So while in reflection on my son's recovery, my mind jumped to a Christmas Event in 2013. When I think of this memory, I think of him. It was his face that was there for me.
The icy air hit my nose as I sniffed, holding back tears of gratitude. The crinkle sounds of packages were against my chest as I swiftly walked in the underground parking lot towards my car. We had done it! We had saved enough to make this “Christmas To Remember!”
Santa was giving each child an iPod, and we had just left the Apple Store with the deal of a lifetime. My mind was envisioning the happy and SHOCKED faces. The “I can’t believe-its” and the “what the…” and the “No ways!” I opened the side door and put down the bags in the parking lot to put the haul into the car. My husband caught my eye, and I remember running around the car and embracing my husband, feeling his scratchy beard against my cheek.
I jumped into the car, and off we went.
Upon arriving home, my arm reached behind me to grab the packages when I hand found the bare floor mat of the back seat—nothing was in the back seat! NOTHING. The dark pit of shame started in my gut pulling all the color from my face. My green eyes met my husband’s hazel eyes...in my glee, I left the packages on the ground of the parking lot.
Hot wet black mascara streaks were all that were left on my face after racing around the parking for an hour—all had been stolen. The joyful faces of my seven kids in my mind had dissolved. Isaac's face went from elation to crushing disappointment, to quiet, to then this: an expression of “it’s okay, mom, thanks for trying” face. His face summed it up. Dang, it was like being punched in the gut again and again.
Have you ever felt that gut dropping, we can never recover, or how can we ever go on feeling?
How do you recover?
Have you recovered?
I Had to use the F-word.
After rocking my baby to sleep, the F-word came into my mind. “Forgive yourself.”
I was caught off guard and quickly brushed that pinpoint of light aside. Darkness once again engulfed me. Wow...Great mom! Came the snarky Shame Shadow’s voice. Nice. You have no more money for Christmas. Another disappointment—well, at least you are consistent at something. Merry Christmas.
Again the F-word gently popped into my head and glowed like a single light on the Christmas tree. Forgive yourself. I had been sitting in this misery for seven full nights. I took a deep breath, owned up to my pain and humiliation. My tears returned, and my sorrow was profound. However, with each gentle rocking motion of the chair and the weight of my 7-month-old in my arms, I could feel the disappointment getting lighter and even brighter until I sat in the glow of forgiveness.
The Christmas of 2013 did not turn out how we had planned. It turned out to be better.
News spread about our stolen Christmas, and WHAM!
The neighbors, church, friends, and family jumped in, and 2013 was the Christmas we never forgot.
In reflection of all of this, Isaac's face, the F-word—forgiveness—is what stands out. This past week he has asked for that. In my heart, I knew why he did. He is sorry for getting so low and causing me pain. But I accepted it, but really deep in my heart, he didn't need to. He is loved because he is life. I hugged him so much this past week, more than I have over the past four years reassuring him, that he is love. He is loved. He is loved.
In all of this reflection and love, I felt that I needed to gift you something. I’d love to GIFT you a few FREE gifts of your choice because you are thought about, cared for, and prayed over, just like this reflection memory, and just like I did will continue to do for Isaac.
FREE GIFTS of LOVE
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