Sunday, March 18, 2012

Speaking identity to our children

When I was barely eight years old (yes, two weeks after I turned eight) the unthinkable happened-- the unforgivable, really.  My mother passed away after having been sick for several weeks and hospitalized for three days.  It was sudden and none of us really knew how to manage.  I remember when my father and grandmother called me into the side bedroom in my grandmother's condo.  Several people were over the house, and I'd seen strange behaviors from pretty much everyone.  My grandfather had come to visit (from Florida, mind you); my grandmother had been balling on the family room floor and I'd gotten picked up early from school.  In my innocent eight-year-old mind, the thought of the most important person in my life (besides my Daddy) being ripped away from me wasn't even in a near vacinity.  When my Dad and Grandmother called me into that side room, my Grandmother's eyes were red and puffy from crying and my Daddy looked extremely nervous. That was the first time my thoughts betrayed me... "I hope they're not gonna tell me my mommy died" I remember thinking.  They sat in the white iron day-bed that decorated the room and Daddy picked me up and sat me on his lap. He braced himself and my grandmother swallowed hard enough for me to notice.  "They found out what's wrong with Mami."


"Mommy has cancer baby..."

In the half-a-second it took for him to utter the next sentence, my little brain went about a million miles per mili-second and I saw, what I thought, would have been my life with a mother who had cancer.  I saw chemo, I saw me carrying her through chemo, I saw kids at school talking about me-the girl who's mom had cancer-, I saw her fighting. And all the while these images are flashing through my mind, I felt like a bullet went straight to my heart.  I literally felt shattered. And I convulsed straight to Daddy's shoulder.

Sometime between the time that it took for me to drop my head into his shoulder, he uttered that death sentence to my heart...

"Nicole, Mommy died."

I don't remember anything after that.  My life had a black-out and I can't fully explain what I believe happened. The next thing I remember was walking out the door of that side bedroom and going out to the hallway to play with my neighbor, who'd been told the news just before me. I don't know how I reacted.  I don't know if I freaked, or cried, or sat in shock. I don't know...

Children find their identity in their parents.  I believe God ordains it so.  And when one parent, or both, are missing, so is a portion of a child's identity.  There is something fiercely deep about a Father's Affirmation and a Mother's Touch.  While I was sitting and praying to the Lord, I strongly felt Him lead me by saying... "Speak identity into your children daily."  Hearing His guidance reminded me of my struggles growing up, trying to find myself as a young woman.  And that led me here.

I would like to exhort you, to seek out the Lord on behalf of your children and ask Him who they are... And then speak it to your children, daily. A large part of my life and my identity went missing for a very long time in the absence of a mother, and I am only recently finding out what that identity is, by His grace and His mercy.  In that seeking and asking and knocking before the Lord I have come to realize that I don't want any of my children to lack a knowledge of their identity. 

My little girls are wives and mothers, princesses and heroes, beautiful and accepted. 
My little boys are husbands and fathers, mighty men and conquerors, strong sons.
And I am their mother, and they are my babies.
And every day I have been given life they will hear it from Mommy. 
Because Jesus told me to.

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