Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I went heavily to my obligation this evening at church. All day long, I tried to maintain the perfect mother routine, particularly with my teenager who seriously betrayed my trust yesterday. I am a newly-exited Parenting Your Teenager short course graduate, and I've been trying to apply the principles of: empathy; personal warmth; and being genuine for a week now. I've been going out of my way to be a loving mother to her and to be present in a positive way. So, when the school called, and I had to confront her, I was so happy with how the confrontation was more of a directed concern discussion, with how I tried to understand, accept, walk on eggshells, assist; I held in my frustration and disappointment and tried to continue serving her. She responded openly, moreso than with my anger.

Truly. For half a day, I felt as if I had figured this all out. Like I was an uninformed idiot before. Then, when I calmly set out some consequences and she went berserk, I felt that old familiar strain inside of me. Heaviness. The feeling that something has gone wrong. That this child will learn hard, painful things and point to me as her accomplice.

So I drove to church, talking to my out-of-town husband on the cell phone, talking with the frustration that I kept from her, letting the ugly out. Bemoaning the imperfection I display as a mother by not knowing what to do in the fix-all way to help her get through this muck she's in, which I dive into also. I cleaned up my language before I went into the doors of our well-lit church to fulfill my obligation and serve.

I was given the bread, my partner the juice. And we stood at the front while the mid-section came up to us. And I said over and over again:

"This is the body of Christ broken for you."
"This is the body of Christ broken for you."
"This is the body of Christ broken for you."
"This is the body of Christ broken for you."

Half way through, as the implied suffering, love, and empathy enveloped me, I felt as if my tears were going to spill out, but I needed to continue blessing, reminding, looking into the eyes with as much love as Christ could muster into me as he reminded me of his love and sacrifice. I looked into the caring eyes of strangers, darting eyes of the uncertain, brimming eyes of women friends who mean much to me, the heavy, the downtrodden, the parents of teens, the sick, the harried, and I was given assurance that I too had a body of a prince broken for me, broken for me, in all of my parenting ignorance and trials, in all of my future heartbreaks.

I walked away and cried in the dim recesses of the church. When I exited and sat beside my young exhurberant friend, Trisha, we sang and cried together, and she gave me a huge hug of comfort afterwards.

I so needed the reminder that his grace is all that I need. Grateful.


alaiyo said...

Amen and amen. Amazing how it doesn't matter how "perfect" we are, He comes to us.

Thanks for sharing this and letting me share tears of joy with you this morning.


Fieldfleur said...

Thanks, Beth, for sharing your heart too! May God feel near to you today!