Wednesday, August 3, 2011

You've Been There, Right?

You may remember some post ago when I shared about my Alex's experience at camp and how the judgment of another person of Alex's action broke my heart as his momma. Well, tonight, I received some texts from a childhood girlfriend about her day with her son.  He had to go to the doctor to get help for an injury and whatever procedure they needed to do evoked tremendous fear in him.

I want to share with you a part of what she texted me because it is motherhood in its rawest form:  "I just can't explain how he lost total control out of fear and there was no bringing him back down.  I was useless and all he saw me as was just someone trying to hurt him.  I was sad, angry, embarrassed, and felt every other emotion...definitely not like a protective parent!"

This is from someone I have known most of my life.  She is not normally a person who struggles with being ultra-sensitive (like me!), nor extremely emotional.

This is a very intelligent, very level-headed, successful, independent woman.  She is beautiful, skinny, has a lovely home, gorgeous children, dedicated husband...and other than really wanting to have a different vehicle at the moment, from the outside looking in, she appears to have it all.  

She isn't one to struggle with insecurity in many ways.  She is normally confident and can hold her own in this world.  She was blessed to be raised in a strong Christian home, taught that God has her back and loves her deeply.


But today, my friend's world came crashing down on her.  No amount of money could change what happened.  Her intelligence and training in psychology, experience in social work, and love of children couldn't make her situation better.


She watched helplessly as her boy lost it.  

He has his fair share of struggles with learning difficulties and ADHD.  Parenting him has not been what she expected.  His little mind processes things quite differently than most children and definitely differently than his momma's and daddy's.


From the perspective of a bystander in the doctor's office, it may look like this child was just throwing a tantrum and needed a good spanking.  Maybe they thought that in their head...or thought, "If that was my son, I would..."


I know I have done that.  Have you?


Probably.


It's okay.  I know my friend well.  I know she has done it too.


It's so easy to judge isn't it?  It's so easy to pass quick criticism on situations we get to peek into.


But, I know my friend.  I know her boy.  VERY WELL.  

I KNOW their struggles.  I know the tears my friend has cried in trying to understand her son...in trying to help him be "normal."


I wouldn't have had the same thoughts as a passer-by who doesn't KNOW the real story.


My eyes filled with tears, and I cried out to Jesus to help my friend when I read that text.  You see, I have been there.  I have known that kind of despair.  I have ran through all those emotions as a mom.


It's hard.  Terribly hard.


We have ALL been there or somewhere around "there."  We have all experienced times of humiliation over something that hit us out of left field!  We have all felt the judgment of others, haven't we?


In those times, we must be very, very careful not to be moved by other people's approval...or what "they" think is right because it worked for them or they read it somewhere or their parents did it!


I can't tell my friend what to do for her boy.  Sure, God may give me some divine wisdom to speak to her, but short of that, my boys are not like her boy.  What works for mine, may or may NOT work for her son.  For me to presume I have the answer to her success is dangerous at least.  Perhaps some things I try may work for her.  If she asks, I will try to help her.  If God directs me, I will be faithful to give her a message.  But short of that, I have learned this very important lesson:  SHUT UP AND PRAY.


I will pray for my friend and her family because God has her answers and the Holy Spirit will lead her into ALL truth.  I will not talk about her or judge her.


When I saw her lil boy tonight, HE stopped me and said, "So, I guess my dad told you what I did today."  

I was SHOCKED!  All I knew from his mom at that point was that she had a bad experience with him at the doctor and she would talk to me later.


The amazing thing was that he was looking me straight in the eye when he said it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have to understand that eye contact for any length of time is HARD for this boy.  He runs by me and shouts hi when he comes over.  I have to tackle him for hugs...and that I know I can only do occasionally, lest he freak out.  

IT'S A BIG, BIG DEAL FOR HIM TO STOP ME AND OFFER EYE-CONTACT COMMUNICATION TO ME!


So, I say, "No, what happened?"  


"Nothing."  He looks down.


I stand wondering how to handle this.  God help!  He seems to want to talk!


"What happened buddy?  Did you all get in a fight?"


Eye contact BACK!  Yes!  (Barely audible) "I used my karate on her."


"You used your karate on your mom?  Why?"


"The doctor was trying to do something to my finger.  I was scared.  I didn't want em to so I went like this..."  He showed me how he kicked his mom.  He looked down at the ground.  

Clearly remorseful.  

Clearly in shame.  

My heart busted...for my friend and her boy.


This is not a mean, bad little boy.  This is a little boy who isn't "conventional," sometimes gets carried away, but who isn't malicious.


"When are you supposed to use your karate?"


"To defend myself."  (Still, I have eye contact!  This is a record for us!)


"That's right...only as a last resort, right...when NOTHING else will work."


He looks down again.  I rub his head and tell him it's going to be okay.  "Did you tell her you were sorry?"


Eye contact back.  He nods his head yes.  "It's gonna be okay buddy."


I drive away.  I want to call my friend immediately.  I want to tell her that though this may have been one of her worst days with him ever, it just became one of my best!


I mean, okay, clearly, no one wants what happened in that doctor's office to happen, but wow! 


HE STOPPED ME!


HE NEEDED TO TALK!


HE WANTED INTIMATE INTERACTION!


HE FELT REMORSE!


HE WANTED RESTORATION!


Not many people would know those are breakthroughs in his little life.  On a day the devil would try to lie to my friend and tell her she is screwing up or that he is screwed up, the Lord put me in the right place, at the right time, to be able to say, "My friend, the devil is a liar and you must be doing many things right or your son would not have wanted or done any of the above!"

His heart and mind are not beyond God's reach!  He may not learn things in a way we are used to, but God knows the keys to reaching him his way and God will show his momma!


Boys~Please be careful how you pass judgment and criticism on other people's situations.  There is often a whole lot of history you know nothing about.  All you owe others is to truly love them.  

True love believes the best of people.  Ask God to give you His eyes for every situation.

1 comment:

The Broady's said...

Very good! Love it Mindy! So, so, so true...love the 'shut up and pray.' :) Kids definitely humble you and cause you to realize you may not be as smart as you thought. :) Good insights.