Embracing Self-Reflection for the Sake of the Next Generation

My family recently visited Sea World. I found that waiting in those long lines for a waterpark ride looks and sounds very different as a child than as an adult. Children eagerly wait for their turn, chatting about the upcoming ride and who is going to get splashed the most this time. Us moms? We talk about our children, of course!

This long wait actually allowed a very meaningful conversation to occur. While the kids below us wandered into the deeper end of the wave pool, my sister-in-law and I wandered into a deep conversation; we wondered what actions and words from our parents may have impacted us today. This thought begged the question: what am I doing now that could positively or negatively impact my own children one day? That was (and still is) a scary thought.

As parents, we have a crucial influence over our children and the women and men they become. Our beliefs, words, actions, and how we treat them can all shape our tiny humans, for better or for worse.

As a mom, I have a responsibility to intentionally work on myself – clear out the lies of the enemy and make room for the truth of Christ. There’s no question about it – my personal beliefs, words, and actions will affect my children. So how can I make that impact a positive one?

I believe that we need a healthy dose of self-reflection.

A couple months ago, I started going to counseling. This led to a powerful revelation about my relationship with God and how I’ve actually hindered Him from healing certain parts of me. My dad was an alcoholic, so since about 9 years old I grew up without my father. In counseling, I realized that I had unknowingly set aside this part of my past and labeled it “Do Not Touch.” I didn’t want to think about it, even though it still affects me 20 years later. I’ve discovered, though, that the Enemy had been working through this negative past experience, hurting my relationship with God. The Enemy caused me to believe that this part of me was “un-healable”. Can you relate? Is there a past hurt in your life that feels impossible to heal?

Sweet mom, nothing is too much for God.

Not only does God want to heal us, He CAN heal us. He longs to shed His glorious light into the darkness of our hearts and minds. He longs to heal those past experiences that may hinder our ability to imitate Christ and parent in obedience to God’s word. Before He can do that, though, we must engage in self-reflection. We have to see what things we’ve labeled “Do Not Touch.” Then we must bravely take down that sign and be honest with ourselves and God, allowing Him to heal that part of us. Allow Him to use it for our good. Romans 8:28 reminds us that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Praise God that He can use all of our past, the good and bad, to make us a better person, a better wife, and a better mom!

Let’s disarm the Enemy and embrace self-reflection. Let’s allow God to shed His light on those past experiences that we would rather ignore. When we do, we can experience healing and be better equipped for this job called motherhood.

Kelley Thigpen