late night sleeping under Rainbow Brite comforter
loud noises in the living room
walk in a daze into the hallway
mommy and dad in a struggle at the door
daddy trying to get out
mommy trying to keep him in
daddy really drunk
daddy gets out
mommy sees me
mommy grabs me
we drive around the moonlit neighborhood
looking for daddy
Those are images that haunt me. I think of them often when jack and i fight and jackson sits and watches...My initial thought was 'we will never have an argument around him'..we will fight in private. But last night at our Shepherding a Child's Heart summer book club (that you are invited to attend, if you are interested...as it is not an exclusive group :), the Lord showed up and met me.
I listened as a dear friend explained her childhood as an imperfect childhood where there was struggle, but when she looks back she smells the "aroma of Christ"..I look back at my memories of my mom and dad together and just remember hardness..just remember fighting..just remember alcohol abuse..just remember struggle. So why does her memory of hard times carry with it Christ's aroma? probably a lot of reasons..but one being maybe because in her home there existed a "language of faith" (stealing that phrase from my dear friend Kaitie Bryant who was at the meeting and used that phrase) There was hard struggle, repentance, conversation about sin, and explanation about God's grace and unconditional love for His children even though we screw up. There was a "place to put" the hardness..the children knew about mommy and daddy's sin and forgiveness because it was talked about and prayed about together.
The thing that occurred to me in that moment was that the Lord needs us (His followers) to be real about who we are and what we struggle with...He wants us to show our imperfect selves to our spouses, our friends, and even our children. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (New International Version)10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. The Lord uses our weakest moments to glorify Himself.
The struggle in the living room that late night when I was four, was not the thing that wounded me and makes me still remember even now at the age of 31. The lack of resolution and understanding..and the lack of Christ...left me afraid and alone..and fearful.. The Lord showed up last night and spoke to my heart. He said: