DUSKI VAN FLEET|GUEST
My pride desperately wants to not need you again tonight. I apologized to my children 5 times in the past 5 hours for the same offense. It felt pitiful and redundant and ridiculous. I’m supposed to be different. I’m supposed to be modeling for them the behavior that I correct them for—sometimes multiple times a day. “When you feel angry, walk away and calm down.” “Use your gentle words.” “We don’t slam doors or throw things when we feel angry.” I feel like such a poser in front of my own children.
The truth, though, is that I do need you again tonight. I need you to remind my heart of what’s true—that I’m not a poser. A poser is someone who pretends to be someone he/she is not. So, really, the truth is that the times when I’m actually a poser are the times when I believe and portray to them that any of us are capable of always succeeding at living out these lessons that we teach them. When I’m exasperated that they just can’t get it right. That I just can’t get it right. That we keep failing. When I’m not being a poser, I’m remembering that I actually belong to that group of people who started back in Genesis and continue throughout the entire Big Story—that group of people who kept failing and needed a rescuer. The law really is our teacher. It teaches us how much we need You (Galatians 3:24).
I’m scared, Jesus. I’m scared that in my efforts to change my children’s behavior and make them do what I say, I’m showing them the law and causing them to despair that they can’t keep it—or even worse to feel prideful that they can without failing! But Jesus, please use whatever despair their 5 and 8 year old hearts can feel to awaken their desire for you! Evil beats me up by reminding me of what a poor model I am to them of how to control their anger, walk away, not throw things or slam doors, and use gentle words. Would you please give me belief that it is a much more valuable example to model for them what to do when we fail at following your law? How to drop everything and run to you again to find mercy and help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16)? That it’s true: when we confess our sins you are faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9)? And as far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed our sins from us (Psalm 103:12)?
You said that “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick,” (Matthew 9:12). Jesus, once again, I’m sick and I need your healing. We need your healing. Bind up the hearts broken by my yelling—including my own. Help us to rejoice in your great mercy. Let my failure to show kindness when angry only point more clearly to the Father who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” (Psalm 145:8). Help me to lighten up. Help us to laugh and play even when we fail—because we can! That’s why you came for us!
Thank you for your great love, and for never tiring of coming to my rescue.
In your sweet name,
About the Author:
Duski Van Fleet
Duski Van Fleet is a wife, mama and teacher of two, and part-time pediatric nurse. She is also a novice bird-watcher, lover of the outdoors, and hoarder of children’s books. She finds life in music, in hearing the stories of others over a cup of tea, and in hearing from others that it’s okay for her to be kind to herself. She and her family are grateful to be a part of their community at Christ Community Church in Helena, AL.