When Words Are Weapons

picture courtesy of Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

It wasn’t my finest hour.

One of my daughters had come into town for a day, an opportunity that’s always a delight because she lives quite a distance away. It was work-related, so we weren’t going to see much of her.

We needed to make the most of our time with her.

I didn’t.

I had commitments that I could have changed. I could have flexed.

Instead, I chose to follow through on what I said I’d do; I missed time with my girl.

I felt guilt throughout the time I was away. Returning home, I was confronted by my daughter, who was deeply hurt by my choices. She was on her way to the airport, and there wasn’t time for an in-depth conversation. I tried to apologize for my lack of sensitivity, but time constraints made it seem less than sincere.

John took her to the airport, but before she left, two of her sisters came over to see her for the short amount of time she had. Once my husband and other daughter were gone, the other two turned to me with genuine concern for my lack of awareness for how I missed the opportunity to spend time with her.

I did what I so often do–I tried to justify why I’d made that decision. There was that commitment: I felt responsible for following through, and I’d be seeing my daughter in another week and a half when their whole family returns.

Those were comments made from guilt and shame. Rationalizations so I wouldn’t feel so rotten about the choice I made. If I could justify it to my other daughters, maybe I’d feel better.

They wouldn’t let me get away with it. They pushed me for truth, and I was backing away from admitting my poor choice.

.The conversation became heated; I grew up hearing a lot of yelling and screaming, and my response when I’m backed into a corner was to raise my voice. Which I did. But eleven-year-old Isley was in the next room, and she wasn’t used to the yelling. Not only did I make a bad choice with my one daughter; I rather terrified my grand with my loud decibel level

Hanging on to a personal agenda instead of taking into account those around me can look selfish. That the only thing that matters is what I want. That’s not how I want to live my life. I want to choose to be more compassionate and caring.

King David struggled with wrong motives and poor choices as well. His words show incredible wisdom.

“Commit EVERYTHING you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.” Psalm 37:5

Trusting the Lord with my choices means to consider His truth before I make a decision, not just reacting to unwieldy emotions. It means considering others rather than just myself, because any decision I make typically will have an impact on those around me, no matter how small that ripple effect may be.

I managed to apologize and ask forgiveness of all my daughters and my grand, but how much easier it would have been if I had paused to think before I spoke.

I’m still a work in progress.

8 responses to “When Words Are Weapons”

  1. We are all works in progress, dear Dayle. And how foolishly thoughtless and selfish that can sometimes make us. I’m glad to know that I am not alone in such things. And even more glad that the Lord forgives, keeps working on us, and helps us do better the next time. How great his grace is!

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    1. I’m so overwhelmed by the extent of His grace and love toward me–especially realizing how prone my heart is to wander. We are on a journey together, my friend, and it’s so encouraging to know there are kindred spirits out there that get all this.

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  2. Oh, my dear friend. What a vulnerable share this is. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing reality with humility. We are such a mess, aren’t we? I’m continually thankful that He loves me anyway and helps others to also. 🤍

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    1. You know, I really questioned my sanity after I hit “Publish”, but the Lord let it happen. I appreciate your kind words–we are an incredible mess! Choosing to disobey more often than not–that’s my MO. But I love the fact that I can journey HONESTLY with friends like you. Love you, my dear!

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  3. Wow!! I just read this blog–so, so good!! Thank you for your rawness and honesty in this blog. It is truly wonderful!!

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    1. Not something I’m proud of. I truly wish I was more responsive than reactive–but that’s the journey the Lord has me on. Thanks for your encouraging words–again.

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      1. Mother-daughter relationships are so tricky in so many ways–I was telling my mother recently about something that I felt so disappointed about in our relationship, something that I didn’t feel important to her–yet she was never able to own that–instead what I learned from that situation, is that my mom is not my God, she can meet my needs of love, value and significance. What a great lesson that was and is to learn! In the same way, I am not her God, and can not meet her needs. There is great freedom to truly, unconditionally love each other, once we let go of the expectations we have for each other, and let God, be God in our lives.

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  4. Oh, Katers, you’re so right! There is so much danger in trying to find that significance in individuals other than God–and I also did that with my Mom and I’ve put too much pressure on my kids and John to meet needs God never intended them to meet. You’re right–it’s freeing to know we can love others well and yet still find all we need in Jesus.

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