Monday, February 08, 2010

When Things Look Perfect

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.


love.everyday said...

You are such an incredible writer. I can't wait for the day when I can hold a hard-copy of your work in my hand.
I'm glad my blog inspired you, but in reality YOU are the one that inspires me.
You are such a strong woman in Christ, who I greatly admire.
I love you so much momma.

Jody Hedlund said...

It's so easy for us to be judgemental of others. . .until we start going through the same issues ourselves. I know I've been guilty. But that guilt has helped to soften my judgemental attitude, and birthed new compassion.

Katie Ganshert said...

That line...about them just being on loan, made me get all teary and then I went and hugged my son. How true is that. They are just on loan, from an amazing God who's entrusted us with their temporary care. Wow, your blog was one big epiphany today.

Sorry I can't answers your question. I really have no idea. but I do know that we are to rejoice in God's blessings, not feel ashamed about them. So shout your praises from the rooftops, girl, and use your difficult times/memories to stoke your compassion.

Bonnie Heather said...

Hi Catherine, I'm blessed too. I'm getting up to the almost old stage in my life and the closer I get the more blessed I feel. I think it's just a gift from God.
I've been through years of physical and emotional abuse and even now I have a son who has been diagnosed as a phychopath and wants to kill me. But I wake up every morning and smile because I have so many blessings and I know I'm loved by God and the wonderful husband He's given me.
I pity those who have bitterness and envy as part of their every day... I pray for them and avoid those who plan to hurt me.