This post could also be subtitled “A Bully Mom” and “Hating Change So Much, We Keep Hurting”. Alas, I will tell you why:
This week started with Jack still having some remnants of a flu that’s going around…as a good and conscientious mother, I shoved an Advil down his throat and from the process of swallowing a pill, he hacked up what I call a “throat booger” but others call a tonsil stone. This is what I consider a momentous occasion…being someone with an acute sense of smell, I was like, “Oh, Jack, you gotta SMELL this!” And so, I foisted upon my two youngest children, the smell of death that just escaped from Jack’s throat. Seriously, how can that smell be in a throat and not make every word that Jack speaks make people fall over dead?
The smart and sane one in the bunch, namely Adrianne, started flying WAY beneath the radar because she knew the power of my persuasion (which will come to be known in the future of this story as bullying). I compelled her to come: “A, seriously, you gotta smell this….you would never guess that such a disgusting smell could come from something so small and obscure”. Her reply, “No…I don’t want to”…just made me all the more persistent. This back and forth continued until I literally shoved the throat booger under her nose and her face climaxed in a face of pure disgust and hurt. She ran upstairs and I was left with only the realization that I had just bullied my kid into smelling something utterly disgusting. What just happened??? (I was musing to my friend Jess the other day that some people keep their kids at home to avoid bullies and I have to send my kids to school to avoid bullies….nice).
By God’s grace, what followed was forgiveness and restoration, but it took some time. I had to ask a couple times, to which Adrianne told me she wasn’t ready to forgive yet. Finally, she opened those doors and I was more than thrilled to run through them. I was struck by the power of forgiveness and what can rush through once two people are at that point. Who knows what can happen when forgiveness flows…?
Second stinky Story:
Megan got her cast off last week. (Side note: her arm still looked pretty jacked up, but after numerous opinions, it seems that there’s a good chance for “le-modeling” [Thai for "re-modeling"] and that it will straighten itself out). What I thought would be a very celebratory occasion turned into a consistent whimpering the whole way home. As she sat and cradled her arm, Megan whined about how she “wished she still had her cast”. That stinky, smelly, disgusting cast? How could she still want that? She had grown attached to something that protected her pain and shielded hurt….what was meant only to restore was now lovingly looked at as a necessity. She wanted to stay in restoration mode instead of being healed and free! Oh my…she petted her arm, which was now weak and tender, sensitive to every whiff and touch…she was being forced to move on and she didn’t like it one bit.
A raunchy cast was more appealing to her because it provided what she thought was protection. She wanted a state of “stuckness” more than freedom. How true of so many aspects of our life, and especially pain and sorrow. We know the way out includes some really raw vulnerability that eventually leads to strong freedom, but we grab that smelly protection and pamper our weakness. We trust in visible decay more than gritty faith in the consummate Healer.
God help us. And thank you, Lord for teaching me so much through my nose.