8 Apr

Last night I was laying awake thinking about my parents. Throughout this whole thing they’ve done their best to remind me that they love me…they don’t want to disown me or anything like that…they just want me to agree with them.

They love me. And I know that they do. But their love will never compare to the love that my God has for me. Because God loves me so much that He doesn’t feel the need to control.

My parents figured up how much money they’ve spent on me since I’ve been born. Then they threw that number in my face and said I had to obey them because I owe them.

Jesus gave up everything for me. But He’s never once kept score. He’s never used His sacrifice to manipulate me into obeying Him.

These thoughts made me remember a post from my old blog:

“The term ‘Little Man Syndrome’ is used generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives…The conventional wisdom is that Napoleon compensated for his lack of height by seeking power, war and conquest.” (Wikipedia)

I think a lot of the times Christians tread carefully around GOD because we think that He needs us. We’ve somehow come to the conclusion that we have to be careful about offending GOD or somehow hurting His ego. We can’t point out the things about Him that are confusing or illogical because secretly we view those as being (Dare I say it?) handicaps.

Now then, I’m not saying that it’s okay to just go around saying things that one knows are deliberately untrue about GOD or that we ought to treat GOD flippantly. It’s wrong to push GOD’s buttons. And it’s not something I care to do.

However. I am proposing that maybe, just maybe GOD can handle our confusion about Him. In fact, I would go so far as to say that even when we make crazy accusations at Him when we’re upset, He doesn’t get angry. I bet He even kind of understands. He gets that we’re human and that a lot of the time the stuff He does doesn’t really make sense to us. In fact, it’s far less limiting to GOD for us to recognize that GOD can handle our “doctrinally out of line” statements.

GOD isn’t some egomaniac on a power-trip. I think that’s plainly demonstrated by His willingness to let us choose whether or not we want to obey Him, trust Him, or even just plain believe in Him. GOD strongly desires those things from us, but if we don’t give them to Him, He’ll still go on being GOD. He’s not some little man suffering from insecurity who needs followers and countries and kingdoms and power to feel like He really is GOD. He wants and deserves those things. But He does not need them, nor is He defined by them.


9 Responses to “”

  1. SR April 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm #


    Never in my whole life as a mother did I ever feel my “children owed” me anything for raising them. When one decides to become a “parent” expense goes along with that choice. I do not mean to say anything about your parents and truly have not, but that is “absurd!” To me that is grasping at straws to “control.” That is trying to lay a “guilt” trip on you. I urge you as their “daughter” not to fall for that one. My kids do not owe me their life, because I “chose” to have them and “spent” money on them. I cannot even imagine a parent saying such a thing.

    My parents had to help me and my kids at times after I was grown, and never was such a statement made to me. Never was it made due to the fact that they had me. Now they are elderly and us kids help them. That is how it is supposed to be. One day you will help your parents as well. They will not be “young” and “able” all their lives. So consider your “debt” paid, as I promise you in the future it will be.

    Ellie, we are always called to place God first. Sometimes His call on our lives upsets the harmony in our lives. Look at the Prophets in the OT if you do not believe me. Look at Jesus and our Blessed Mother.

    As long as you do what you feel in your heart He is telling you to do, He will take care of the rest. Even to the mistakes we make trying to fulfill His will, God will handle. You love Him and you have proven this over and over. If I was your parents, I would be so thankful I had a child who loves God so much, she is willing to accept so much persecution to do what she has been called to do. Ellie, they can fault you for a lot of things, but me looking in from the outside, that is one fault they cannot hang on you.

    I am proud of you. God is giving to you much wisdom and strength. If you were my mine, I would be proud to call you “daughter.” God Bless, SR

    • elliejaneohara April 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Thank you so much, dear friend. I really appreciate your tactful evaluation of the situation – it’s been really hard for me to admit to myself that my parents are being selfishly manipulative, so I appreciate outside perspectives that make me feel like I’m not a bad daughter. It’s hard because I know that they love me, and that this behavior is stemming for their love for me and their fear for my soul, but I just need them to trust me (and God) and to remember that I’m still their daughter and I’m still a devoted follower of Christ.

  2. SR April 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    You are not a “bad daughter” Ellie for choosing to grow up. That does not make us “bad children.” You know, you are not a “bad daughter” to God either. All you are doing in the case of your parents and God is “growing up” with all of them. Yes, your parents love you Ellie, and “some” of this is stemming from that love, and it seems “some” of it is stemming from a “control issue.” Following our own paths in life does not make us “bad children” as long as what we are doing is not with the intent to hurt anyone. You did not convert to “hurt your parents.” You did it to follow God’s call. That is what you are going to have to keep remembering. Love you and God Bless, SR

  3. Lyn April 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Ellie, that is simply the most desperate grasping for straws I’ve ever heard of, nothing short of a last-ditch effort to control you. I agree with SR, I have four kids, and up until tonight the thought never entered my mind to tally up what I’ve spent on them…I consider it an INVESTMENT into their lives, that has brought many returns to me already that money could never buy.

    Give them time, and maybe give yourself some space…things will level out, and you will be able to have a conversation with them about mercy and grace and unconditional love.

    (((((hugs and prayers))))) for you tonight.

    • elliejaneohara April 9, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Thank you for your wise words, hugs, thoughts, and prayers – they mean so much to me 🙂

  4. pishnguyen April 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I am not sure I can add to what SR and Lyn have already said in such a beautiful and eloquent way.

    But I wanted to let you know: I’m thinking of you. And praying for you and your family.

    • elliejaneohara April 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Thank you so much! Every prayer and thought is a beautiful treasure to me 🙂

  5. JP April 9, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear that your parents are still not relenting. (I’ve been reading your posts as they update, but I’m not so big on commenting. ^_^) I’m sure you don’t want to fight with your parents, but there are many holes in their argument. Money doesn’t equal love and it never will. It’s also their duties as parents to provide for their children–if the money spent was too high, then I’m sure they could have provided with less and you would have still come out okay. As far as the ten commandments, the word is ‘RESPECT’, not ‘obey.’ I’m sure you still respect your parents and their opinions and the fact that they will not convert to Catholicism like you. If your parents are after obedience–that’s what pets are for (but even they have minds of their own).

    • elliejaneohara April 11, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Haha that’s funny! My dog lives at my parents’ house because I can’t have pets in my apartment and he’s one of the most disobedient animals ever!

      As far as how much money they’ve spent on me…I never asked to be sent to expensive elementary, middle, and high schools. I never even asked to be sent to the college I’m at now – my parents said, “We will only pay for quality education.” So I attended the schools they picked out for me. It’s hard for me not to throw that argument at them…

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