This past week was a week of wrestling for me. I wrestled with the big bad Wolf of Approval.
This topic isn’t new, I have thought and wrestled with this many times before. But, I realized that I was just a bit naive to think that this important element of my character has been dealt with and put in its place, unfortunately, when the test came, I failed utterly ….
From the day we are born this need of approval starts to play a very significant role in our lives. Any child growing up without approval and love, consequently, suffer significant problems as they develop into adulthood. Rejection become an element of humanity to avoid at all cost and a trigger to the absolute fear of disapproval between people.
Even if you were raised with ample love and affection, somewhere in your life you might still experience rejection. Rejection between friends, in a love relationship, between siblings … the disapproval landmines are everywhere.
Our biggest enemy rejected God’s love and authority, this was his plan right in the beginning and it hasn’t changed. Deception and rejection.
As I was struggling through these thoughts of pleasing people to gain their approval and questioning the consequences of rejection between people, we had a public meltdown situation with our daughter on holiday. In these moments it’s hard to be the calm one, because you actually just want to grab your child and run for the nearest exit. When she was small, this was an option, but now … no such luck. I had to stay calm and ride it out and pray for mercy.
While trying to negotiate with her, calm her and basically just get to point of LEAVING the store, I suddenly clearly heard my own thoughts, and the main theme of the reason why I wanted her to stop acting crazy and just do what I say. The reason was: “They’re all looking at us, please stop, what must they be thinking of us.”
Even after the whole scene I was SO ANGRY, not at Autism but about the fact that I was left so vulnerable and humiliated. People don’t understand over stimulation and a young emotional age. All they see is a mother not in control of her undisciplined child. Well, this was what played in my head.
After a few days of wrestling with the Approval Wolf the Lord started opening up to me how vulnerable I have been, not to a growth point, something I need to change in what I do, but the lies I am being fed. Such a terrible lies, cleverly disguised between pieces of my life.
The lies I was believing said: “You are not good enough. You are a disappointment to others AND you are not trying hard enough to teach your child.”
These lies left me defenseless.
I know I am not the only one who have heard these words in their hearts and minds.
As I started seeing this struggle for what it is, the Lord reminded me again of how my identity in Christ works. It’s simple, yet hard to accept. We want to many explanations and too much understanding.
My Identity in Christ says:
I am fully loved and accepted because Christ died for me and I accepted Him as my Savior. The End.
This is THE TRUTH! No special needs parenting situation, person’s opinion or criticizing word can change that. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and when I make a mistake, because we all do, I ask for forgiveness, turn away from my error and move on.
My word to you today dear Special Needs Parent is this:
You are good enough! More than that, You are fantastic!
The special need of your child is not your fault, doing the best you can with what you have is enough. Walk with your head up high, because when you are saved no one person or situation can take that truth away from you.
God sees every detail of your life and heart.
Written by Johanni Meiring
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