Today I cried with my child. I often use words. Too many words. I want to find solutions. I want to offer advice. The perfect words for healing I swear are just a grasp away. If only I could discover those words and have them drip off my tongue like relieving ointments. I want to help. Wishing I could fix the pain, I keep trying with those words. Today I cried with my child, and I think it was the most healing thing I could have done.
I don’t want to get into the details of why my child was sad. I want to respect her privacy as she grows and the why isn’t important right now. We are going to watch our kids grow and go through a variety of painful experiences. That’s hard. I have not shied away from being candid about the challenges of parenting. I have shared with you my hardships, struggles and sin when it comes to being a mom. Before, I think a lot of it has been about me. I would encourage you to visit these three posts to see what I am talking about: “Help! I Have the Mom Blues,” “There’s an Attitude Problem in our Home,” and “I Have Everything I Ever Wanted. Why am I so Unhappy.” Today’s ache, however, was different. This wasn’t about selfish me and how I wish parenting were easier. Today’s pain was called empathy. It wasn’t about me. It was about her.
I have talked about the importance of showing empathy, but today I was able to feel it and experience the healing in a real way. I can be more of a “buck up” kind of mom. Kids need that sometimes. I do believe that. However, they often need empathy more. I was trying to use words but the moment I cried for her…the moment I let the tears roll and I was able to say, “I’m so sorry. I don’t want to see you hurting,” was the moment I saw relief and peace come over her face. It wasn’t going to solve the problem, but my tears were the sweet salve she needed.
When I did use my words, I tried to remind her that she has a Savior and a friend that understands suffering too. I’ll share that she was experiencing rejection. I was able to tell her that Jesus suffered rejection. She asked how, and I told her about how his closest friends ran in fear and denied him while he was taken to be beaten and killed. While I have empathy for her, she has someone bigger and better who will always be with her that knows suffering. He knows how to show the ultimate kind of empathy. She has a friend in Jesus. John 15:15 reminds us, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Then, we prayed.
The pain in life will continue. I’m learning that sometimes I just need to shut up, cry, hug and listen.