My son is just like me.
He looks like me. He talks like me. He moves like me. I'm pretty sure he even thinks like me.
Sometimes it's like looking into a mirror!
It is so sweet! ...Most of the time. I say this because while I'm filled with joy that I have this special bond with my son, he didn't just inherit my good qualities, but my negative qualities also. Well, let me clarify: my self-perceived negative qualities.
I have always struggled with a negative self-perception. I am my own worst critic. And unfortunately, sometimes I catch myself being overly critical towards my son - my 4-year-old son.
One day I realized that the things I was overly cricital of my son about had nothing to do with him. Nothing at all. They were the very things that I disliked about myself.
My heart dropped and I stopped dead in my tracks.
My sweet little boy. I had been seeing myself in him and rather than embracing it, I was disappointed. I've never felt like a worse mother than at that moment.
I've mentioned this before, but I think it's amazing how God uses children to reveal things to us as adults. God showed me that I still have a negative view of myself that I need to change. And fast. My negative view of myself is affecting my son.
And here's the truth: Not only did God create me in his image, he made me the way I am for a reason, even if I don't know what that reason is. I don't need to know. I just need to trust God. He loves me for everything that He made me to be.
And that's the love that my son deserves. Just like me, he is made in God's image. He is beautiful in every way. And I've been making my issues his. That is not only unfair, but it is shameful. God has entrusted my son to my care and I need to do better.
I will not continue to be disappointed in myself through the similarities I see in my son. I will not miss out on the opportunity to take those characteristics I find in my son and help cultivate them into what God meant for them to be. I will not let my son see any more of my negative self-view for fear of him having the same negative self-view some day. And most importantly, I will actively try to change my self-view so that none of this will be an issue and so God can better use me. Because I know that He cannot use me if I'm too focused on my own perceived shortcomings.
God doesn't make mistakes. I am not faulty - I have weaknesses. Unfortunately, my son has some of the same weaknesses, but luckily he's not alone. God uses His people through their weaknesses, so once I allow God to use all of me, maybe I can show my son how God can use him too.
But right now, I'm going to go look at my beautiful son, see a flash of myself, hug him tightly, and appreciate him for everything he is...and isn't!