Restoration of The Locust Eating Years©

No one told me when I was a little girl how deeply love would invade my world.  No one told me that love could be so fierce, capturing my heart with a first breath.  As that first cry escaped their lungs my heart was catapulted into love.

Every fiber of my being wanted to love my babies well.  Would it be enough to hold them close, whispering the “I love you’s” as my lips brushed their tiny cheeks?  As I kissed their boo-boo’s would they know?   As I held them tight would they feel my love?  Could any of this be enough to reveal what was implanted in my being?

Many years have now passed, never to be captured again. Broken people raise broken people.  I am one of them.   I could easily allow myself to wallow in the regrets of the days gone by and give up, yet I can’t.  For it negates the power of the One who says He takes the years the locusts have eaten and restores them.  I put my weight into believing He will right all the wrongs my actions have done.  I think of Jesus’ words, “forgive them Lord, they didn’t know what they were doing.”  They are true of me.

I got swallowed up in lies about who I was.  I became a striver working hard to make life as perfect as could be.   I focused on modifying behavior, sin management at it’s finest.  It’s all I knew. I was told it was the key to godly living. I shudder at the thought of it even now as I remember.  I left my children wondering if they would ever be good enough to be loved.  I failed my own.

Shame does that sort of thing.  It takes things and twists them all up in your mind causing you to react and respond in ways that hurt those you love the most.  I wore shame like a covering, projecting it onto my children.  I had no idea that my shattered life would weave faulty messages into the fabric of theirs.  It is one of the great regrets of my life.  It’s one of those things I wish I had known.

But as they say, it’s never too late.  Until I am in the grave it is never too late.

I’ve thought about it some today.  I’ve thought about it a lot since I saw the movie “The Help.”  Watching Abileen say to Mae Mobley every day, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” hit a spot in me.  I wish I had done that with my children.  I wish I had been focused more on who they were than what they did.

Instead of them knowing how crazy I was about them, they were left thinking that nothing they did could please me. As He has healed me, He is allowing me to help heal my loves. God is bringing me back full circle these days. Today, I sit to consider.

What if time was erased?  What if all of a sudden we were back at the beginning of their lives?  What if I could start afresh loving them in the healing ways of my heart that I now know.  What would I tell them?

“I am pleased with you because you are mine.”  “It pleases me when you know that I love you, just because.”  “I want you to know that it is OK to make mistakes, you will be loved regardless.”  “I am pleased when you know you are safe, with me.”  “I am pleased when you let me love you as I do.” “You matter to me.” “More than anything else on this earth you matter to me.” “My pleasure is not linked with your behavior.”  “Your behavior is not the barometer that tells me who you are, you are my child, bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” “You are my treasure, my love.”  “I will never, ever be disappointed in you.” “Your place in my heart is not based on what you do, it is because of who you are to me.” “There is only one you, no one can ever take your place, it is secure.” “When you fall down I will be there to help pick you up.” “You are mine and I am yours, forever.” “I love you to the moon and back.”

He is the God who restores what the locust have eaten.  He is restoring me.

©copyrighted: 2011, Julie L. Todd


28 thoughts on “Restoration of The Locust Eating Years©

  1. Really insightful post and very touching. As mom’s we all have regrets and if we could re-do our difficult days would it matter? we were young and our children didn’t know any different than what we presented to them. Our responsibility was to care for them but did anyone show us how? if a child was never taught how can a child lead? If your grown children like you and want to be with you, then the years are healed and there is hope. If they want space then that is the gift you must give them.
    In time it will work out. In time healing comes. Patience also comes in time.

  2. i’ve got some locust-eaten years to see restored too. hurting people hurt people. so true. i’m so glad i’m finding healing and restoration now, while my kids are still with me and can watch the process. i rejoice that they’re already on a path to grace and healing in their teen years.

    • I’m there with you Michelle, I have 4 of the 5 still living at home. The other child currently lives in town. I am asking God for healing moments, asking Him to show me areas I need to ask forgiveness, ways for love to conquer all. He is faithfully bringing to mind those places that He wants me to step in and speak truth. I am blessed!
      Thanks for being here and for your words!

  3. Julie, I don’t often read your blogs (a time thing) but was drawn to it today, trusting the Holy Spirit’s leading. Your words, I think, echo what God, as the perfect parent, is telling us and wanting us to know how HE loves us as children but infinitely more. The ways we love our children (and our grandchildren) can never be enough but, even in our mistakes, can lead them to a Love that is all-sufficient. I appreciate that more now because I am on round two of raising children. I thank God for showing me that He cares more for what is in my heart (and theirs) rather than my behavior (or theirs). He already knows where we are going to fail as parents (and they as children) and weaves that into His plan for His glory through us, our children, and grandchildren. Your children are blessed to have you as a mom. Becoming a grandmother is going to be such a joy for you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart through your blogs and FB posts. lwe

  4. I can’t add anymore to what anyone else has said other than, this has hit home for me as well. Bless you for sharing with us.

    Luv ya!


  5. Oh, my! This sounds so much like my story too, sister. I was touched, like you, at the way Abileen affirmed May Mobley (?) in The Help. I have prayed that God would restore and heal the broken places in my children as I too focused way too heavily on behavior…..for my reputation’s sake as well as wanting them to be accepted. Oh, mercy! The good news is that we have had our eyes opened in recent years and that God is always at work in redeeming and restoring. Thanks for another insightful post. I love you.

    • Sister, I’m glad you are here, as usual… It blesses me to read your words and feel your love and support. I know God is on the move in our lives, it’s evident, so evident. It doesn’t look the way we thought it would but He is doing His thing. One day we will see it all… one day. At least I can see it for you and you can see it for me, right.

      I love you!
      PS. Sorry I didn’t text you back this afternoon, David took my phone to drive the kids places! 🙂

  6. I love this post – not the hurt, but the heart!
    Beautifully and humbly written. And based on the responses you’ve received, clearly He has answered your prayers and is taking the years the locust have eaten and restoring them. God bless you!
    PS – I have never, ever plugged my blogs on someone else’s post but it’s so interesting to me that we both wrote about The Help on the same day and focused on the same things. (on Fork, not Grace)
    I’m now (as of last month) a Grandma of 4 – you’re going to love it! 😀

  7. Beautiful and grace-filled post, Julie. With a baby on the way, I could imagine my near future in your writing. Then I could imagine how I’ve done the same and could again if not for continued love for my redeeming Savior. Love and peace!

  8. Wonderful thoughts, Julie. I think we are all walking on the same road here. Thank you for the reminder to love as much as we can while we have the opportunity, and when the opportuntiy is gone keep loving and let God make up the difference. Blessings to you today.

  9. Loved this Julie. You put words to the fleeting regrets that pop up to haunt me… The ugly “if onlys”…..But you are right on about expecting redemption, double blessings and GOOD back from what was stolen by sin or wounds or the enemy. I keep thinking lately about David and his men going back to recover ALL from the enemy. Looking forward to seeing that in all our families

    • Kathy, I’m blessed that you have visited and to read your words! Hadn’t thought about David and his men going back to recover ALL from the enemy… a wonderful picture of redemption! I too am looking forward to seeing that in our families!! Thanks so much for being here, it truly blesses me!

  10. Thank you for your comment to me on the other blog. It made me cry. ( In a nice way:) Now it’s my turn to offer something ( hopefully.)
    I have a young family. I have the girl version of mild Asperger’s Syndrome. This enables me to see life and spirituality in a VERY different way from most ( I don’t share this on my blog as I live in a conservative town.) So I do say things like the above to my kids all the time ( After the help I went home and made sure to do that to each of them)…BUT it is bittersweet too. Because this is one of the only things I CAN give them. I can help them find themselves, and offer acceptance…and yes these are marvellous gifts BUT I can’t give them what you probably gave your children… a stable home life…normal motherhood stuff…
    In the ten years I have been married I have maybe made 20 meals. I can’t cook because it’s like math to me and I end up hurt every time. I find mundane chores horrid so often my house is in chaos, I am un scheduled and un motherly. In fact I often say I love my children but I despise motherhood. Motherhood to me means the daily chaotic sensory overload children bring and the responsibilities I try hard to meet but often can not. Some days I LONG to be normal. I find hugs tough to remember to give but I love in the ways I can by giving them the perceptions I have and the continual verbal affirmations…

    So you see…we all have our Achilles heel. If you would have given them more of the verbal self help and been naturally wired that way ect perhaps you would not have been able to do what you DID do.
    Often the bar of motherhood is to high. Congrats on keeping them ALIVE. You did well. If you are thinking this post you probably did more than you realize. That being said I love posts like these. Realization posts are healing. They bring growth and allow others to think. While I do believe guilt is debilitating- ponderings of betterment are always worthy of consideration. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Kmarie, your words are a gift, a sheer gift. Thank you for coming here. Thank you for telling me more of your story. It matters, it really matters.

      You have touched my heart!!

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