There’s been a recurring theme in our house lately and it goes something like this. A child is upset or scared or whiny or thinks they can’t sleep or thinks they know it all or is sad or grouchy or just plain stubborn. (Please tell me it’s not just me that doesn’t have perfectly behaved, mature and articulate children! ) A child will approach me in one of these states. Or will stomp off in one of these states, as the case may be, and I find myself saying the same thing over and over in every situation.
What is the truth?
It’s immunization day at school and my boy is terrified with a capital T. It doesn’t matter that he’s 11 and can kill a spider with his bare hands, the needles freak him right out. So I asked him the question. What is the truth? Is it going to hurt? Yes. For how long? 3 seconds. Will you bleed? No. Will you die? I hope not! We went on like that for a time and then I rounded back to my first question. What is the truth? He could articulate it clearly. The truth is that the needle will hurt but just a bit. The truth is that I will not die or bleed or even really hurt from the needle after 3 seconds. The truth is that the needle is actually a good thing. The truth is that I’m going to be okay.
Again this morning it was the same thing. This time it was a crying boy bringing me tons of mommy guilt. He cried as he choked out the words, “I thought it was the weekend. I don’t want you to go to work. I thought we would be together all day. Don’t go!”
He almost had me in tears as well and these are the moments that I start to panic and think I’m ruining my children for working and not being there for them every single second. I start to tell myself that I’m a bad mom and good moms stay home and bake yummy things every day and have spotless houses and…and….!
Thankfully, the question came to my mind again but this time it was for both of us. What is the truth? When does mommy leave for work? 7:40. And when do you leave the house with grandma for her to take you to school? 7:50. Then how long are you at school for? Until 2:30. And who will be there to pick you up the second you run out of school? You. So what’s the truth, buddy? What’s the time difference that we could be spending together if I wasn’t working? 10 minutes. Right.
In all of these cases the truth made our minds clear. It allowed us to see what was real and what was just us building up fear or worry or sadness in our minds. The truth showed us a real picture of what was going on instead of our emotions getting the better of us.
It made me think just how thankful I am for truth. It made me thankful for the truth that God himself has laid out for us in the Bible. And if I’m honest, it made me sort of frustrated at myself for not seeking that truth more.
It’s easy for me to guide my children through this seeking of truth because their worries and fears seem relatively small and simple. But what about when I have worries about finances or where we’ll live a year from now. What about when I’m lonely because I haven’t seen my husband for more than a few minutes in the past week. How about when relationships are difficult and life seems overwhelming. Then what? I’m a grown-up! There are no easy answers to these things. Are there?
Scripture says that there is and that the answers are found right within it’s pages. But am I going to them in every circumstance? I wish I was all of the time. But I’m not. My mind can still get the better of me and my fear of the unknown can still take over. I’ve learned through leading my kids through this exercise, though, that I need the same thing they do. I need to speak truth to myself. The truth of scripture. The truth of Jesus. The truth that He has clearly given to us.
Of course the only way to speak truth to myself is to KNOW the truth. I’m working on that part each day.
John 8:31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”