How long did it take for you to build that wall? No, not Donald’s wall. Your wall. That one you’ve erected around your heart. That wall that deflects the pain of another rejection from your child. The one that puts distance between you and friends and relatives who frequently offer criticism masked as parenting tips. The one that puts on a plastic smile when someone compliments your child’s beguiling goodness. It probably didn’t take very long at all, did it?
But, you know what? Sometimes walls are necessary.
Sometimes we need to not absorb the rejection our children throw at us. Because truth is, though we’re the one they’re shooting at, it’s not us they’re really after. We just happen to be the closest heart they can reach.
And most of our friends and family have not—and will not—walk in our shoes. They simply won’t get it, so we just have to appreciate their well-meaningness. Educate where we can, and let it be where we can’t.
As for those compliments, aren’t you glad your children aren’t revealing their ick to everyone around you? As much as we wish people understood our grief, isn’t it nice to have most people in the dark. Our children need people to believe in them. And we don’t need to hear all the advice people would share if they “only knew.”
But, we must be careful. We must make sure that those walls can be easily dismantled because we never know when some hurting soul might need to hear our story. We need to build some windows to let the light of hope illumine our dark moments. And we need to build a door because the day will come when our children will be ready to meet us heart-to-heart.
One final word about these walls. They must be build with bricks of truth. Not resentment. Not stubbornness. Not fear. Not guilt. Truth.
Here’s a few bricks to consider:
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7, NIV)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
(Psalm 91:1-2, 4, NIV)
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
(Psalm 17:8, NIV)