headerImage

Let Them See You

I found this post below from an old blog of mine from about a year ago. I had such a great response to it, and it is so applicable to us today that I wanted to repost it. I have a sick two-year-old this week and not much sleep, so I thought this would be a great week to use this. I hope your heart is encouraged today…

For years, I have found myself frustrated and discouraged over the way I react to my children. I get angry too quickly, raise my voice too high and choose not to offer grace when I should offer grace. But in the moment...those ugly moments when my patience is gone and I have had it, all my "grace" goes out the window. And at the end of the day, I find myself drowning in a spirit of despair, and even disgust with myself, wondering about all the ways I had hurt them that day. Do you ever feel that way?

Some days it's just too much. Why doesn't it ever change? Why haven't I changed?

Recently, I read a blog post by Lysa TerKeurst called, "3 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Reacting." Question 3 was, "If I knew this conversation was being video taped and then shown to people I greatly respect, how would this change my reaction?"(1)

Wow, that is a tough one to think about. Not only that, what if Jesus was watching me react to my children? Oh wait, He is watching me!!

And beyond that, He lives in me. His Spirit is inside of me. Why then, am I often angry and critical in my reactions toward my children?

Through a small group I have been in and through my mentor, I am learning how to be still and hear what God wants to say to me. I have mentioned before that my brother Jon has said, "I think hearing the voice of God is my favorite part of living." I think he may be right.

One particular week, I was venting my frustrations to God over how I react to my children. I was feeling so discouraged. God spoke to my heart about my relationship with my children. He said He wants me to learn to "speak life" to my children.

Lord, what exactly does that mean?

I went on a search in Scripture and spent time alone with God and my journal. I prayed for wisdom. The following are the answers I believe God directed me too-I hope you will find encouragement as I did:

Fill their hearts and heads with Scripture that God gives me. Speak it over them. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. - John 6:63 ... emphasis mine.

Let my children see me struggle, just as they struggle. Open my heart to them; be vulnerable. Show them my wounds at a level they can understand.

Say I'm sorry to my kids when I mess up - quickly, and with humility.

Share with them all the ways God is loving me right now. Be specific and tell them my experiences. Talk about the victories as well as the defeats.

Choose to be silent instead of critical. When I do speak, speak words of affirmation to them. The tongue has the power of life and death - Proverbs 18:21

Love them just as they are (As my mentor would say, "Show them that you see them, and that you love what you see.")

When I want to be controlling or critical, or make an unnecessary comment, stop. Just stop. Speak life. Offer myself and open myself to them. Give them access to me, to my personal space (something I learned in our small group).

Laugh and be silly with my kids. Play with them. Be with them. Choose joy every day. If I choose joy, they will want to choose joy as well. If I have joy, I will not "react" poorly to my children as quickly.

Ask for forgiveness when pride rears it's ugly head. Ask God for a heart of humility. Only He can do that kind of miracle in me!

Ask God to soften my heart toward my kids, to sympathize with their hurts that I can't see at the moment. Are those hurts from the past (or present) contributing to their actions/behavior? Is my hurt contributing to my actions/behavior? What's really going on? Watch their faces for clues.

"Let them see Me in you." (translation: get out of the way and let God's Spirit do His work!) :)

And two key verses I read:

Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. - Luke 9:23

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. - Galatians 2:20

God wants to transform me by His Spirit living in me. And He is transforming me. It really is amazing!

I've noticed the last couple of weeks: I'm not raising my voice as much. I choose silence instead of a critical comment. I show kindness instead of anger. I hug instead of distance myself because I'm frustrated. I feel a calmness surrounding me in spite of the chaos going on around me. Yes, it's only a beginning. It's such a fierce struggle every day. But I have felt a shift inside of me. I sense the Holy Spirit gaining more ground as I release more of the control I think I need to have...praise the Lord! I need to get out of the way and let Him reign and work in my heart. It will be freedom for me, but more importantly, for my family.

My husband told me this week, "You are different. You have finally fully opened yourself to me, and to the kids."

My mentor said, "Your face is different. Your eyes are brighter; you have changed."

There are many things God has done in my life over the past year to make the people I love take notice. The way I react to my children is just one of those ways.

I long for my children to see Jesus when they see me. At least a few glimpses of Him anyway. I want to love them the way Jesus loves me. I want them to know they are deeply loved and chosen by God, and by me. I want them to feel safe and secure and seen.

I cannot do that on my own. Only the Holy Spirit has the kind of power it takes for my kids to see Jesus in me.

I love the song by the JJ Weeks Band called, "Let Them See You." The words are so fitting. I thought it was the perfect way to close, and to worship the One who makes the miracle of seeing Jesus in me, and in any of us, possible.

 

Click the image below to play the video.

Who am I without Your grace?
Another smile, another face
Another breath, a grain of sand
Passing quickly through Your hand
I give my life, an offering
Take it all, take everything

Let them see You in me
Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You
Just let them see You in me (2)


Lord, I do give my life as an offering. Please finish the work you started in me. Transform me more and more, until my children see You more than they see me. Now that would truly be a miracle! I think You are amazing and I love You. Amen.

 

Sources:
(1) – Blog - Lysaterkeurst.com/ January 21, 2014
(2) – Song: Let Them See You by JJ Weeks Band/partial lyrics.

Sign up to receive Tammy's Blog Posts in your email. It's easy!
SUBSCRIBE
Click to watch our ADOPTION STORY

If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

Archives
2014
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2015
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2016
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2017
 
© 2017 Tammy Gerber
All Rights Reserved.
Contact
Facebook /OneRainDancer