Becoming Purified by Tantrummy Flames

Recently, (and hopefully not currently) we went through a really hard time with Sketch.  He started having longer and more frequent tantrums, and more intense and aggressive ones as well.  A developing tactic he began to form was throwing heavier things such as furniture, if he could.

One time he became upset with some Math-U-See bricks (of various sizes) and took the whole bucket and threw it–pieces flew all through the air in various directions.  They came dangerously close to hitting Princess Buttercup in the face, as she sat obliviously reading her book.

And, to add to the intensity and unpredictability, Sketch would flail, pull hair and hit, scratch, kick, etc. and became more intentional about it with each tantrum.  He would target my face, hair or worst of all…my stomach with a growing baby inside.

Because of baby, I am not able to remove him from an area, as I could do before.  I am not able to calm him with tight squeezes, or be near him in that state.  I had to separate him from us with a baby gate–the only option with our house layout at this time.  The problem was, that he is good enough with problem solving now, at the ripe old age of 5, that he would pile blankets and cushions at the gate on either side, to step on and climb over to a soft landing, so he could continue his attack.

This is NOT like my sweet, cuddly boy!  The last time he was like this, he was on steroids most of the time, due to asthma and undiagnosed food allergies!

I don’t think I have ever been so stressed out or overcome with despair at a situation with my kids before.  I had prayed for help, for God to calm my little boy, for sanity to return to our house.  I desperately pleaded before his throne of grace for help in my time of need, but I didn’t seem to be getting the results I wanted. Day after day this continued…sometimes several grandiose tantrums a day. I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t understand why this was suddenly happening. And worst of all, I was sure I would NOT be finding any “treasures” in these tantrums!!!

But, God does redeem e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

As some of you know from my previous posts, I really like Beth Moore’s Bible Studies, and I am currently going through one with my wonderful church called, “A Womans Heart:  God’s Dwelling Place”

In the first few weeks of the study, Beth says this:  “…we offer God something more precious than gold when we joyfully lay our sufferings on His altar and agree to be purified by the flames that threaten to consume us.” (p.58)  She was commenting on this verse from 1Peter 4:19 “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good”

Hard advice, I must say, especially when the ONLY thing you want, is to get out of the situation. The. End.

She continues, “No one can make you surrender your suffering to God.  Only you can decide how your fires will affect you.  Will you be sanctified or scarred?  Listen as He says to you, “My precious child, I bore My scars so that you would not have to!”  He has suffered enough for both of you”

That night, I realized the only thing I could do is to lay down this “suffering” with Sketch, entrusting it and it’s consequences to the God who desires to do more for me than I can ever imagine or comprehend.  Even if the situation didn’t change quickly, I needed to be willing to allow God to purify me in this situation, instead of becoming scarred by it.  I woke up the next morning with the song, “Refiners Fire” playing in my dreams.

Tough lesson, but a treasure worth learning.

I guess there was a treasure in that after all.

And, for the follow up… God has guided us as parents and we ended up re-arranging our childrens bedrooms so Sketch had a room downstairs where I could put him to calm down, and not harm anyone.  He always wanted me to take him to his room upstairs (carry him) when he was out of control, but that is no longer safe.  Being able to take him to his room again has worked wonderfully to calm him down quicker!  Also, we suspected that his medicine for ADHD may have been contributing to this behavior, although not following the typical pattern of side effects.  We changed the medicine and the tantrums have reduced back to more normal and manageable levels!!!

In the midst of learning this lesson, a friend of mine pointed me to a song on youtube that wonderfully addresses this.  Here it is:

Garments, Mirrors and Beauty (continued)

I decided the poem at the end of the last blog was not quite finished after I posted it.  Here is the final version:

Garments, Mirrors, and Beauty

It’s time for a change of apparel, it seems

These garments no longer fit

The dark sweats of shame do not compare

to the beautiful garments of praise


My Savior has wrapped me in new clothes today

They are beautiful, made for royalty

It is hard to imagine  how He intended

These gem-laden garments for me


The crown of beauty is on my head

The oil of joy flowing down

As God claimed me as one of his own

The spirit of despair was cast down.


He’s turned my tragedy to treasure

He took my filthy ash-covered self

Wiped off my face and my head and my heart

He replaced it with heavenly wealth


So now I accept his healing touch

The reflections too much to bear

Unworthy, I am but made worthy by Him

It’s time to exit this lair


He’s unbinding the bondage while binding my heart

breaking the links of the chain

With gentle love and skilled hands

He is healing my pain


From trembling to bravery

from fear to boldness

I step out anew on this day

I trust Him with what He has done

And I’m hearing the words that he says


“All beautiful you are, my darling

there is no flaw in you”

Your words pierce through my heart

“Show me your face, let me hear your voice”

I look in the mirror- I fear falling apart


“For your voice is sweet and your face is lovely”

I believe what you say, I am ready to start

Adopting the way that you think

transforming my mind, renewing my life

no longer will I hide or flee


All yours, I am

Now courageous and strong

Conquering strongholds within

Free to be who you fully intended

when you carefully crafted me


 

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