There are a few sentences recorded in the Bible that have changed my life. Ones that impact me daily for years.
Even before I believed everyone was already INcluded, one such sentence was in the letter to the Romans as translated as: “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.”
Another was some sentences in the second letter to the Corinthians. Translated as: “you put up with fools gladly… you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.”
I hung onto those sentences for maybe even years. Helped free me from so much. Changed my life.
There have been many more over the years, but recently another sentence blew my mind and helped unlock more shackles that have imprisoned me for so long. Maybe all my life until now. As I was taught the opposite from birth; and religious folks especially reinforced it.
The sentence is again in the second letter to the Corinthians: “children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children”. 🤯
All my life it was the opposite. Taught by people who probably experienced the same, unfortunately. I’m sure it’s mostly ignorance.
Rarely these days I’ll run across folks who really do for their kids. Set them up for success as much as possible. From their heart.
And the difference in our lives is painful. When you encounter these kids you become painfully aware of what more you probably could have been if every damn day wasn’t a constant struggle just for survival.
I mean I was trying to kill myself before I was even a teenager. That has been my life. That’s what I had to work with.
And I don’t come from people who have nothing. Quite the opposite. But no, let’s make it hard for our kids. Generation after generation. Let’s throw them to the streets. Make them work for every little last thing.
And then wonder why they resent us. As we lounge around judging them. In competition with them. Seeing them as other.
Not our flesh and blood that are only alive because of our decisions. That never asked to be born. That are totally dependent on us.
But nah, just throw ’em in the deep end and blame it on them if they sink. Sit back and watch them try not to drown. As if there is no connection.
Just because you hated your life. Now you pass that shit on down to them. Make them pay for what yours never provided for you. Wow, that’s mature. So sophisticated of you.
I’m sure you don’t see it this way. If you knew better, you’d make an effort at least for show.
But really, money is just an obvious example that is easy to find. The more impactful actions aren’t so easily quantifiable. When the older doesn’t take the initiative in more relational aspects for example. That’s the really insidious stuff that permeates a person’s being. Destroys their soul by completely crushing and breaking their child’s heart. Over and over. That’s the damage that blindly gets passed down repeatedly.
Maybe clinically some is referred to as parentification. But it’s basically when the one with more reason to take the lead decides to sit their life out and grooms the ones they’ve brought into this mess with the task of basically doing their job.
And then when you’re raised this way, that’s sometimes the only time you ever receive any attention. Which you’re so starved of that you mistake it for love.
And then you’re perfectly setup to be manipulated out of everything until others completely drain you. Until their audacity continues to demand even more as you are clearly barely hanging on. No appreciation; now they expect it. With a smile no less.
That’s when you might start to wake up. And ask yourself if there’s something wrong with the situation. With them.
And the cycle repeats as many times as is needed until YOU approve of yourself. Until the acute echo of the emptiness inside of you is finally satisfied with your efforts.
And then you’re forced to face the reality of their behavior. That you always were enough.
They just refuse to release you. Even for your life. And to rebuild your health.
They force the issue of it being you or them. Only one winner. When that was never your mentality.
Can be devastating. To realize all this time you were ripping your heart out for them. Or for their attention. And at the end of the day it’s clear: their behavior will continue to intensify as much as it takes for you to admit to yourself that they don’t care… enough.
Who determines enough? All this time, you gave them that power, that control over you. Because from birth this is all you knew and what you were explicitly taught.
You weren’t cherished or celebrated. They weren’t thrilled to encourage you and your individuality.
No, in their ignorance and their lack of self-esteem, they were always on you to reflect back to the world their worth. That they did a good job. So people would see and treat them accordingly. That was the role you were given. By them…
…but NOT by God.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. And was never intended by God as such.
And I’m being vague on purpose. Because it isn’t just family. I’ve been in multiple situations over the years where others with more power in the dynamic used that against me. Took advantage. Didn’t respect or value me.
And then held their approval as the carrot to make me do whatever dance was their bidding.
They are never going to give you what you want. What you need. As long as they think doing so will keep you coming back for more of what little crumbs they dole out while you’re still on the line.
They don’t like themselves. So they can’t like you. They aren’t patient with themselves. So they don’t have patience for you. They resist their healing. So they will only give a cursory nod to yours.
They won’t do the work. They don’t feel safe enough. So at best they might not actively discourage yours.
But just know that they categorically lied to you about God.
Trinity takes the initiative. Trinity isn’t emotionally absent. Trinity is very involved with you. Is always walking with you. Is always engaged.
“Let not your heart be troubled… I go to prepare a place for you.”
I have realigned myself. With God first.
“unless you …become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest…”
And then with others. I’m giving you your place back. All of you. I’m no longer playing “god” in my relationships. I’m no longer rushing to save people. I believe in you now. That you are capable. That it is never too late with Jesus. That you still have time. If you choose.
God resists those who insist on self-sufficiency when they are clearly in need of assistance. And I know I say it ad nauseam, but there is hope because it is for your healing. Whether you believe it or not.
Trinity doesn’t shame us for our needs. Or expect us to make things right with Them. They are always all hands on deck.
“How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
Will you participate by at least agreeing with God? At least admitting that on some level you might be Loved. That there was a time you know you experienced being supernaturally Seen. Can we start there?