As I write this, you are cuddled against my pillow on your tummy. Though you sleep most of the night in your crib now, you woke up early this morning, and when Daddy brought you into our room to try and get you back to sleep, you were not content until you’d pulled yourself over to my side of the bed and could rest your little body against me.
Recently, Daddy and I watched the story of a man’s spiral into violence and rage resulting from a fractured relationship with his mother, who never wanted him. The story drove me from my bed this morning to write this letter to you–though you cannot understand these words now, I may forget the message when you’re old enough to listen.
First, know this: you are a treasured, unexpected, deeply wanted gift from God to both your daddy and me. You are not a burden. You are not a financial strain. You are not a complication. You are our greatest adventure together so far, and our source of great joy. You are accepted just as you are, even though we must correct your behavior sometimes. You belong to us and with us, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to keep it that way until God calls you forth into your own life adventure.
Second (and the point of all of this, really), although I can’t picture it in this season where your greatest source of upset is when I leave the room and don’t take you with me, there will be times when you disagree with us–times where you may think we don’t understand (and will probably be right in that thought). There may be times where you are very angry with us. These are natural emotions that are part of the perfection of love in any family, and both your daddy and I went through them with our parents as we struggled to learn to conduct ourselves as Christian adults.
Just as you may clash with us over what seem like arbitrary rules you don’t understand, you may sometimes find yourself mad at God. Again, Daddy and I have both “been there.”
The thing about disagreeing with God is this–unlike the humans in your life, He doesn’t argue back. You can yell at Him, cry to Him, deface what He has made, swear you’ll never let Him in your life, purposely do things contrary to His law to cause Him pain, and almost never do you hear His voice justifying what He told you to do (I don’t just say “never” because anything is possible with God and He doesn’t like it when I mislabel Him).
It’s okay to be angry.
Recently, you began throwing tantrums. When I do something you don’t like, you respond by arching your back, flailing your arms, kicking your legs, and screaming; and I (admittedly with very little patience at times) tuck all your limbs against me and say, “shhhh” in your ear until you quiet down. Although your kicking and flailing make me uncomfortable and unhappy, I am big enough that your kicking doesn’t hurt me–yet.
God is big enough to handle our tantrums. He allows us to rage against Him without fighting back for a season so that we have the opportunity to come to Him. For me, sometimes the greatest source of my anger with God has been the fact that He allowed others to rage unchecked for longer than I wanted Him to. He has infinite mercy and patience, and He knows the right amount of time we all need to put off our emotions and come to Him.
We have to come to Him, though. There is a point at the end of your tantrum (which usually doesn’t last very long when I hold you) that you heave a big sigh and relax against me. We must have the same reaction to God. It’s okay to not understand Him always, and to ask “why” or “how long” just as David did throughout the Psalms; but it is vital to understand that He offers a rest that we must strive to enter (Hebrews 4 talks about that). It may not be easy to get to that place of trust where you push everything onto God’s shoulders and relax in the knowledge that He has a plan and purpose for your good. I admit that your daddy is better at this than I am.
Fight for it, little one. Use your anger to burn down the sources of confusion between you and God. The rage you may feel against Him would not originate with Him–it would come from the enemy of your soul who will never stop trying to bring division in your relationship with the Father. He is a loving, patient, kind Father, and any anger you may feel against Him did not come because He is any less kind or loving. Don’t ever let anything you’ve said in anger keep you from coming back to Him. You are never too far from Him to come back to Him no matter what you might think, and He always accepts apologies.
I love you, my precious child, and I pray the Lord will continue to protect our family and give Daddy and me the privilege of teaching you these things in person.