My heart is a toddler

It’s kind of amazing how the human brain makes connections of abstract thoughts. I wish I could flow chart it sometimes.

While reading a devotional the phrase “replace shadows with the Reality” lodged in my thoughts, which lead me to

  • the shadow of reality, a search of which produced the verse:
    • Colossians 2:17  “things which are a mere shadow of what is to come“, which led to the thought of:
  • the shadow of the future, a search led to the result of a:
    • game theory on how the shadow of future conflict disrupts current negotiations (if you know the proceedings will end in conflict then the only steps you can take are toward that conflict)

So if future conflict can destroy the current then maybe the promise of future peace and resolution and rest can shadow (or a better description would be brighten) the current problems. Because we know it will end well later, we can act in determined peace now. This does not mean that we:

  • ignore the problems and conflicts we face today by focusing only on the favorable outcome
  • look at all things with rose-colored glasses and minimize the issues we or others are facing (or have faced for that matter)
  • lightly brush aside those heavy emotions that come with living

How does the glory of the set-in-stone win affect how we act/react to today? I can recognize this worm or infection or poison that managed to work it’s way into my system for what it is, call it out, and burn it out with that knowledge. Have you ever found yourself there, where you’ve had this bit of a nagging thought in the back of your mind that turns into a little argument but then all of a sudden it’s a full-blown attack that you didn’t see coming at you?

I think this can happen in any relationship, especially for this with whom we live in close proximity. Interestingly, my most recent attack came at a time when my husband was going through the exact opposite. He participated in a men’s study that culminated in a graduation a couple weeks ago. I was looking forward to it, set aside other things to prepare for it, etc. and then the attack hit during the ceremony.

No doubt, my defenses were down and all these little frustrations had been running through my mind and exposing themselves in small ways for weeks. He seemed to be able to make time away from work for the weekly meetings and other outings, which included a weekend camping trip. Our oldest started speech therapy in the same time period but, despite protesting that he had a desire to attend, could find the time to do so only once. A little fight here. My husband seemed to brush off the kids when they wanted attention but seemed to be constantly texting with the guys. Another argument there. And me, I felt like a footnote in his weeks. Silence. I was excited for him to have the opportunities but part of me was constantly on the lookout for his shortcomings and my own faults (both of which were disproportionately huge). Then at the ceremony, in those few minutes, this guy seemed to be able to be everything my husband wasn’t being to me and my children: to understand my concerns with my son and my feeling overwhelmed with handling both children at a social function. He listened to my son but gave him boundaries. And this is where I was wrong: I was comparing my husband. Not just at that moment but for weeks these thoughts had popped in my head. The sad thing is that I’ve since realized that this guy was showing a trait that my husband himself exhibited to an overwhelmed mother when we were dating. How selfish is the human heart that it grabs at any small show of attention and tries to steal what is rightfully another’s!

These surprise attacks seem to happen to me more than I’d like to admit, but admit it I will because maybe if I acknowledge my weaknesses, then I can get over them and something better can take their place. Our culture is inundated with the “truth” that if we just follow our hearts, and let everyone else follow theirs, then everything will be beautiful. But my heart is like a hungry, sleep-deprived toddler: sunshine and sweetness sometimes to some people but destructive to everyone if directed to the booster seat. I do want to have a loving, open, trusting, innocent heart that is like a child but I don’t want that heart to make my decisions when I’m starving for affection because it would do whatever it takes to fulfill that need… including slinging the applesauce across the place because it’s not a gummy bear.

So I’ll let my brain remind me of the truth of the promised future resolution and decide where to go from there.


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