Unrestrained Passion

The words of the reckless pierce like swords. 
Proverbs 12:18

It was one of those calls you don't want to receive. My mom was sick. Really sick. Hospitalized with a ruptured appendix, I feared sepsis.

I quickly loaded my three children - 10, 7 and 1, and my five week pregnant body into the car for the 8 hour drive separating me from my ailing mother. After several days of recovery, she was released to her home for further recuperation. Another of my sisters was headed in to take my place so I made arrangements to head home.

To accommodate my unplanned trip, my ex-husband generously agreed to a delay of his visitation with my oldest two. Since I was so early in my pregnancy, I had to fight exhaustion to rise at four am for the all-morning drive back to my home.

Unfortunately along the way we ran into multiple traffic delays. My already tiring trip was punctuated by irritable inquiries from my ex as to the exact timing of my return. In the midst of this my oldest confessed she had left her orthodontic retainer at home. Freshly out of braces, she couldn't go another night without her appliance. 

Three hours after my promised return time my car limped into our driveway. There was no retainer in my daughter's bedroom. In truth, she had misplaced it. Her confession of its home location was just a childish ploy to delay facing consequences.

One too many hours short on sleep and fielding one too many accusatory questions from my ex and all the stress and strain of the prior days bubbled up my throat, out my mouth and straight into the heart of my daughter.

My words were harsh.

My tone was hateful.

I painfully failed her as a loving mother and a woman of restraint. 

To this day it remains my biggest parenting regret.

But God is bigger than my biggest parenting failure. He used this life moment to retrain my tongue. I realized the only safe place to bring my frustration is to His ear. Today, as I rant and rave, He restores and replenishes my heart.

I have my Father's ear. There He gives me a safe place to unfurl unrestrained passion. When I give Him an ear full, He gives me a heart full. I go to Him empty and come away with plenty.

Is God a safe place for you? If not, where you unload your deepest hurts?


  1. HI Shannon,
    This was really good. and yes, HE truly is my safe place for venting, and I always come away feeling so much better than when I entered his presence.
    He is so good to full us up to overflowing if we will just run to HIM.

    Guess you are a week or two closer to moving in your new home, sure hope it isn't delayed for any reason, cause know yall must be beside yourself with excitement.

    blessing hon,

  2. I have learned that telling our children "I'm sorry" goes a long way and teaches them humility, grace and trust. :)

  3. Hi Shannon,

    Oh, those moments... the ache, the regret. Yes, I've had those too, and am so thankful for forgiveness and humble apologies.

    Re your comment at my post "Running in My Head Like a Memory," I'm honored to have you tweet my line "That all sin, really, is about lies." It's so true, isn't it? That hit me last week.

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Jennifer Dougan


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