8 years ago i was preparing to go yard saling and then take a hefty dose of castor oil. I was young, naive, very pregnant and desperate to have this baby. It was also several days before my due date but we were moving in a month and i wanted this baby now rather than later. Amazingly the castor oil worked like a dream and she was born that night. Okay, you know what, i think she was born early morning.......i think...ack, i can't remember. Too many brain cells have been lost carrying small human children but it's worth every brain cell. You can ask me if i still think that when i'm 80 and can't tell left from right.
Emily has brought me to tears and my knees more than any of the other children combined but out of it has grown a beautiful relationship. She was born as our lives were spiraling out of control and she spent quite a bit of time with other people while we were busy partying the nights away. My emotions were a mess and i had no clue how to stop this mad dash to hell that i was on, and my little daughter paid the price. I loved her but didn't bond with her for a very long time. I didn't even know that, i just couldn't figure out why, (after i got saved and the battles began) we didn't connect. I just knew i watched other moms with beautiful relationships with their daughters and i wanted that desperately. My heart cried out to God in desperation and instead of it getting better it got worse. It sounds ridiculous to say you have battles like that with a 2 year old but we did. She started throwing massive temper tantrums, but only when daddy wasn't around. He never saw that side of her and would listen with his mouth hanging open. I didn't realize that God was also dealing with some areas in my own life. I had a huge anger issue and would get so mad at the kids that i would totally lose it. I would just yell in frustration and anger and of course they reacted. I couldn't understand how someone who had a radical change of heart could still have these problems but God knew exactly what He was doing. I remember waking up one night and realizing i was turning into someone i didn't want to be. I wasn't angry all the time by any means, it would just fly out of nowhere and i would feel SO ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED. Slowly, slowly, God dealt with that anger and i also discovered what a difference training a child makes. When i would feel that anger rising, i would simply walk away, and many times i would gather the children around me when we were having a rough morning and tell them we need to pray. I didn't just want to "control" it, i wanted to gain complete victory over it. I was honest with the children about my battle with anger and that it was wrong. I figured they knew it anyway and honesty was better than pretending to be something i wasn't. They took it seriously and would tell me when they thought i was acting angry. That of course would make me mad but the Holy Spirit wouldn't allow me to stop them and instead, i tried to listen and take it to heart. Of course, as all children will do, they took advantage of it, and i had to explain to them that i will not be talking in a syrupy sweet voice but that there is a time for serious firmness. I am still the mother and that means respect but i also knew i had to earn it, not demand it. Oh, it was a painful journey but so, so rewarding. I apologized many, many times to them and through that i gained an unexpected gift. The first time Emily apologized to me for a bad attitude i realized that we were winning with God's help.
The interesting thing is, every time my spirit isn't right, i see that in Emily. It's almost weird but she's like a mirror of myself. When i walk in the light and power of God, she has a sweetness and beauty about her that brings tears to my eyes. When i'm battling anger or any other issue and i'm not dealing with it, i see a little girl who loses her temper and her sweetness disappears. Many times i tell her as i deal with her bad attitudes, that i want her to learn these lessons when she's young, that it's so much harder to deal with it when you're older. I know, i learned the hard way. And yes, we are totally bonded. I can't imagine losing her and just the thought is enough to bring panic to my heart but i always find peace that she is God's. God did a complete brokenness in my heart a couple years ago after she had a huge meltdown in a store. Marlin dealt with it that night and as she went to bed, she glanced over at me and the look in her eyes went straight to my heart like a knife. I can't explain what that look was but that night after everyone was in bed and she was sleeping, i knelt by her side and God spoke clearly to my heart that she will be grown in an instant and that the real issue with my daughter was her mama. That night i repented with the repentance that only the Holy Spirit can bring and cried for hours while God exposed who i was and who He was molding me into. He bonded my heart with Emily and from that point on our relationship totally turned. We became extremely close and i can only now sit, when people comment on the beautiful spirit that she has, and wonder myself at the miracle that God has created between me and her. Our relationship's not perfect by any imagination, but a deep love flows between us and when our personalities clash, we apologize and hug and often pray together. She still has meltdowns but rarely, and her heart is so open to correction that she apologizes quickly and tries so hard to change.
Just recently we were shopping with the whole family and she was sick of it. Joshua was doing everything in his 3 year old power to annoy her and was succeeding. Her snoot got longer and longer and i reminded her that happiness is sometimes a choice. She was quiet for a bit and then asked me what i think would help her. I looked at her and said i could think of something. She then asked me if i would administer the discipline or her father. I told her i didn't know and we were quiet for awhile as we waited for the men. After a bit she asked in a trembling voice if praying would help. I said absolutely and right there in the aisle of the store, i put my arm around her and we asked Jesus to help her be happy. She wiped her tears away and became a totally different girl. She became cheerful with Joshua and waited happily til Marlin came. I was watching her for signs of rebellion and anger that would need to be cleansed but her heart was clear, and i knew another milestone had be laid for her future. Her heart is ripening quickly for that moment when she asks Jesus to step in and become Lord of her life. We don't want to push it and are trusting God to show us clearly when that time is.
I wish i could say that i never battle those rushes of anger but i do. God has brought me far and one way He has done that is by giving us 6, going on 7, children. If mama's angry, the whole family's angry. I desperately want my children to see Jesus Christ shining through me and it's that passion that keeps me falling to my knees for help. I can't begin to be the kind of mother that i want to be unless God Himself does the work, and He has promised to finish the work He has started in my life. He is a gracious Father and His heart is to turn every mother's heart towards her children and if He hears that cry for help, He's already there, moving and working. I'm also learning that He even uses my mistakes to bind our hearts together. That's the kind of God i serve.