I live in an area where storms can roll in fairly quickly, and they often don’t stay very long. Unless we are in for a big storm like a tropical depression or hurricane, we know that we can usually ride out the rain and resume our day.
The storms that we have had lately are very short, but very strong. The thunder vibrates our sliding glass doors, the lightening brightens the dark clouded skies. You don’t always see them coming either. Just the other day, I walked out of my home to beautiful skies. As I drove toward my destination the skies opened up… floodgates unleashed.
Storms remind me of anger. How quickly it can rear up even during the calmest of moments. Today was a day like that, and today was a day that I remind us all that none of us are perfect parents… have perfect children… and perfect lives. No matter how public your platform, or private your struggles… we are all battling something.
Today was off to a beautiful day. Kids got up, dressed, and out the door on time. We were visiting family for lunch and quality time in the pool. My youngest wanted her older cousin to join us in the pool, he didn’t want to… she was persistent and then when he still didn’t comply….
SHE SMACKED HIM IN THE FACE.
Can I tell you that I was stunned she would do this to her cousin. It’s one thing to see siblings squabble and get handsy… who hasn’t had to separate sisters and brothers in brawl mode at some point in their lives. But never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined my daughter would smack her adult cousin.
As a mom, I was mortified. I have “trained her the way she should go”. I have talked to her about being nice to others, treating others with respect, and the golden rule. I know that we nipped the hitting thing years ago when she was a toddler. How then could she have done such a thing?
As a person, I was absolutely embarrassed. I wondered what the newer family members who don’t know us well would think about such a thing happening? Would this impact their desire to be around her? Would they question my parenting? Would they wonder if I was a safe person to baby sit their children some day?
Yes, all of that rolled through my head. And, then I was angry.
The tone in my voice as I reprimanded her… heavy, stern, deep, pointed.
The words I used (and hated to hear when I was a child)… I am disappointed in you.
The question asked, that always gets the same answer, but I asked it anyway… What were you thinking? Why did you do that?
Ugh. Why must parenting be so hard? Shouldn’t having three kids mean that by this point I am doing most things right? Why does it have to be my kid? (LOL).
Of course being reprimanded was not fun for her, I could see the remorse as tears stained her cheek. I gave her some time to gather herself together and then she needed to apologize to her cousin. We also continued our conversation after we both calmed down, because we also needed to be reminded of our love for each other and our family… despite the needed correction and tension of the moment.
As I write this, I can hear my father in laws voice in my head: “Your sin nature is showing!”. That is what he used to tell his kids and grandkids when they were misbehaving. I really disliked hearing him say it. Sometimes, I thought, they were just being a toddler… cranky… sleepy… etc. Not everything that we do that is unpleasant is our sin nature, right?
But this moment when my daughter struck someone… that was sin showing. She’s not been able to explain why she did it. So, I don’t know if she was trying to be funny and didn’t mean to hit him that hard (not that it makes it ok). I don’t know if she was trying to bully him (although with their age difference that makes no sense). I don’t know if she was frustrated she wasn’t getting her way and lashed out. But, if I had to put my money on it… she was trying to be a big shot. She’s at a weird age where behavior makes no sense sometimes. I actually remember being this age, and some of the stupid things I would do that I thought made me look like a big shot… cooler than I was.
Regardless of which reason it turns out to be, it is still sin. I’m thankful that she felt remorse, that she apologized, that her cousin forgave her, and their relationship is restored.
Anger is like a storm, but Jesus is the one who controls the winds and waves with His very Word. By His command the storms cease, the waters are calmed, and we are secure.
When we repent of our sin, seek forgiveness, and gaze upon the Cross… we know that we are forgiven and the price is paid for our sin that rears its ugly head. We are redeemed, reconciled to our King, and secure in our future.
Even when we try to be the big shot.
The storms of our hearts are called by the One who dwells within.