“Not everyone likes to hear you talk as much as you do, Mom!”
As my daughter left the room, I felt her words pierce my heart. After a good cry, I went to talk the the Lord about it. I found out that He agreed with her. Granted, He said it in a much gentler fashion, but I hadn’t listened to Him, until my daughter managed to say it first.
Your children, especially in their teen years, are your soul’s best mirror. If you really want to see how others see you, ask them. Because, at some point or another, they are going to tell you just what they think about you.
I’m not saying that every word is truth or that teenaged attitudes should be given carte blanche.
Yet as you filter their words through the screen of His Word, you may find a few kernels of truth worth noting.
Adolescent hormones and puberty are the gravel through which you sift to find the nuggets of gold. Your children are selected especially for you. Part of that purpose includes seeing yourself through a candid set of eyes.
God has given us spiritual reflectors all around us:
In our parents
In our husbands
In our children
In our mentees
In our bosses
In our co-workers
Like living in a house of mirrors, every corner offers us a self-reflection in the eyes of our family. Our trouble is that we often don’t want to see our true image. Seventeenth century French Christian Francois Fenelon says, “The pain you feel at your own imperfection is worse than the faults themselves. Your problem really is that you become so irritated by seeing your faults.”
Are you willing to see yourself as God sees you? Then pick up the separating screen and begin sorting through words of Truth you hear and words of emotion:
I’m sure you have so many more practical insights.
How has seeing your reflection in the eyes of another made you better?
“I am so tired. My baby hasn’t sleep through the night now for weeks.”
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
“Even when I get up in the morning, I can’t focus. My brain is in a fog no matter how much coffee I drink.”
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit…will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26).
“Everyone needs me. I am the cog upon which this entire family turns. Yet, I have no true energy. All my actions are merely rote responses, reacting like a robot to each moment by moment crisis. I’m exhausted.”
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
“Yesterday the collapse was a newborn. Today, it’s a fever, or vomiting, or teething, or nightmares. Tomorrow, my friends tell me it will be my own worry with my child’s direction, or decisions, or dates, or friends. Can I do this over the long haul?”
“I am the same yesterday, today, yes and forever. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One, your Savior…Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give…other people in exchange for your life” (Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 43:1-4).
“And when the little one sleeps, I lay awake worrying about the older one — that my harsh words have permanently damaged him. I am such a mess.”
“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. (I will bring you together!). The Lord will accomplish what concerns you” (Isaiah 43:5; Psalm 138:8).
“I have nothing to give to a deep adult relationship. When I have a chance to be with my dear friend/my husband, I seem only to complain. My mouth is simply an overflow of the exhausted thoughts of my heart. My grumbling only makes me that much more dissatisfied. Oh, where can I find solace?…Lord are you there?”
“My eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to every prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My Name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. I am the God Who hears prayer. Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16; Psalm 65:2; Jeremiah 33:3 )
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. I long to be gracious to you. I wait on high to have compassion on you. I want you to see Me with your spiritual eyes and hear me with your ears.Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left. You will say to the impure things, “Be gone!’ and they will scatter. I will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground and it will be rich and plenteous. Seek Me and I will let you find Me; Be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work” (Psalm 32:8; Isaiah 30:18, 20-23; 2 Chronicles 15:2, 7)
“I am inadequate for this work. Nothing good dwells in my flesh. I live each day in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” (2 Corinthians 3:5; Romans 7:18; 1 Corinthians 2:3)
“I have weakened your own strength along the way, so that your faith should not rest of the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. I have given you things which eyes has not seen, ear has not heard and your mind cannot imagine. In your weakness, I have given you the very mind of Christ’ (Psalm 102:23; 1 Corinthians 2:9,16).
“My soul, I command you to wait in silence for God alone; You, O God, are my salvation. You are my refuge, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6).
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My Righteous Right Hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).