A friend of mine is struggling as one of her adult children is going through something right now that is breaking her heart. We sat over a cup of coffee and talked about life, marriage, children, parents, and God …. yeh, that kind of friend. After we moved to this area, God answered my prayer, and put this kindred spirit into my life. I have only known her for about four years, but it feels like I’ve known her my whole life.
I have four children of my own — all girls, all grown. They are beautiful, strong, and independent women. Each daughter has faced her own challenges; and if I’m honest, some are still trying to figure a few things out. But then, aren’t we all?
Parenting is hard. And whichever stage of parenting you’re in — babies, toddlers, tweens or teens — that stage seems to be the hardest. Because every season is hard and takes it’s toll on us as moms and dads. I always thought when my kids were raised, I could take a deep breath and relax.
No one ever tells you that whether your child is 5 or 35, you hold them in your heart and think about them, their decisions, and their well-being every single day… forever.
No breathing. No relaxing.
I know that is not exactly true, and full-time parenting minors is certainly different than “parenting” adult children. A wise woman once told me, ‘when your children are little, talk to them about God. When your children are adults, talk to God about them’.
Which brings me to my point (finally)… I’ve been reading the book of Philippians recently. There’s a really simple verse in chapter 2 that we often teach our children. It’s a Sunday School favorite for memorization: “Do all things without grumbling and disputing” (Philippians 2:14). As young parents, we arm ourselves and quote that verse as we separate squabbling children. At other times, we make them repeat it as they march off to clean their rooms.
But THAT verse recently jumped off the page at me during a quiet time of reading and reflection. I had actually been having a conversation with God — about my children. I was arguing about a situation in which one of my girls finds herself. What, Lord? Even that? I can’t grumble about that?
And I heard, “No, trust Me” (not audibly, but loud, just the same).
“I do trust You, Lord.”
“Then why do you grumble?”
“Isn’t it my right to grumble when things are not going well for my kids? I want the best for my kids. Can’t I complain when things stink?”
“Do you trust Me?”
And there it is again.
Grumble or trust?
As a parent, the hardest thing for me to do is let go, and let God take care of my kids. I want control. I want to make things right. I want to fix things. I want to grumble. I want to complain. I want…
But it’s not about me.
And I think that is what God is trying to teach me. My kids are His. He is in control. He will make things right. He will fix things.
… in His own time
… and in His own way.
And He will get the glory.
And my children will be stronger and better when God works in their life (not Mom).
Do I trust God with my kids? Yes, yes, I do. So it’s about time I acted like it.
“Thank you, God, for what You are doing in their lives. Thank you for loving them… even MORE than I do. I praise You.”
My job is to pray and praise.
It’s hard to grumble and praise in the same breath.
God’s got this! God’s got them!
Breathe in, breathe out, relax.