In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Number ten in this series was: being fearful is not okay. This week number eleven in the series is: not trusting God is not okay.
I viewed God through the lens of childhood abuse. I perceived God as mean, unloving and uncaring. I thought God loved other people, but I was different. He couldn’t love me because of the pain I went through. I brought this confusion about God into my parenting.
I didn’t think God loved me, but loved others. That thought process translated into not loving myself, but loving others. The problem with that is we tend to love others how we love ourselves. So it’s pretty hard to love my children well if I don’t even think I’m worth loving because God doesn’t love me. With this belief ingrained in me, it seemed reasonable that I couldn’t trust God.
Learning the Truth
When I learned the truth about God’s love for me, my children were already ages two and four. I began to make changes in my parenting and in my “wife-ing.” The changes resulted from learning how to trust God and how to receive love from Him. I learned how to build a deeper relationship with God and have realized that he is a Good Father.
As I began to attend church I realized I was not the only one teaching my daughters about God. My children began to learn about God and what a loving God he is from other loving adults in the church community. I knew my children were beginning to trust God when they started telling me that I needed to trust God.
One summer day my children wanted to go to the swimming pool, however, it was raining and where we lived you don’t swim when it was raining because there is a high chance of lightning. I told my children if in the next 30 minutes the sun came out, we would go swimming. My children began to pray to God to bring the sun out so we all could go swimming. At minute 29, the sun came out. My girls said, ‘See mom, we trusted in God.’ They didn’t know that I didn’t think the weather would become sunny, but a child-like faith is something very precious, and it encouraged me to continue to work on trusting God.
For me to teach my children not to trust God is not something I thought I was teaching them. But because I had lack of trust in God, I couldn’t help but teach that through my actions and thoughts even though I thought they wouldn’t notice. Children can sense those things.
I’m thankful for my church community, for teaching my children at such a young age how to trust God so I wasn’t the only model in their lives.
Looking back now, I can understand why I didn’t trust God. I thought I was worthless and that’s what many children of abuse believe about themselves. That’s a lie, because God created and loves everyone.
I want to share with my daughters that for whatever part I played in teaching or modeling not trusting God, I am truly sorry. I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but also for all my relationships.
I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.