If anyone had told me the physical pains of birth that welcomes motherhood would be nothing compared to the pains of regret, I probably wouldn’t have believed them.

Do you ever worry how your actions today will impact your children tomorrow? I do. All the time. I’ve tried very hard to make sure all three of my children know just how much I love them, but I am failing with one. And it breaks my heart.

For years I have been praying that God would break the ties of generational curses and that my children would not have to walk in the fears I have walked in, or battle the demons I have battled, and that they would not have to carry the hurt of not measuring up as my husband has carried all his life. I yearn for their freedom in Christ to raise them to new levels of success . . . but not as how the world views success, as Christ does . . . in freedom.

Tonight my daughter and I had to sit together and fill out papers to help her counselor know what areas need to be focused on the most. When she answered that she does not feel loved and she does not feel important in her own home I was devastated. Deeply hurt.

A few months ago I saw one of those cute fb posts that says, “ask your children these questions and post the answers!” The post said, “Go ahead, it’s fun!” Well, I can assure you, it was not fun for me. As I asked K the first question, “What do your parents say to you the most?” I just knew she was going to say, “I love you.” Because I say it a lot. Like sometimes I think it’s over-kill but it’s important for them to hear those words. So when she told me her response, “K, stop talking.” I felt like a complete failure as a mother. Now before you get all righteous on me . . . if you do not have a high strung child with no filter and literally says EVERYTHING that comes to her mind, and a child with ADHD, and a child that obsesses over everything being fair and feels the need to compete and compare with everything her brother says or does, then you can not possibly understand why I would constantly have to redirect . . .

“K, you are interrupting.”

“K, what is it exactly you are talking about?”

“K, you have got to take a breath in there.”

“K, can you get to the point please?”

“K, PLEASE stop talking for five minutes so I can think for one minute.”

Yes. I have said these things. But not as much as I have said, “I love you,” but for K . . . lip service doesn’t work . . . unless it’s hearing the negative over the good.

K had what I believe was a very bad panic attack tonight. I am taking her to the doctor today, just in case but the symptoms are spot on. She was nervous about answering the questions tonight for her counselor. I tried to hide the hurt over some of her answers but she could tell they were bothering me and the apologizes just kept coming . . . . so I know she was upset, and then we had to address something that she did sneaky . . . and she obviously got caught . . . About thirty minutes after she was in bed she came out . . . pale as could be, clammy, cold sweat, chest hurting, hurting to breathe, and vomited.  After checking blood pressure and monitoring for a bit she fell asleep in our bed. I have slept for only two hours as I have spent the night filled with regret, praying over her, and asking God for answers. As I prayed I was reminded of something a friend said recently . . . . that I am not responsible for how she feels . . . that I can’t control her feelings. And while I honestly just couldn’t grasp that, I also know there is deep truth in that statement. We don’t buy toys and gifts through the year so I don’t try and “buy” her love. Birthday and Christmas are mostly practical items with a few toys or items they like but nothing lavish, so if she is comparing love to that then I will never measure up. As I was praying, I said, “Lord I tell them I love them, I show them with hugs, prayers, kisses, and discipline” . . . and He whispers. . . . “time.”

The one thing lacking that she craves and doesn’t get is one on one time . . . . quality time. With no brother. No one else. Just her.

So tonight, while I am struggling with a deep hurt to know that my baby girl doesn’t “feel” loved . . . .  I am thankful that in the midst of the pain and a lot of uncertainty, the Lord still whispers and guides.

After the Lord whispered, “time,” I thought of the Five Love Languages Chris and I filled out before we got married. Sounds like a good investment to make for my children. All three of them.

If you are walking through something similar, or if you have never asked your kids the tough questions, “Do you know you are loved? If so, tell me how and if not, tell me why,” then ask them. Start young and find out their love language.