Kids have a way of rebirthing old memories, some precious, some wild, and others I care to forget. But this is where my words begin to form stories–a way of retelling my experiences in hopes to heal another mama’s heart. My entire life I was told how passionate, talented, beautiful I am.
But I couldn’t receive it.
Birthdays, compliments, career success, and even Christmas–I always held back, too afraid to soak in the joy and wonder. Too afraid to believe what someone said until I caught my own six year old daughter reacting the same way.
She too couldn’t receive gifts for her heart.
The living room twinkled in hues of blue from our eight foot tall white Christmas tree, decked out in blue lights peppered with homemade ornaments. Tori Grace sat at its feet, tucked in between the tree and fireplace. In all her silly brilliance, I laughed over her funny story when I said, “Baby girl you are so beautiful,” but her response caught my eye. Ever so quickly, she set her jaw and froze over the compliment before smiling and saying,
“I don’t like that.”
“You don’t like it when mommy says you’re beautiful? What about when I tell you how much you make me laugh? Or how smart you are?
“No. Stop it, I don’t like it.”
The moment sucked me under like a tidal wave where I found my five year old self sitting on my daddy’s white jeep. It was the day when my heart severed in two and I learned it was best to not receive than to break again until Jesus asked me to teach my daughter to receive.