Updated: Nov 19, 2019
My daughter is in an after school club called GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior) and in a recent email, they spoke of what they taught her this past meeting... "... emotions are lowercase t truths and God‘s truths are capital T truths. They may feel left out, but God says they are loved and belong. Lies don’t stick to Truth filled girls!"
Lies Don't Stick To Truth Filled Girls.
Amen, sister!! That is a kingdom concept that needs to go far and beyond our grade-schoolers and into the hearts and minds of every woman. Because in my many years past grade school, how often do I feel left out, forgotten, passed on or unseen, especially in motherhood? Maybe parenting children is not something that you can relate to, but this example so heavily hits my heart and, I'm sure, can be transformed into any relationships you may hold outside the parent-child interaction. So bear with me as I lay down what is in my heart.
At times my children can rub this tender emotion of feeling invisible in such a way that it bubbles to the surface. To give a tangible example, picture me with arms overflowing with laundry to be folded and pieces of said laundry dropping in a trail behind me. I can be clearly seen with arms overflowing in a chore (with my not as obviously seen mind carrying an even heavier load that no one is helping when they are capable of doing so). In this overburdened state, my children will inevitably ask me to help them with their unnecessary in the moment requests for unneeded, but wanted help (e.g. asking for me to get them a cup of water when one can be attained on their own). "You can clearly see that mommy is busy." I'll spill out with a bit more sass than I'd care to admit. I'm thinking, "See me struggling. Please, see me and feel moved to help, don't ask me to help you when I am the one in need."
In those moments I'm feeling vulnerable, insecure and unappreciated. But those feelings are not truth. My children have to be taught to see a need and to gear into action, I cannot simply will them into seeing my mental load.
As a Two on the Enneagram, it is hard for me to ask for help, even from my family. Helping others comes naturally, but my sinful nature of pride often binds my lips from speaking my need. It is in that binding that I am giving my feelings free rein to dictate my actions. As I am feeling unseen and unappreciated for the work I am doing, I pour out that bitter filled emotion on my children. But this is where I need to ask for forgiveness and speak my lower case t, my emotional truth to my family.
As a mentor of mine taught me, "Emotions make wonderful servants, but terrible masters." So, to master my emotions, I must speak them, not act them out. "I am feeling upset and hurt that you are not helping me clean, but asking me to take on more as I am struggling to tackle this chore alone. Rather than reacting in my hurt feelings, I need to kindly ask for your help, but before I do, I need to ask for your forgiveness. Mommy should not have treated you that way. I am sorry." I have gotten better over the years with speaking my need rather than letting it speak for me, but I am still a pride-addict. Truth be told, I likely will always struggle with this addiction until Jesus comes and brings my mind and body to His mirrored perfection, but I have the responsibility, as the daughter of the Heavenly King and the nurturer of tiny hearts and minds, to continually choose to master my emotions each day, and when I do fail, to step up to the humble plate and admit my sin and ask for forgiveness.
The capital T truth is that I need God, I cannot tackle pride each day without Him. And the beauty in that truth is that God can take our ashes when we do come up short - my pride- and turn them into His beauty- teaching the next generation about the need for God in our sinful nature and how to seek and give forgiveness.
Be blessed friends. Know that you are not alone in struggles and striving to do and know better. And remember in your shortcomings and forgiveness seekings that, "God can make beauty even from the most horrendous of ashes." And lastly, know the 'T'ruth that you are lavishly loved, wholly belong and abundantly treasured, always, by God.