It’s not an uncommon scene. Tantrums, fits, yelling, crying, hiding under tables, running away when being called for, refusing to listen because emotions are running way too high. No, I’m not describing my almost-three-year-old, I’m realizing this is an embarrassing truth about my own walk of faith.
The other night, my oldest daughter, our almost three year old, was having a grade-A breakdown. It was a long day with no nap and I was coming off a day that left me equaling her levels of fatigue. At the climatic moment when her face was a mess of hair, tears, and snot and I was a steaming pile of frustration on the floor grabbing after her, I heard the wisdom of God coming through my own words. There are moments like these. When the Holy Spirit commandeers my words to bring truth, correction, grace, or wisdom to me. These are divine moments that catch me off guard 100% of the time.
In this moment, as my daughter and I wrapped up in a mess of frustration, anger, confusion, and desperation, I put my hands on Brylie’s shoulders and said, “Brylie, do you know that I love you?” to which she sniffled out a reply of, “phhh, phhh, yeea-yeaah…phhhphh….” then I asked this question which stopped me in my tracks. I asked,
“Brylie, did you forget that I love you?”
She looked at me with her beautifully tear soaked eyes and said, “”phhh, phhh, yeea-yeaah…phhhphh….”
Things calmed down after that and we got her to bed. I was now a whole new kind of mess. I realized that the interaction I was just apart of was God revealing a tangible manifestation of my relationships with him. Before we go any further, I’m not presuming that I am the God figure in my house who is all gracious, wise, loving, and powerful. What I am saying, is that in that moment – God showed me what I look and sound like when I refuse to obey, choose to complain, and steadfastly run from His word. I look childish. And the root cause for this “terrible-twos-faith-tantrum”? Forgetting that my Father loves me. Forgetting that behind all things that he’s asked me to do, all places he’s asked me to go, and all times he’s asked me to be present in, stands his unquestionable love for me.
That night I took time to take a deep breath and say to my loving Father, “I’m sorry. I forgot you loved me.” That night, and my days since, have been full of more grace and trust and less fits and tantrums. I’m learning the need to continue to give up my childish ways of faith and remember my Dad loves me!