Childhood owies can turn into adult-sized wounds. Childhood lies can turn into adult strongholds. Childhood offenses can turn into adult bitterness.
The goal is to remove the owie before it becomes a life-threatening spiritual wound! I call these owies, heart splinters. Have you ever taken a splinter out of a child’s finger? You surely do not want to do it in public! They yell and scream and act like you are cutting off their finger. But once it is out, they run off and play as if nothing happened. Have you ever tried to remove a heart splinter that has been stuck for years from an adult? While they may have a smile on their face, they will protect that wounded site at all costs. Even attempting to touch it will cause pain, as the tiny splinter now has a blanket of inflammation and infection around it. Can you see the difference between how a child deals with the pain versus a grown adult? What does a child with a splinter in their heart look like? They act out, scream, bully their siblings, yell, disobey, pinch, overeat, refuse to eat, hit, kick, cause trouble with siblings, have nightmares, they retreat, slam doors, yell “I hate you,” cry, are rude, are mean and are disrespectful! This is why it is so vital to raise up parents who can discern what is going on beneath the surface of their child’s outbursts. You are the one who knows what is normal for your child. You are the one who knows when they are acting out from being hungry, tired, or when it appears “out of the blue.” You have known their cry since they were first ushered into your arms. You are the one God entrusted to listen to them. You are their mama/daddy, their advocate, their teacher and helper! Unresolved heart splinters create mental, emotional and physical isolation which is the breeding ground for the enemy to whisper lies.
A young mom texted me, desperate for some help. She began to tell me that while shopping, her daughter wanted a particular toy. It was quite expensive, and the mom said no. The daughter became so unglued that the mother had to carry her out of the store. The entire way home she was trashing the car, throwing things and screaming. When they got home, her tantrum intensified, and she drew blood from her mother’s arms while she attempted to get her up the stairs and into her room for a time out. The mom was beside herself as her daughter had never acted this badly before, and she desperately wanted to know what to do. I shared with her that there was a “heart splinter” and that we just needed to partner with Holy Spirit to discern if it was a hurt, lie or offense was so that we could remove the splinter that was causing her heart so much pain and agitation. I encouraged the mom to bring a sheet of paper and crayons to her very distraught daughter and encourage her in a very soft voice to draw what was going on (children can articulate their heart better through drawing than they can by talking). Almost immediately, the daughter calmed down and picked up a crayon. The mom was texting me while the daughter was drawing a picture about her school from SIX months ago. The mom was asking how in the world she was supposed to know what happened that long ago. I encouraged her to relax and let Holy Spirit lead her daughter to freedom. We weren’t looking for the details of an event; facts do not set us free. We were looking for the hurt, lie or offense. Holy Spirit is our HELPER, and we need to give Him room to do His job. She began to draw a picture of a day when she got in trouble for misbehaving. Most people are trained to deal with the behavior or acting out, but God looks at the heart, so we need to question WHY she was acting out. What caused the sudden change in behavior that day that was so drastic she got in trouble for it? If you want to bring your child back into alignment, you must go a wee bit deeper and not just react to the outward behavior. Even if the child doesn’t know, we can ask Jesus because He was there. The mom helped the daughter ask Jesus what was going on in her heart when she got in trouble. He wants the truth out more than we do! She then drew a picture of being at her dad’s house the night before. Her daddy failed to protect her and let her eyes see things on TV that scared her and made her feel unsafe. BINGO! So why the outburst of behavior six months later? Because there was a splinter in her heart of hurt (and fear), and when the mom said no to the toy that she really wanted, it pushed the splinter down further and it hurt. Can you guess what the daughter’s love language is? Yes, gifts. We don’t need to fuss or worry about how it all unfolds. Do we really think that the enemy plays fair and by the rules? Resist the urge to have it all make perfect sense. Just be led by the Spirit and He will show you the root cause. Now that we knew what was going on, I walked the mom through how to lead the daughter to #1. forgive her dad for not protecting her. Then they #2. asked Jesus where He was that day and then followed up with the greatest question we can ask Him in our time of distress: #3. They asked Jesus the question, “Jesus, how do You feel about me?” Nothing stomps on the enemy’s head more than finding out Jesus’ feelings about someone because His view is always full of truth, love, and life. The mom texted five minutes later saying she had her sweet daughter back.
This precious little girl was acting out the heart splinter the next day in school, and the school disciplined her for her behavior but failed to see she needed protection to feel safe again. That put her in emotional isolation, and that is where she becomes susceptible to the enemy’s lies. Picture the mom spanking, yelling, isolating, punishing, and disciplining the child into obedience. Was that ever really the issue? Would heaven do that to us when we are afraid or feel unsafe? We treat children like they are in blatant sin and punish them when what they really need is HELP! There is a time and place for corrective discipline, but when we use it at the wrong time, it can push the splinter in even deeper. Do not partner with condemnation after reading this. We have all done it, and it has been done to us many times. The point isn’t to pass blame; the point is to praise God for bringing us into a deeper revelation that there is a better way. This is the epitome of what Let the Children Fly is all about. I am passionate about empowering parents to help their children with real tools to resolve these heart splinters IN childhood!
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