“Confess your sins to each other and pray
so that you can live together whole and healed.
(James 5:16 MSG)
Confession is good for the soul. True confession is better. But the authentic confession of adoptive-mom-sisters…well, it’s simply the best!
Surrendering our masks over the past weeks, we had created a safe place in which to unpack the real-deal stuff of our journeys. And stress is some real-deal stuff; it stole the show during a recent support group meeting.
“So, why don’t we stop for a minute and share some of our coping strategies,” the leader quipped after we guffawed at the stress chart…placing ourselves somewhere in an alternative universe.
These fantastic women - faithful saints parenting kids that test our grit, are seasoned, wise and funny; this is not their first rodeo! Waves of belly laughter punctuated our discussion. Validation gave way to relief, and understanding of our “shared code” enhanced the following confessions of the rodeo queens.
“Well, I enjoy a couple of glasses of wine,” one brave soul ventured. “It just helps me relax.” We nodded sympathetically and silently translated the code…I’ve had a day from hell. One child got suspended from school. Another slammed his fist through the bathroom wall in a fit of rage and spit on me. My husband’s out of town and I want to run away.
“I eat,” disclosed one mom; we filled in the blanks from our own experience… I forgot where I hid the chocolate, so I hung on the refrigerator door frantically searching for the perfect comfort food for this unnamed emotion I’m trying to suppress. Where is that comfort food?!
“I’m too harsh,” confessed another. Got it. We’ve crossed that line too.
“I watch too much TV and get very controlling. “My world is falling apart and there’s nothing left that I can control. Maybe if I numb-out and live in someone else’s make believe world it will turn out happily-ever-after.
“I swear,” shared another. “I grew up in a non-Christian home. And it still flies out of my mouth way too easily under stress. But sometimes those are the only words that touch the core of what I’m feeling.” Laughter erupted as others shared their shock and awe stories that disarmed their teenaged kids who thought they had invented these one-syllable words.
And we all acknowledged various themes of detaching, withdrawing, and checking out. No translation required.
But here’s the point. We left feeling better. Confession lightened our load. Laughter heals! We know better…we even discussed positive coping strategies. But it just felt good to be understood and accepted. We disarmed shame, validated feelings, and shared the humanity of our adoptive-mom stress.
And we all returned home to our rodeos, better prepared for the next event; someone had our back.