My oldest daughter is now 9. We share the most wonderful talks these days. I love to hear the thoughts that are filled inside of her head. One thing I have clearly noticed over the past few years is the struggle she has with perfectionism. I can identify it well, as I have lived my own life with this--as long as I can remember. As a mother, I see how it can pull at us and paralyze us from being the person God has planned for us to be.
My sweet 9 year old will come to me filled with grief for something she "thought" or something she has done. She struggles as we do her math together; wanting to get it perfect the 1st time and getting upset when she is unsuccessful. She notices the behaviors of those she is around. When they aren't being kind or respectful, she doesn't quite understand why. She loves everyone and opens her heart the only way she knows how. We have talked a lot about others and that kindness will not always be offered to us in return. I struggle with this a lot myself and it's hard to be honest and explain to her that the world is filled with people who will not love us for one reason or another. Or sometimes, for no reason at all. I believe perfectionism comes hand in hand with people pleasing. And one of the hardest things to accept is that not everyone will like us; much less love us.
This week I was in the car with my three children when my daughter downloaded the song "Hello, my name is" by Mathew West. I sat in the car listening to this song and really thought about the lyrics. And then we sang it over and over again...all 4 of us.
The song says:
Hello, my name is regret I'm pretty sure we have met Every single day of your life I'm the whisper inside That won't let you forget
Hello, my name is defeat I know you recognize me Just when you think you can win I'll drag you right back down again ‘Til you've lost all belief
These are the voices, these are the lies And I have believed them, for the very last time
Hello, my name is child of the one true King I've been saved, I've been changed, And I have been set free “Amazing Grace” is the song I sing Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I am no longer defined By all the wreckage behind The one who makes all things new Has proven it's true Just take a look at my life
What love the Father has lavished upon us That we should be called His children I am a child of the one true King
My children wanted me to explain the meaning of this song to them as they usually do when they hear a new song. In my opinion, this song could have so many different meanings. But yesterday as we sang it, what I wanted to tell all of my children was that our Heavenly Father has "lavished His love upon us" and "amazing grace is the song we should sing".
I want my children to have grace with themselves and grace with anyone they come in contact with. I want them to know I do not expect them to be perfect and neither does God. I want them to live their lives and open their hearts to others with the type of grace Jesus has given us. This world is full of people "pointing their fingers" at others, shaming them, and judging them. But, who are we to judge anyone? I pray that our children will grow up loving others and seeing the best in humanity. I want my children to see others through God's eyes.
"When we face a difficult situation or are dealing with difficult people in our lives, it becomes very easy to see them through our eyes. We see the hurt they cause us. We see the wrong they've done to us. We see their actions through the lens of our own personal experience.
When we face a difficult situation or are dealing with difficult people in our lives and we seek to them through God’s eyes, we are able to see them as a hurting or lost person. We see their woundedness or their confusion. We can sometimes see where they are being deceived. If we seek wholeheartedly, we can even see their possibilities instead of their liabilities.
Seeing the world and others through God’s perspective takes the focus off of us. This keeps us from taking things personally. And when we don’t take things personally, we can be more objective, we can better stand in the gap in prayer for the other person, and we can see things as they are instead of seeing them as we are."- Jill Savage
We try hard to remind our children of all of this. And as a mother and adult, I need this reminder myself. I want to remember to not only see others through God's eyes but to see myself that way too. I am growing and learning more and more, day by day. I will fall and with God's help I will get back up. There is not a "standard" to which I need to be as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, or person. I just need to live for God daily and ask Him to guide me to continue to be the person He wants me to be.
I know I can't keep my children from facing their own struggles; whether they come from within or through others they come in contact with. But, I can pray for them and try to remind them that we have been given God's Amazing Grace and it is such a beautiful thing.