I came home from work today to my family, whom I love dearly. As I walked through the door I was greeted with the ever so pleasant sounds of two little kids who seemed to have had a long day...and then I saw my wife and the look on her face which reaffirmed this assumption. Neither of the kids had napped very well and all 3 of my family members seemed pushed beyond the boundaries of exhaustion in this moment.
Having sat in meetings all day I felt a little drained myself. I jumped in to be dad in the moment and tried my best to engage and help out where I could. I took my son upstairs and finally got him to sleep after 45 minutes of coaxing. I then sent Bonny upstairs to get a cat nap in while I headed out into the garden with Saydie to "dig carrots Daddy!!"
As the evening rolled on I found myself getting more and more depleted and less and less filled with compassion in my interactions with my family. My answers to questions were short and pointed. My actions were precise and strategic...and inside my heart anger begain to swell. I was frustrated that things weren't going easy or right in my opinion. I was overwhelmed with my own emotions and the emotions of my family members. I grew more agitated with my own growing frustration and before I knew it the vicious circle was in full swing.
During this experience I failed to realize that I was trying to do things on my own. I'm a bit of a rebel in this way. I don't like the status quo, I love to push the envelope and not to settle for what is, but to strive for increasing obedience in Christ. Tonight I missed the mark. I missed the entire point of what it means to be a dad, a father, a husband and a friend. I was trying to manage the situation in my own strength and I forgot to simply be present in these moments. My heart broke during this realization. Sure I had gotten a lot of things compelted (including this blog) but I think I might have missed out on the greater things God had in store for me tonight.
I apologized to my family and asked for their forgiveness. I apologized to Christ for the foolishness of my heart to believe that I could do this whole family thing in my own strength. In this broken place is where I found strength to be who God created me to be and to love my wife and kids with the love that Christ poured out for me on the cross.
Starfield has an album entitled "Beauty in the Broken." I've caught a glimpse of what this means before, but tonight I truly experienced it on a different level. I hope that I continue to learn from this experience and do things differently next time. Somehow I know there will be another opportunity for me to test my 'metal' again in the near future. This time I'll be prepared, knowing that there is no way I can do this alone. Only with Christ living in and through me will I be able to serve my family in the way they deserve.
How can we navigate through the uncertainty of conflict in relationships? Where do we start?
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