Power of the Tongue
After adopting our daughter there were many days that I did not feel like speaking life. I felt defeated. I felt confused. What had we got ourselves into? I had a new daughter who would lash out at my other kids when angry or upset. She would physically attack them with her sharp nails and draw blood. I started clipping her nails down extra short to prevent blood flow, but I couldn't prevent her outbursts or her hurtful words. She would regularly yell that she hated us. I could not see positive in this. I could not see how to speak life in this.
I started saying things like, "I'm going to go crazy." "I can't do this", "This child is driving me insane." "I'm done." The more I said these things the more I felt like they were true and the less patience I had in dealing with the situations that would arise. The more I spoke negatively, the more I thought negatively. As those thoughts ruminated they came spilling out into my actions.
One day as she had thrown yet another tantrum I realized my body language and my eyes were all telling her loud and clear that I was fed up, that I was done. In that moment I realized I needed self control, which I talked about in an earlier post, and positive speech. Verses flooded my mind.
The power of life and death are in the tongue. Proverbs 18:21
Out of the same mouth comes blessings and cursing, this should not be. James 3:10
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing...Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. 1 Peter 3:9-11
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building other's up according to their needs. Ephesians 4:29
I did not need to be telling myself how crazy I was going to go, or how done I was feeling. I needed to build myself up. I needed to speak life into the situation. That doesn't mean I couldn't share with other's how I was feeling or ask for prayer. It just meant I needed to make a intentional effort to watch my speech. Instead of putting myself down, I needed to say things like, "I can do this, through Christ who strengthens me." When I'd slip and start to say, "I'm going to go crazy", I'd stop myself and say, "I'm not going to go crazy."
With all that had been going on I had started to look at this little girl and just see all the trouble she was causing. It was hard to feel love for her in those moments. But love is NOT a feeling. It is an action and a choice. So I changed the lyrics to the songs I sang to her. I made sure I was speaking love over her. Night after night I sang, "I will love you forever, I will like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be," (from one of my favorite children's books). As each night came and went I could sing the songs meaning them more and more. I stoped singing "You'll never know dear how much I love you". I didn't want her to remain in her world of hurt and feeling unloved. I started singing, "You'll always know dear how much I love you, and no one will take you away." I wanted her to know love. To feel loved.
I realized just as much as I needed to speak life for myself, she needed it too. We all did. I started to rephrase things as much as I could to be positive. God has given us an amazing gift of speech and has directed us in his word how to use this gift. I want to use it to his glory. I want to build my children, family and myself up, bless and not curse. Even when it's hard, even when we don't see the blessing we can speak it. When there was nothing but a void, God spoke the cosmos into existence. Abraham did not see the blessing of the ram in thicket as he led Issac up the mountain, but he spoke that the LORD would provide the offering, and he did. Moses did not see the water in the rock but he struck it and it came forth. I am choosing to speak life into my family and into this precious new daughter, because I believe he can and is growing something beautiful in us all.