Ezra told me today, while we were wandering slow-like through the air conditioned mall, that it would take, like, at least one million words to thank God for my love.
The tears sprung to my eyes and I dropped weak to his eye level and asked him to say it again. My heart was hungry for this moment, and I immediately recognized that this hunt for gratitude that I have been on lately has not gone unnoticed by watchful eyes. He has been watching me watch for thankfulness.
The very night before, I had stayed up too late crying out to my husband that I felt like I had “missed the mark” with Ezra somehow. Me and him, we just rub wrong most days. And it feels as if it has always been this way, this feeling of different frequencies. And last night, it all came rushing out- forced upwards by the hard lump in my throat. All my despair over how to parent this child rushed out and pooled onto my pillow. Why do we have such a hard time getting along? Coexisting? Why do we rub so wrong until anger is quick and hearts feel hardened? Why do I feel so suffocated and he so suffocated and where did all the air in this house go to?
I spilled it out. He’s a good boy. A GREAT boy. He needs soooo much of my attention, which is a little busy being scattered around the house like stray legos most days. When I try to give that attention, we rub. We fight. We retreat. When I don’t make time for the attention, he pesters. We rub. We fight. We retreat.
I had gotten to a place where I was retreating from my own son, just so we could survive, and suddenly, last night, I recognized this truth and it hit me like a freight train.
Does he know that I love him? That I like him?
And what kind of a mother sits up in bed late at night and has to ask herself these things?
My husband soothed. ALL mothers had felt such things, he was certain. In the darkest places where we feel alone- all hunched and monsterly- even there, we are never alone. All it takes is shedding a little light in those caverns to see that there is actually a general assembly of us down there, all under the false assumption that we are isolated cast-aways. The darkness makes us blind.
After the wave of hopelessness gushed out of me, we started to fill it back up with truth. Chris prayed. I prayed. We prayed. Give us a breakthrough with Ezra, Lord! Use this to sharpen my character! Use me to drench him in unwavering love, safe! Help us love well!
Not even 12 hours later, in the middle of a bustling mall, these words fall soft from Ezra’s lips. They were handcrafted answers to my prayers. Balm for a frazzled, frustrated heart that wants nothing more than for her child to know he is loved… more than one million words could ever even begin to express.
Today, I am thankful that God is real. And that He hears the deepest cries of my heart.