I'm not sure any of us know what we're in for when we're holding that warm little bundle in our arms for the first time.
We stare in wonder, smile, and make plans for the future.
As our children grow, we shape and mold them - to our liking - sometimes unwittingly - sometimes with such intensity that the whole plan backfires and the kid goes AWOL.
Do you know what I'm talking about?
Oh, I know we all love our children. Want the best for them.
But sometimes our best isn't their best. Or God's best.
I learned a long time ago that at the end of the day, it isn't about me at all.
Our kids are just on loan to us. Precious gifts that somehow, miraculously, we've been entrusted with. We do our best, screw up a bit, try to fix the blemishes and move on.
Ultimately, the end result, who our children choose to become as adults, is up to them.
God knew that before we did. He knows their hearts. He has a plan for their lives.
And He doesn't need to check in with me for approval.
Does believing that make it any easier though?
No. We're still instructed to be responsible parents, to
'train up a child in the way he should go', and a lot of times this is easier said than done.
My daughter shared something on her blog today, reminding me of a time in her life when she was struggling with a lot of things.
And we as her parents were desperate to make things right.
We wanted her to change. She probably wanted us to change.
Our perfect little family had major issues.
But today, at twenty, my daughter knows who she is, knows where she's going and has hope for the future. It's not all mapped out by any means, and she'll be the first to tell you she's still a work in progress, and so are we, but when I think of where we might have gone instead of where we are, I shudder.
If you don't believe in the power of prayer, please take it from me, it works.
Now here's where I hesitate.
Why did God work things out for us, yet so many others are still struggling? i know people who have children who are so deep into rebellion that it seems impossible that they will ever be delivered. They can see no light at the end of their long, dark tunnel.
I feel guilty if I'm having a bad day or have had an issue with my son or whatever, because it seems trivial compared to what they're dealing with. So we drift, finding it hard to talk about what really matters.
I've been hurt by comments directed at me and my family by people who are hurting and see only what they want to see when they look at us.
Yes, we're blessed. Do I need to apologize for that?
Did it come at a cost? You bet.
Are we still dealing with things we'd rather not be?
So how then do you interact with others who seem to despise you for what you have?
I'm asking because I don't have the answer.