As I sit, fidgety and unfocused, trying to power through homework, an almost burning desire to self-reflect washes over me. I’ve been staring at a computer screen for almost four hours now, and you’d think I’d just be ready to close my laptop and slip into a peaceful slumber. But I can’t. I have too many thoughts that I want to organize and deliver, and my heart is just so at peace right now that I feel like I owe it at least this much — to do what it has been begging me to do for months now: let it all go.
I am headstrong. It’s part of what makes me successful and yet blurs into “character flaw” on occasion. If you’re new here you may not know a lot of backstory (in which case I invite you to read some of the archived posts), and even if you’re not new to my life you just simply may not know what has been at the forefront for the past several months. My son’s dad is incarcerated. I am a single mom. We have a very unique situation and things get messy sometimes. Words get wielded like knives, hearts bleed for what feels like eternity, pouring out all trust and tenderness and in turn hardening like wax when it cools.
I had been struggling with a debacle with a woman I love as my own mother. We hurt each other, and I, in my ostentacious way, wanted her to know she hurt me more. I wanted her to feel every drop of hurt and to basically rub her nose in her own pee, like one does with a puppy. I went for months like this, standing my ground and folding my arms over my chest.
God whispered to my heart “Let it go. It is not the most important thing right now, and I have bigger happiness in store for you if you will forgive.” I shook my head and furrowed my brow whenever I felt the Lord melting down the wax, making it pliable again. I dug my heels into the ground, and still, God moved me. He gave me the strength and humility to just let go of the anger.
This is not the same as forgiving and forgetting, mind you. I have learned a lot about both myself and this woman who I call “Momma Bear”. I learned that sometimes she fights ugly and I respond to that with absolutes. Nothing in life is absolute. I learned that I like to be right. I learned that nobody likes to apologize. Most of all, I learned that when young minds are being molded you have to lead your life with action, and not just endless jabber about what we “should do” because it’s “the right thing to do”. You have to show your children how to be a good person. And damn, is that tough.
“Let it go.” God and I talk. I feel like my listening skills leave a lot of room for improvement but I heard him on this one. And I’m so, so glad I did. Because the relief that has washed over my heart since I sent the truce message has been immeasurable. I cannot explain it. Months have passed. ‘I’m fine,’ I told myself. I didn’t realize how truly woven I am into the cloth of Jude’s paternal family. I didn’t realize how much I missed them!
Especially Momma Bear. We have a *ton* in common. When I first met her she hugged me. I immediately felt warm and welcomed. She has held me when I’ve cried. She has laughed with me. She has listened to me amidst hormonal rage. She has prayed with me. She helped me bring Jude to us. She has woven herself into my cloth, too, and I’m glad the road to repair is under our feet.
Peace. Peace washes over my heart like a playful wave hitting grains of sand on a warm, sunny morning. Other things in my life are falling into place (thank you, Jesus!) and I know this is a key component. To have people that have traversed rough terrain with you, to have a warm and malleable heart, to have an open mind and a positive outlook — to have these things is a blessing. They ebb and flow, like anything in life, but to keep them at the forefront of your mind is really a good thing.
I just want to be a good example for my son. I want him to be a good, compassionate person. I want him to forgive people when they hurt him, so he doesn’t self destruct with grudge-holding and pride. I have to show him how, and man, I hope I’m at least doing okay at it. Our children really are our greatest motivators, aren’t they?