The temper tantrum had kicked into full gear…there was snot, there were tears, and there was lots and lots of screaming. If you don’t know me, “Hi, I’m Caitlin, I’m going to be your son/or daughter’s **insert whatever name you would like here” speech therapist, I am so excited to get to know you and your family and get to hang out with your child.” With this particular little boy, we were past the introductory phase and well into the “testing Ms. Caitlin’s limits” phase. I would like to say this is a fun time in the therapy process, but it’s not. Now, back to this two year old temper tantrum…I will call him John for security sake.
“John, it really doesn’t help you to cry in the corner, come play please.” *weeping, yelling* I proceeded to play with the cars we had in the room on the little mat that we play a game on. *Silence* I could feel John’s gaze on me from across the room. Now, John doesn’t really talk and so he comes to speech therapy and my job is to make him talk, over the course of the last few months, he’s been making progress and so he knows he can talk and I know he can talk–enter in “testing Ms. Caitlin’s limits” phase. As his eyes lock with mine, he runs over and tries to snatch a car right out of my hand without saying a word. “No, John. What do you need to say to get your car?” *Silence* His big blue eyes stared back at me, after about 5 seconds they turned to puppy dog eyes and I said “Say, car, please” His response was unlike any other response I have ever seen from him before. “NO!” He yelled and ran to a chair that was in the room and flipped it over and threw himself on the ground. Kicking and screaming, I realized this moment was becoming a teachable moment for John and for Ms. Caitlin. My patience was running low and he was just getting tired, poor little guy. I went across the room and said “John, you have to come close to Ms. Caitlin for her to help you get all of the toys you want. If you are screaming and yelling and far away she can’t help you. Can you come be nice? Ms. Caitlin loves you and wants you to be the best you can be.” In that moment, the presence of God fell in that room. Maybe not for John, because honestly, I don’t think he probably understood what I was saying, but Ms. Caitlin’s heart needed that. He didn’t calm down. He yelled and screamed and cried for another 5 minutes before I ended the session 5 minutes early and carried him out like a sack of potatoes to his mother. But, I needed the gentle presence of God to fall in a room with a defiant two year old to reach my hard heart that day.
You see, God has me in this process that feels like I’m walking through the Sahara desert on the hottest day of the year…except that day is every day. I don’t ever know which way is up or down from day to day and my life is pretty much laid bare. I feel like I’m more of a sinner every day, but I’m learning that when you start pressing up to the glory of God and asking him to search you and know you consistently, He is faithful to do that! Refinement is hard, but good. But that day with John, I realized that spiritually I am walking through my terrible twos… temper tantrums, getting spanked all the time, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, shoes on the wrong feet, jumping off of stuff, doing stupid things, being stinking cute sometimes and God just scooping me up and being like “I just love you, today.” But the terrible twos are hard. Sometimes you feel like you can’t communicate what you feel like, everyone feels bigger than you, you poop your pants and make a mess and other people have to clean it up…and thats what I feel like a lot of times now. I frustrate people in the process, I hurt people’s feelings, and most days I’m convinced people don’t really even want to be around me. So if you are one of the people in my life who I have hurt in this deeply refining process, I repent…I repent for hurting you, for screaming at you and crying in your face, for not using my words clearly and for making a mess for you to clean up. Thanks for giving me grace. In this season, I’m learning how to receive grace. How to just sit in the grace of God. How to be a mess, an absolute wreck and be like “Lord, I have absolutely no words to say but I’m going to come close to you and let you help me.”
That’s what God has been speaking: “Come close.” He reminded me of Moses in Exodus 33 and 34. When Moses would go meet with God he received clarity and direction, but also got to see the glory of God and encounter the pure character of God. I desperately need that in this place that I’m in. I need to experience my Father in the fullness of who he is. I need to know who he is to me, that I can trust him, laugh with him, cry with him. Moses’ face was radiant when he would leave the tent of meeting. I want to be that way: A woman who comes close to God and leaves radiant–even in my toddler years.
He’s a good daddy.
He’s a kind daddy.
I’m a toddler again. Learning how to walk in the Heavenly places again…look out, World, I’m coming for ya!