Yelling has become her preferred method of handling her frustrations. This mumbling, soft-spoken, brown-eyed beauty of a child. Normally so quiet, observant, often mistaken for being shy…she’s just listening, soaking it all in, figuring out how she fits into the scheme of things. Her frustrations are justified. The littlest sister with a younger brother who doesn’t know how to obey. Recently de-throned baby. Our expectations of her have increased, while her freedoms have not yet. Big sisters always running faster, going farther, doing it better. She’s in that middle that is a muddle.
So she yells at everything that frustrates her. And then she cries because the yelling doesn’t make her feel better at all. Still she is frustrated. She can’t find the words to describe how she is feeling or even understand why she is feeling. Welcome to being a girl…:)
We have new rules…we sit quietly and calmly after the yelling. No playing, no freedom, no noise. Just the quiet and her mama’s arms wrapped tightly around her, soothing her. It isn’t a punishment. It’s training. Teaching her to let her Father wrap His arms around her and quiet her with His love. Teaching her to sit and be still, knowing He is her God. Teaching her that the best thing for the frustration is love. She isn’t being restrained…she is held, lovingly and without judgment. The heart-cleansing is for another time when she can ask for the cleaning on her own. For now, it is just training…
I am like her. My heart yells at the things that frustrate me. Sometimes, I even let those heart screams slip out into biting, sharp words or into my attitude, which then frustrates those who love me. And the yelling doesn’t make me feel better. I feel worse. I feel the weight of righteous conviction, of the presence of a holy God in my unholy life. I know the dirty temple that I ask Him to inhabit, and His refusal to live there without some much-needed cleansing.
And He holds me, lovingly. Wraps His arms tightly around me, wraps His Word around my heart and reminds me that He is in control, that He understands. He knows me because He made me…there is no judgment in that moment. Just His love.
I know I need cleaning and I ask for it, and the cleanser stings, wiping away the unclean. Wiping away the clutter in my mind, the stubborn stains bad habits leave behind. He is gentle to bind up my wounds and apply the balm of His Word to soothe what aches. The frustration melts into complacency first, then transforms into joyful acceptance.
As I hold her, He holds me. He speaks to our hearts, knitted together as one into His. There is a path that leads from frustration straight into the Father’s arms…
Father, continue to quiet me. Soothe my frustrations. Keep them from finding a voice. Continue to love me…let me live in Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.