Why are we always the meanest to those who love us the most?
That question haunted me as I sat on the back porch this morning. Snippets of random decades-old memories flooded my mind where I was offered kindness but snappily refused it.
“NO thank you, Dad.”
Didn’t matter what it was, those words popped out reflexively for questions from “do you want some popcorn?”, to, “do you want to talk about it?”
(I said) “No thanks!”
I remember times I’d be headed to my parents for a weekend and SO excited to see them and hang out. But as I walked through the front door, an icy hardness blew over me and I shut down.
Tensed against the hugs.
Went immediately up to my room to settle in. Once there, battled with myself about how I could go from excited to mean so quickly.
Then the weekend always went OK – we talked about random things, family came over, we watched movies or played games or whatever. Everything went fine unless they tried to be nice to me. Then up came the cold walls of resistance. Often appeared more subtle on the outside, but even now I can remember how mean I felt on the inside.
In the 90’s I journeyed down a much-needed healing path where I learned the behavior was related to old wounds, plus lies I believed about my own worthiness and motives of others. WAY too long to get into here. Let’s just say God’s miraculous healing and deliverance started the journey of softening my heart and restoring my relationship with my parents.
Fast forward to nine years ago when Don and I moved in with my parents to help them and be there – a total God thing, for sure! We all had a bumpy ride in the beginning as we adjusted to a whole new routine. Residuals of the old me resurfaced during our first few years here, and that didn’t help. But we worked through everything and all settled in to our new life.
Looking back I can see that our moving here was so multi-purpose (benefits to us and to them, WAY more to us at times!) and totally orchestrated by our loving and omniscient heavenly Father. Through the ins and outs of daily life, I learned to see my parents in a whole different light and discovered things about them I had never noticed. As God continued to heal me and I finally broke through my walls, our relationship blossomed into something I dreamed of but had long ago thought impossible. You know, way too much time went by, I was so awful, how could they ever really love me?
Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow and find out!