Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Message of the Words

How often have you considered what your child really hears? It wasn’t until God began my healing that I realized how much had been distorted in me. It wasn’t necessarily what a person said, it was what I interpreted their words to mean. As I became aware of things I had believed about myself through another’s words, I had to face the reality that my children had heard things through my words. So many years had passed in my child-raising. Was there any way things could be redeemed? How could I go back and speak truth into those places? I know with God it’s never too late for redemption, but how do I go back?

One day God gave me a front row seat to His never-ending desire to heal and restore. My 2nd daughter was struggling when she came into my room. Being my child who internalizes, it wasn’t evident what was really going on, so I started asking questions. She blurted out. “I’m sorry I’ve always caused you so much pain.” Having just finished an intense time of healing
I knew God was extending an invitation to be involved in a rescue.

I began to question her to find out why she would say such a thing. She said “I was the one who brought you so much pain in childbirth”. Aha, the lie is revealed. She had heard me talk to women, as most of us do, about my child births. She had heard me say that she was my longest, most painful one. But what her mind processed was “I’m the one who caused my mom the most pain.” “I hurt my mom.” “It’s my fault.”

I held her in my arms as she wept. I began to soak her with the truth. “Oh sweetheart, you didn’t cause me pain.” “It wasn’t your fault.” “It was MY body that would not cooperate.” “You tried to get here, but my body wouldn’t let you.” “It’s not your fault.” ” As she held onto me I told her of how desperately I had wanted to hold her in my arms. I told her how greatly she was loved and longed for. A moment of healing came as the truth set her free.

Our words have an effect, whether we realize it or not. Words like “you’re driving me crazy” are interpreted “I drive my mom crazy.” “I’m a problem”. It’s not the child that’s driving you crazy, it’s their behavior. But the child thinks it’s them.

Children hear things through a child’s mind. They can’t reason it out through the mind of an adult. Whatever their minds process is what they end up believing. I know, I was one of those children.

I have hurt my children, because I have not considered what they might be hearing through my words. Sometimes I wonder if it can ever all be recovered. And then I remember: I will restore the years the locust have eaten," says the Lord (Joel 2:25).

Most heartache and brokenness come through family life. Words get distorted. Things are heard that are not meant. Children get hurt. I’ve heard enough stories to verify that. Listen through the ears of a child. Be careful what you speak. There is one who prowls around seeking to distort what you say to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t allow him to use your words.

I am thankful that it’s never too late. His grace covers everything, even my words. Instead of condemning me, He invites me to be a vessel of healing. I believe in the God who heals. I know, He came for me. What about you? What’s behind your words?

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
©copyright 2008 Julie L. Todd


Laura said... Reply to comment

Loved this one, Julie. A lesson I need to work on! Controlling my tongue has been a battle at times. Recognizing the power of my words has helped tremendously.
Thanks for your wisdom...

tonya said... Reply to comment

Me too, Laura! I loved this!

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said... Reply to comment

I appreciate the reminder to be mindful of what I am saying to my son and how he may be interpreting it.

I also want to thank you for your comment on your blog mission. I love the music on your site!

blessedwith5 said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie - nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself!

I am taking part in the Blog Tour also -

Sounds like we have a bit in common - our names and the fact that we each have 5 children.

I am enjoying getting to know you and will stop in again soon!

Mary Isabella said... Reply to comment

I am a first time visitor to your blog. I noticed you listed The Shack as one of your favorite books. I am currently reading it. I piced it up and started it last night. But as Our Bible School starts next week and I am the director I may have to begin again after that. I relly like your blog....Mary

Dawn ~ ^i^Brandon^i^, Jordan, & Seth's Mom said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie,
I am new to your site, brought here by this wonderful post. However I did not have the opportunity to read it until today, but you know.....God's timing is just so awesome!!! I was reflecting on Joel 2:25 this morning, and various things were on my heart, and then I read your post (which was actually in my spam folder)! How cool is that.....God even knows about our "spam folders". Anyway, your message struck a chord in my heart and mind. And reminded me how I want my words to be sweet, and leave a healing touch on the ones I use them on, especially my prescious family.
Thank you for your inspiration from God!

Shanda said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanda said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie!
I'm doing well. My parents are visiting and my heart is longing for home! Not sure what God has planned for us but just enjoying the present with family.

Good to hear from you, too!


Tracy said... Reply to comment

What an incredible lesson here, Julie! You speak such truth about the power and lasting impact of our words(whether good or bad).
How I praise God we can claim that promise in Joel 2:25! I've also taken comfort on occassion from 1 Peter 4:8. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Thank you again for this beautiful challenge.


P.S. Thanks for sticking in there and reading my lenghty post, and for sharing those very kind words. (You and my hubby are the same age...he also graduated in 1975!) = )

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie, I mentioned your post and how it blessed me over at "Notes in the Key of Life". I also left a link to your blog. I hope you don't mind. Blessings to you!

Truth4thejourney said... Reply to comment

This is really good stuff! I'm glad I stopped by. Thanks for sharing from the heart.


Paula said... Reply to comment

Thank you for a wonderful blog post. It has come at the right time for me in my journey of raising a 4 year old girl alone. I prayed tonight that God would bless me, and He has by leading me to your blog. Thank you again, Paula :-)

Iris said... Reply to comment

The Holy Spirit is working through what you have written! You have directly addressed something heavy on my heart this week and I am thankful. My teenage daughter told me this week what she has been "hearing" from my husband and myself and it breaks my heart. Your post is part of the healing for us. Thank you for reminding me that our faithful Lord will restore the years the locusts have eaten!

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Just stopping by to let you know I am linking to you today in my post. You are an amazing woman of God, and I always walk away from your place so blessed! I just have to share you with the world...or at least my 7 or 8 readers. :)

Love you,

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Tears. And I'm tempted to roll into a ball and feel guilty. But, I will rise up, under my Redeemer, and confess and heal with His love and grace. This one really pierces my heart.


Cherry said... Reply to comment

Julie ... coming over from Ann's and Holley's linkup about "Words". This is beautiful, and I certainly identify with 6 (grown) children of my own. Our words are so important ... and God's grace can cover our mistakes. Thanks for sharing your heart ...