I’ve Got Nothing

I woke weary, all the messiness of yesterday sliding in with the sun. “Oh, Lord,” I sighed, “why is it so hard to love? And how, if I can’t even consistently, rightly love those who love me, am I ever going to learn to love those who don’t?”

I sighed and turned over, closing my eyes against the rising sun. Maybe this day can just start a little later, finish a little sooner, less time for conflict and “friendly fire” in the escalating word war raging in our home. “Why” I suddenly demanded, “is it soooo hard to love? Aren’t we all on the same side in this house? We’re family! Why is there such a need to be right, prove a point, win an argument, hurt the other?”

I wanted nothing to do with this dawning day, but our pups wanted out and their insistent yips reminded me that morning was tick, tick, ticking on whether or not I wanted it to. I reluctantly climbed out of bed and into an avalanche of ugliness.

“Mom,” a faint voice echoed from yesterday, “you get in the way. You step between everyone in this house when there’s an issue. You know, not every arrow you take is meant for you. But as soon as an arrow is flung around here, you jump in the way. You’re like a shield, a wall I have to climb through, climb over, shoot through, break down to get to the other person, and every arrow meant for them hurts you instead. You have to get out of the way and let us work things out ourselves or they’ll never be solved and you’ll just keep getting hurt. You can’t be God.”

Ouch. He was right, this hurting teen of mine. Somewhere along the way my boys had grown up and I was still stepping between them, trying to soothe wounds, assuage feelings, temper arguments and make peace, when really I’d just ignited a greater war, because the issues hadn’t been solved only tabled. Now their words wielded greater power, shot straighter, and small issues had grown into significant battles. My boys needed the time and space and grace to work out their own relationship. My heart had been right. I’d meant to help, to mediate, to love them through, instead I’d stood between them, a target separating my sons, and arrows never meant for me were piercing my heart.

“OK, God,” I sighed brought back to morning by a sudden loud yip from one of the pups, “I’m really not ready for this, but since You are, let’s do this thing. But I gotta tell You, I’ve got nothing, so it’s gonna have to be all You, which,” I suddenly smiled realizing the irony, “is exactly what You wanted all along, isn’t it?”

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:10)

joy in this journey
Linking up with Joy today and living “Life Unmasked.”


6 thoughts on “I’ve Got Nothing

  1. My two boys, ages 13 and 12, have those moments as well. It is hard when we, as mothers’s, cannot make everything better. I look at them at times and miss them playing hot wheels in the floor. Taking a toy was so much easier than they stuff as they get older. Pray that your day gets better! Jen


  2. Susan

    It is never easy. I find I absorb my children’s vulnerabilities (and even magnify my protection — because as an adult I see the implications). It is hard to focus on remediating the rough spots of their personalities … would be so much easier to hide those under a rug and focus solely on their strengths. Or even to minimize the challenge of one by teaching the other the skill of accommodation. Such a delicate balance — with such high stakes. And then it is us, the parents that are vulnerable. Open to our kids and others pointing out what we could have done better … and realizing that it might even be true.
    P.S. I love the articles too. You have such a way with words.


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