Saturday, April 30, 2011
The dental nurse who assisted the doctor in the procedure looked at me, smiled and said, “she is just like her mom.”
I was not a compliment. I had my teeth pulled 2 years ago and had to be sedated. A lot. My eldest panicked in ways familiar to the maternal family line.
I paused to consider two things. The power of inheritance, legacy and our ability or inability to control the impact of a harmful legacy. When I see my inadequacies in my daughters, and how it limits them, I wonder how can I encourage them to limit the limiters? I am reading a book that says a huge mistake we naturally make is to try and build up our weaknesses instead of building our strengths.
I was sick to see my weakness so strongly expressed in the next generation. I had intentionally worked to downplay my anxiety and encourage (build up) my daughter as she experienced what for me was a trial. So do I have to settle for her just being like her mama in this regard (and why did they not inherit my love for a well made bed)?
One of the lessons is the blessing that comes from perspective, and as uncomfortable as my eldest is right now, she is also experience the boost of confidence that comes from going through something hard, knowing it’s worth it in the long run. Will that benefit take the edge off of her fear?
She can’t be something she is not, and she is not like her daddy confronting painful treatments or procedures with a bring-it-on- approach, but is, instead like her mama, a wee bit wound up. I am not convinced I can unwind those genes but I am now acutely aware of what my personal weakness looks like in my child—it’s a bit disturbing to see.
John 8:36 says, “so if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.”
I can’t free her from the all too familiar traps that trip me up, but I can point her to the one who can. She, like her mama needs to learn to trust and lean on faith to free up from the temptation to yield to fear. That truth is best legacy I can leave with her.
Encouraging her to respond differently than my typical response won’t work, but encouraging her to respond faithfully first might just yield something that looks unfamiliar and so much better.