Listen

The past few weeks have been the heart-wrenching kind. I haven’t been blogging because frankly, my heart is worn out and I don’t know how to put this stuff into a string of words that you would want to read.

Suffice it to say that we’ve been growing over here– growing the hard and painful way. You know what I mean? When you do things all wrong, yet you have no idea until you see how you’ve stomped on someone else’s heart?

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The upside of hurting is that you know you’re really living. Nothing really happens when you hide out and keep your heart under lock and key– nothing except loneliness. Lots of stuff happens when you love, when you take risks, when you share your heart with others. Life is messy, but it’s worth it.

Parenting might be the hardest part of all, because it requires living life (which is messy) while simultaneously teaching other people how to live life (even messier). It’s one of the rawest experiences I’ve ever had. Nothing has revealed my weaknesses and wounds more than parenting. I’ve never done anything so darn difficult in all of my life.

We love hard and hold tight, only to find out we’re supposed to let go. We teach our kids day in and day out, only to find there’s so many things we haven’t taught.

We find out what we haven’t taught the hard way– after we watch them fall. And no momma wants to see her baby fall.

Some things are easy to teach. Fire is hot. @#$% is a bad word. Two plus two is four and Jesus died for you. Some of it is black and white. However, things like integrity, trust, relationships– these are much harder to teach, especially when you have two girls of the teenage variety. We teach in layers, day in and day out. But we never really know if we’re getting through until the rubber meets the road.

And yes, the rubber made contact with the road over here.

We reveled in gratitude for the ground that we had covered well. The things we hadn’t talked about became painfully obvious. Not that we had avoided talking about them; we just never got there. Pain and immaturity ignited a dozen necessary conversations, and slowly, prayerfully, we began navigating through the rubble.

In the midst of it all, God gave me a glimpse into the spiritual realm.

I was stumbling through the day like the walking wounded, trying to convince myself that God could make good come out of this mess. The one who needed to be taught didn’t want to hear any more advice, and the powerlessness I felt as a parent nearly suffocated me.

My longing boiled down to one thing: I just wanted her to listen to me. I wanted it so badly that it ached. I wasn’t insistent on being right, or being in control. I just wanted her to hear my heart. She didn’t have to agree with me; I just wanted to communicate. Why wouldn’t she listen?

Then it hit me. Whispers, nudges, still soft words:

That ache in your heart–I know it all too well. How I long for you to listen to Me. Not just the guidance and correction, but the words of affection and affirmation. Won’t you listen, child? Won’t you let Me speak My heart to you? Listening would be an act of worship, an act of love.

My heart lurched in several different directions.
Conviction… I haven’t listened enough.
Grief… I’ve hurt you, Lord. I know it.
Gratitude… You know my pain! I am not alone.
Joy… You are drawing me closer, Lord. Thank you, thank you.

It’s interesting how pain can be such an effective teacher. The pain of not being heard as a loving parent catapulted me into a new understanding of my heavenly Father’s heart. He wants to be heard. One of the ways that I can show my love for Him is to listen to what He has to say. Am I content to listen to the beating of my own wayward heart, my own musings, my own plans? I never thought about the pain I may be causing simply by not listening.

Photo credit: domestically-speaking.com

4 thoughts on “Listen

  1. I was in tears by the end of this…so poignant and my heart was remembering all the times my heart has ached over my children. Even in their twenties, even married, my heart is pulled in many directions. Loved the insight of how God just desires us, just present with Him, just open to His loving care and wisdom. Thank you, dear one!

    • Kathryn,
      You have a way of validating the ups and downs of my journey! Just when I think I’m way off track or I’ve lost it… You share your heart in a way that confirms I’m still headed in the right direction. Love you!

  2. I am not a real big reader, but your blog has truly captivated me. How subtle and powerful your sharing has been. I am not even a mother right now and yet I gleem from your insight and see how I can be a better child of God, daughter to my parents, wife to my husband and friend to those I hold dear. Thank you for your beauty through ashes. I am blessed by you and appreciate your eloquence and transparency.

    • Renee,
      Yes! Beauty for ashes is one of God’s greatest miracles! This writing thing is all Him. I’m just so grateful that it speaks something besides my frailty!

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