Saturday, October 2, 2010

Someone pull me out.....!!!!!

Such a fun birthday party. The kids were swimming and having a great time. Lauren finally got brave enough to go down the big slide. Her only hesitation was that there were no floatie arms allowed when going down the slide. But, with the assurance that one of us would catch her as she came down, she decided to go. And she went again and again. And each time she was set back on the shallow steps of the pool so that she could get out and go again. But…this time…something different. She was set on the steps and then she decided she wanted to go swim in the rest of the pool! Her “catcher” was busy catching other kiddos and while he wasn’t watching, she jumped off the step gleefully into the water. Only problem was, uh oh, no floatie arms. Thank the Lord I was standing right there, and so was the lifeguard, and both of us simultaneously jumped in to pull her out. I got to her first, after all no one can beat a mommy on a mission to save her baby! And she was fine, no swallowed water, nothing but a few seconds under the water and a little bit of a shocked look on her face.

I cuddled her up in a towel like mommy’s do, and went to sit down with her. Everyone who saw was making a scene and checking to see if she was alright, and yes she was fine, physically that is. However, emotionally, her little heart had taken a walloping. Every time someone talked about it, she would whisper in my ear,”mommy tell them to stop talking about it”.

And it didn’t stop there. We went home that night, I thinking she was just fine and all was well. The next morning however, she started crying while sitting on the coach, and when I asked her what was wrong she told me she couldn’t stop thinking about “it”. She went on to tell me that she can’t stop thinking about what happened at the pool. Well, I automatically assumed that she was afraid of the water and going under again and assured her that I was right there to grab her this time and always would be. But, that didn’t seem to ease her pain. Distraction worked, but every time things got quiet, she would get upset again.

So, while I was in the shower worried and thinking that my daughter had some mild form of PTSD, it dawned on me. Shame and guilt. What are two of the major issues I had with my own PTSD type issues, shame and guilt. My poor baby felt like she had done something wrong. So…immediately I went to her and asked if she felt like she did something wrong. She immediately responded to with tears pouring, and her telling me that she shouldn’t have jumped off that step and that she was a bad girl. That she had forgotten to put her floaties back on and was sorry.

How my heart broke for her, and I have spent all day reminding her that she did nothing wrong, everyone forgets things especially when we are excited, and we were just so glad we were right there to be able to pull her out.

Shame…my baby girl felt shame. Is it the first time she has felt shame? I don’t know. But it’s the first time I witnessed her shame and my heart shattered into pieces. Shame, not guilt, because guilt is just that you did something wrong, but shame is different. Shame is the “I am a bad girl”, not “I did a bad thing”. Shame is about the person, it attacks the soul, making you believe that YOU are bad. Shame is the emotion I shouldered for years, and spent a year of therapy breaking through. Shame is a downright icky tool from Satan, I don’t like it one bit.

Shame will stomp all over you if you let it. It will convince you to hide your real self in a closet, and never come out because if you did, people might reject you the same way you reject yourself. Shame is evil.

I watched one of the most precious people in my life experience shame this weekend, and it was excrutiating. And it made me think. What is it like for our Father to watch us experience shame? What does He think as we continually trash ourselves for things that were not our fault or were long ago forgiven? I wonder if He feels the same desperation that I felt…wishing that He could take the words “I am a bad girl” right out of our hearts and minds so that we would never ever feel that way again. I wonder if He longs to hold us in his arms, and say “baby girl it was not your fault”, or “we all forget sometimes”, or “give yourself a break”. I bet He does. There is not a loving parent on the earth who wants their child to feel shame, and how much more is His love for us. He died for us for a reason, to be released from the grips of sin, not to hold our noses in it even when there is nothing griping our heads.

If shame is binding you today, especially if it is shame from past victimization or abuse, maybe it is time to let it go. It may have become your best friend, but let’s kick that shame out of its long sustained throne and put Jesus there instead. Let Him be your best friend. Let Him take the place of the shame. He is a much better friend, and He won’t keep you in a closet, but He will help you rediscover who you are, and He will do amazing things through you. He will tell you that you are beautiful, and don’t let shame tell you any different.


Post a Comment