“I felt alone, afraid, confused, and rejected; pain and a deep despair from loss was normal,” came the deeply disturbing remarks from a desperate client searching for relief. As we dug deep for the root causes, one of the most prominent revelations was the memory her of sitting on the edge of mom's bed waiting for her to die and a dad who was never anywhere to be found.
I quickly affirmed that the weight of this was far too much for a four year old to carry, all alone, and not knowing what to do with it. Focusing on that scene in the bedroom, I began asking searching questions: Define colors, objects, people, sights or sounds while there. Descriptions readily began pouring out, and the one that stood out the most was the blue bedspread.
She defined how she was a happy kid; light-hearted and playful, but when mom got sick the events of her life came crashing down, crushing her spirit. Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” The loss of nurture from mom was unbearable, and to amplify that loss apparently dad was always checking out. He was good at escaping reality, and she translated that as having no concern for mom's health, or well being. Her conclusion: “The only thing left for me to do is take over. I decided that I couldn't be joyful. Instead I would carry all the worry, for everyone, and stuff my joy.”
That obvious vow had been put in place at a very tender age, and finally surfaced. Now this adult child of God was beginning to realize how these judgments made as a child, and the unforgiveness against her parents has actually kept her imprisoned her entire life.
Explaining that a child cannot understand a bed-ridden parent and her inability to be there for her legitimate needs, and that it was best to forgive mom so that Jesus could take that burden, she agreed. The first person to forgive, we decided, was mom for seemingly leaving her child desperately alone. I reassured her that her coping mechanism to toughen up in order to survive kept her alive, but now was the time for her spirit and soul to be healed.
After forgiving her mother, and renouncing that vow (to carry all the worry for everyone, and never have joy), I was elated at what she saw: “The drapes opened! the room became light!” And, looking around (in her mind's eye) she saw that the bedspread was suddenly white! Outstanding! But it didn't stay that way very long.
We talked about the missing factor: Dad. The one who was incapable of being a part of her everyday life and its many fears. As I asked about his whereabouts, I found myself asking what would happen if dad came in the bedroom to join them. Her reply was abrupt, “The bedspread turned blue again! It was like death.”
Dad never kept his promises to spend time together. He constantly rejected her because of things, and people, that were more important. After waiting all day long for a hug, she only wanted to be held close enough so that he'd see her, or even know she existed. She added, “His words never lined up with his actions.” Thus, her bitter root expectancy became, “Whoever I date, or marry, their words will never line up with their actions.” In the end it became a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Because the bedspread turned blue when dad walked in to the room, I discovered several bitter roots that would need to be eradicated. Tangled in those roots is a deeply hurting adult with life-long childhood pain deep enough for life-long suffering. “My joy left as a baby. I have never wanted to live, and even thought of ways to take my life,” was the end result.
During the first years of life, the human spirit of a child is literally crushed, in any home, when parents are not capable of raising their children in a way that speaks life in to them. Parents, doing it the only way they know how, based on what was modeled for them!
According to God, he wants, “To restore the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to their fathers, or else I will come and strike the land with a curse,” (Malachi 4:5,6). Much of our land is cursed because of the demise of the family. But...if we “sit on the edge of the bed” with those traumatized, and listen, restoration can begin, and blue bedspreads can turn white!