It started out as an ordinary Tuesday, but as the day progressed I eventually ended up with an unexplained spirit of heaviness. I had no idea where it came from, but I do remember opening my blinds in my office and reminding myself that it’s the first thing I need to do when I walk in because of what season we’re in.
The same feeling of heaviness crept up again as I sat at my computer thinking, “I really do not want to be here today. I’d rather be home curled up in my bed.” I knew that was different for me because I love my new job. The day went on, I had an impromptu lunch date at home with my children since they were out on fall break, and I returned to work. That same feeling of heaviness came over me again, only a little more intense this time. I wanted to cry but I didn’t know why.
Earlier in the day, I sent my children a task list of things I wanted them to have done by the time I got in from work. I later text my daughter asking her to thaw the meat I wanted to cook for dinner. I had my entire evening planned out because I didn’t get in bed the night before until 1 AM, so all I wanted to do was cook and take a nap once I got in.
Then it happened, my daughter picked me up from work and the first thing I asked when I got in the car was if she thawed the meat like I asked her to. She cheerfully answered, “Oh no, I forgot all about it.” I’m sure she didn’t realize the wrath of God was about to come down upon her, but it did. I could feel the anger rising up as the ugly side of this mom came out. I yelled at her (yes I’m a yelling mom and yes I’m working on it) and told her she knows we have bible study, so now I have no idea what we will eat for dinner. She replied, “Well what were you going to cook? I can cook it for you?”
Oh, you thought that was sweet? Wait a minute, what did you say? You’re thinking I should’ve shown her grace. Grace who? Who she be? At that moment grace was the last thing I was thinking about.?
During the ride home I decided I would make something much quicker and easier for dinner than what I had originally planned. We eventually made it home after making a few stops. I walked in and lo and behold they hadn’t finished all the things on their task list. I slap went off on both kids (if you are not familiar with that phrase it means I went off really bad…yelling and wanting to throw things, but I didn’t throw anything).
I then announced I wasn’t cooking dinner and informed the kids they’d have to figure out what they were eating on their own. I snatched up their cell phones, told them they weren’t going to church with me and stomped off to my room (I’m sure I was still yelling whatever came to mind while in route). My son was happy they didn’t have to go but my daughter wasn’t because she’s been so excited about teaching children’s church.
After stomping off to my room, I crawled in bed until it was time for church. I immediately begin to reflect. Wow! I didn’t notice or acknowledge anything they did correctly. I only noticed what they didn’t do. The truth is, they actually had the majority of their tasks completed. My behavior saddened me because I could identify with what they were probably feeling.
One of my love languages is words of affirmation, and though there are a lot of people who preach we don’t need validation from people, I do need to be reaffirmed. I do need to know that my feelings are valid. I do need to hear that I’m appreciated for my efforts. Especially from people I love and care about.
Are you married or in a relationship? Have you ever felt like your best is never good enough for your husband/boyfriend? No matter how hard you try, he doesn’t notice the things you do right? I felt that way a lot. I even communicated those feelings, and maybe once every blue moon (oh you’re right…thanks for the reminder…we never have blue moons) he would tell me thank you or I appreciate you for doing x,y, or z. But most times I didn’t hear it, so I would retreat to my hole I dug on the inside and suppress my feelings.
It sucks feeling like I can never do anything right and I vowed to make sure my children didn’t feel that way towards me. Well, they do. Honestly, my daughter has expressed to me more than once that she feels like she can never get anything right. My son has expressed that he feels like I doubt him.
No matter how hard I try, I still feel like I’m failing in this area. But it’s an area I’m aware of and know I need to improve in. So, I study and practice and one day I believe it will become natural for me to respond by evaluating the situation first instead of reacting out of anger.
We later went to church. Yes, I made them go because I had time to calm down and think about my actions. Besides, all of us can use a little more Jesus anyway *eye wink*. When I arrived I noticed the heaviness was heavier. Did that make sense? If not, you get what I’m trying to say. I’m no grammar expert.
Anyway, the Pastor taught his lesson on having a clean heart then he gave us an opportunity to say aloud what we want from God after we know our hearts are clean. Person after person went. My friend Valerie noticed I hadn’t said a word, and knew it wasn’t typical of me. She leaned over and asked, “Why haven’t you said yours?” I quickly looked at her and said, “Because I don’t want to cry.”
I just as quickly turned my head and started back paying attention because I didn’t want her to see the tears welling up in my eyes after admitting the truth. Eventually, the tears started flowing and I couldn’t stop them, but thankfully it was at a time when the Pastor was praying and everyone’s eyes were closed.
At that moment I begin to pray and ask the Lord to reveal the words of my tears to me and to remove the weight of heaviness that had so easily taken over me. I opened my eyes and begin to write down the words that were spoken. Here’s a brief description of the revelation:
- I have old wounds that need healing
- Truth must come forth before healing can take place
- I must reclaim my home and send the enemy to flee
- I must be watchful over the doorpost of my home
- Setting the atmosphere in my home requires continuous work
Oh what peace I felt after our Gracious Father consoled me with the truth. The heaviness immediately dissipated. The very thing I withheld from my children is exactly what He offers me daily. GRACE.
Oftentimes we forget in the midst of our emotions how much grace Jesus shows us.
~ Tiffany Z. Williams
There’s no doubt I should’ve apologized and made things right with my kids, but what should I have done before that? I should’ve taken it to the Lord in prayer.
Jesus has enough space to carry every single thing that bothers us…even those things we can’t put a name on. In fact, He will remove your burden and feeling of hopelessness and replace it with rest for your aching soul (Matthew 11:28-30). Friends, that means He will lighten the load and carry it for you if you just give it to Him.
At the onset of our heaviness, we sometimes excuse it away and allow it to fester until it spews over onto those we love. In my case, it was my kids. It very well could’ve been a friend or an innocent person in the grocery store.
I remember as a young child visiting my grandmother’s church, the deacon would line the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” Now that I’m older I truly understand how much truth is in the song.
“Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.”
I forfeited my peace and had to deal with the pain of letting my children down again all because I didn’t go to my best friend, Jesus, and give Him the unexplained spirit of heaviness.
Can you identify with me? In my next blog post, I will discuss ways we can empower and build our children up with our words and actions, but before that there’s something we must do ourselves. You’ll have to wait until next week to find out what it is.
In His Love,