Just Make It Stop
For several days now, my youngest son has been crying every time I am around. All day, just the two of us, whining and crying. If I leave him with a caregiver, or even his dad, he’s fine… until I come around. With a busy schedule, errands to run and other children to care for, this has become extremely frustrating and hard to deal with. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to be around him. I just shut down. “What is wrong with you?” “Why are you crying?” “Just stop it!” “Please, just chill out!” “I can’t hold you right now.” “Really, you’re now upset about that?”
Something just isn’t right. He never acts this way. He’s usually easy going and playful — getting along fine, playing with his toys while I work on laundry or chores. But, he’s just not himself right now. Because I love him and want him healthy, I know I have to pay close attention to his symptoms. It could be he’s in pain from an ear ache or a belly ache. Or, maybe it’s just that he’s finally reached the unforgettable stage known as the “terrible two’s” which is leaving him feeling a little messed up, clingy and nervous. And maybe, because of that, he just needs someone he knows he can be himself with — whether happy and healthy or ornery and annoying. And maybe, that’s me.
When I step back and think about my relationships, I think about how interesting and different they are. Some people accept me only at face value, some enjoy common interests, while others take me fully for who I am. I’m not talking only the about the good, fun, harmonious times, but the down and dirty, ugly-crying, self-centered, annoying, irrational, I-cannot-be-around-you-another-minute times. With social media and the increasing desire to gain followers and likes, I find it easier to keep things superficial. But what happens when you need someone to truly understand you during a certain season of your life? Who is it that you can pick up the phone and (gasp) call at any moment? Who is it that knows and accepts that there’s something more going on and won’t give up until they help you through it?
Gosh, the names are popping up as I type. I’m so thankful for dear friends that see the warning signs in me. At first, they may be aggravated, confused or annoyed by my behavior but they love me enough to not let go.
Are you that kind of friend or family member? It can be so hard to see past ourselves and realize that there’s a greater issue. I think about addictions or mental disorders that are overlooked either because we don’t care enough to deal with them, or we just are too passive and ignore the warning signs until they’re too far gone. Can you recognize the symptoms?
Don’t get me wrong. We can’t be the fixer for everyone and every issue. But we can be ready to support them instead of turning away from them. And above all, we can and must pray them through it.
My baby, ok toddler, is napping (the only time he doesn’t seem to cry this week) so I’m taking a few deep breaths, praying for him to wake up happy and for me to have a patient heart, and prepping myself for the next round. I’m focusing my lens of compassion on his behavior, I’m overlooking my weariness and putting aside the things that will keep me from helping him get through this. It’s not easy for either person involved, but God knows, I love him too much to give up.
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on LOVE — the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body control your hearts. – Colossians 3:12-15
Come to me when you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30