you.”
Even when I think my wisdom could solve your problem in a minute. (Ehemm pride.)
I will always listen first. I will always try to understand, what stirs inside your hearts.
I won’t try to fix it simply to quiet you.
I won’t try to diminish your pain or hurt.
I will hold you.
I will hear you out.
I will cry with you.
I will sit with you, and be still.
I will allow you to feel it all.
I will not teach you to stuff it, and grow bitter.
I will not turn you away.
I will not let you feel like you can’t come to me.
I will teach you to talk through the reasons behind your feelings.
I will remind you the rest of the time, how much joy and beauty you bring to the world.
I will encourage you to get up again.
I will be your biggest cheerleader.
But first I will listen.
Because when I cry out to the Lord, HE listens.
In fact, he is already waiting, arms wide open.
Not ready to condemn me.
Not ready to diminish my at times, immature modes of thinking.
Not ready to shrink my feelings to what is ‘appropriate’.
As my Father, he is ready to hold me, and quiet my heart with his peace. Working in my soul with his love to prepare it to hear him.
He see’s my pain.
He hears my cry.
He reminds me Jesus became human to feel it too.
He guides me, teaches me, corrects, and equips me.
But in those moments, I get to be reaffirmed that HE is my abba Father, and he isn’t going anywhere.
To my son, and daughter: I will not justify lies you are believing. I will ask questions that guide you to truth. I will not let you sit in sorrow forever. I will not allow you to become someone you are not, but first I will always listen. I will always make you feel heard. I will always try to understand, even when it doesn’t make sense to me. I will never tell you you’re okay, when you are not.