29 May 2011

this isn't you

When I was sick as a little girl, both my parents would have to work together to pin me down in order to just manage to get medicine in my mouth.  They would then have to forcibly hold my lips closed, plug my nose, and tickle my throat to get me to swallow.  And then I would throw it back up.  (As it turned out, the last was actually an allergic reaction, but for many years the belief was that I made myself to do it.)  The time I got a bloody nose in the process was the time my dad vowed to never give me medicine ever again.

Once I got lost at a festival.  It took three security personnel to pin me down on the cart so they could drive me to the lost and found tent.

I was reminded of these instances, and several others I can think of, during the most spectacular fit Yonah has thrown to date.  It required quite literally my entire strength and every single limb in order to pin him to my lap in such a way that he would not physically harm himself or anyone near him (namely, me) as he was trying to do.  This after having to practically drag him across the parking lot to the car.  I only barely managed it.

As he screamed like he was having all his bones broken at once, I found myself desperately begging God for help, wisdom, guidance, a miracle, something.  And then I realized that I was talking.  But while it was my voice, and my mouth, the words didn't originate in me:

"This isn't you.  You aren't bad, dumb, or stupid.  You are good, smart, and kindhearted.  This isn't you.  Do you think it is?"

The effect was instantaneous.  The wild struggle died as he fell limp against my chest.  The screams disappeared into the whimpering hiccups of a child calming down from a really good cry.  Slowly, he shook his head, answering the question.  We sat there together for at least a quarter of an hour more, talking together of who God made him to be, what had triggered the fit, and what a better way of responding would have looked like.

By the time we got home for a quick lunch and a long nap, I felt like I had been given a swift, hard punch - both to my physical body and to the seat of my emotions.  After the month I've been having, and especially in the aftermath of the sermon I (mostly) listened to this morning, Yonah was not the only one who needed to hear those words.


  1. Beautiful Brenna. Absolutely Beautiful.

  2. powerful stuff, lovely writing

    i often find myself stuck on thinking negative things about myself, playing like a broken record, and remembering what your mom said once "this is not who God says i am" what a comfort!

    you have so much love for your babies

  3. Thanks for sharing Brenna- great post.

  4. Thanks, ladies . . .

    Virginia, I have to remind myself of that constantly!