Last year around this time, I learned one of the hardest lessons in parenthood. It was reaffirmed at church last Wednesday night and as Easter inches closer and closer, my devotions get harder and harder to read.
It is just flat out hard to read that Jesus GAVE.IT.ALL.
For us. God let His Son go for us.
Because He knew we would mess up.
Because He knew we could not save ourselves.
Last year, Kuy gave up his pacis. And watching that was the hardest thing I may have ever witnessed my child experience. And sadly, I know it will only get worse throughout the years. At church, he was wild with some other boys and I had already asked him to stop several times. All I asked him to do was stay in his seat but he crept out “just to give a high five.” He was not technically doing anything wrong, but yes, he still got out of his chair after I had asked him not to do it. So he lost his privileges to go to the gym and play before Mission Friends.
This was hard.
Because you know what, parenting is hard!
It is SO hard to follow through with punishment when sometimes it would just be easier to give in to his desires.
But as the parent, don’t we know better?
Shouldn’t we know better?
As God taught us, we should, but we will continue to mess up. And watching Kuy miss the gym and watching him give up his pacis continues to shape me and mold me, with the only strength I have–that given from above.
The Paci Parallel
Today, we took Kuy to Build-a-Bear to give up his pacis.
This was a huge deal. Yep, we were those parents that let our almost three year old still have pacis but only in his bed, I promise.
You see, six months ago, he gave them up for good. It was easy. No big deal at all.
Until we moved.
When we moved, he found one somewhere and he was back in the rut of sleeping with pacis.
I didn’t mind so much and I would check his teeth daily to make sure they were okay (a little vanity issue, I know).
However, he’s about to be three in June and I knew it was time.
Zulily had a voucher for Build-a-Bear and we had heard that you could put the pacis in the bear and they’d sew it up and that way the child got to keep the pacis.
Man, it was so cool. We had never been to Build-a-Bear before (where we learned you could easily spend a fortune) and Kuy was perfect! He stuck his pacis in the tiger he picked out, picked out a heart and rubbed it on his heart, and got it stuffed to be sure those pacis were tucked in tightly.
He even picked out some cool boxers and a Clemson t-shirt. Not the cutest outfit you’d ever seen, but it was he wanted and we wanted to make the transition as seamless as possible.
I even texted my best friend how great the experience was!
Until it was naptime.
And from that point forward my heart was shattered.
He cried and cried and cried and cried.
He cried, “I want my pacis! I want my pacis!” Over and over and over. It didn’t matter what I did or said or how I talked in a tiger voice or what I sang or what I prayed.
Nothing was going to change his mind.
He wanted those pacis.
It was truly heart-breaking.
I was almost at the point of tears until he finally calmed down briefly and wanted to sleep in Cray’s crib. Again, I didn’t care what it took. Except ripping open the tiger or going to the store to buy more.
But at the perfect time, Russ walked in with tears in his eyes and leaned over to him and said, “I have never been so proud of you. You are going to be the greatest big boy ever. I’m going to tell you this a lot, but today, I have never been so proud of you.”
And as I sit here, choked up, I can’t help but think watching him cry his eyes out until he couldn’t breathe is not even AN INCH of what Mary felt watching Jesus give everything up for us.
It’s no coincidence Kuy gave his pacis up today to remind me.
To remind us.
How heart breaking it truly is to think, to read about the crucifixion. What a miracle.
How GOD TRULY feels that he GAVE UP HIS SON.
Kuy gave up his pacis and I couldn’t control myself!
God watched His son in anguish on the cross. Jesus even cried out but even His tears were unselfish, “Father, forgive them!” Them! US!
And even though this is such a small comparison, it was all I could do not to cut those pacis out of the tiger.
I can’t imagine how badly God must’ve wanted to reach down and pull Him off that cross. How badly Mary must’ve wanted to go and hold on to Him as He cried.
Because I wanted to hold on to Kuy. I wrestled with him as he cried and all.I.wanted.to.do.was.hold.him.
Because in that moment, I wanted nothing more than to rip those seams open to pull those pacis out of the tiger.
Because in that moment, God could have ripped open the gates of heaven to reach down and save His son.
But He didn’t. The veil was torn for us.
He saved us.
He saved you.
He saved me.
Jesus died on that cross to save you and me from what we could not see.
As much as I wanted to give those pacis back to Kuy, I know it’s what’s best for him.
God knows what’s best for us.
But instead of something small as a sacrifice, He chose His son.
You should know that Kuy only cried for about ten minutes. But those were the longest ten minutes I’ve experienced thus far as a mother. When I went to check on him, he was asleep peacefully and all is well….until he goes to bed tonight, I’m sure. But again, I’m reminded of how long the time must’ve been for Mary, for the disciple He loved, for Jesus in His agony as He prepared Himself to see His father the way it was supposed to be.