Parenting, Loneliness and Letting God Lead
As I pray my way through it, I’m realizing more each day … more each year … about parenting and my role as a mother. It’s all a bit different than I originally thought it would be. I guess, of course it’s different. Of course it is. It gets easier and harder as the years go by. No longer is every waking hour consumed with meeting their every basic need. I miss those years and those babies. I do. But, there is a freedom here too. There is a lot of sweet here. A lot of wonderful. I enjoy this stage, even while mourning the last.
Now, their problems are evolving and their pain is real. Mommy can’t fix it all with a kiss and a band-aid, no matter how much she wants to.
I’ve shed more tears this year – after dropping them off at school – than in all the other years combined. They exit the car and wave their sweet goodbyes and I watch them go. My eyes fill. I pull away with tear-blurred vision and drive home with a heavy heart. My child’s loneliness is palpable. I absorb it as my own. I carry it with me through the day. It is still somewhat new and we are navigating these fresh waters with trepidation and a hopeful weariness.
I have a great urge to crawl inside of him and erase all the dark, the bad, the hard. I want the fact that I’m willing to take it – to take this new anxiety that he carries – and wear it as my own to be enough. To mean that he doesn’t have to. I want to march in front of him and demand friends and a kinder teacher. I want to demand mercy and grace. I want to stomp my foot at it and make it all go away.
But, I guess it doesn’t work like that, does it?
Turns out, our children – our sweet, beautiful, wonderful, breathtaking babies – their lives are meant for living. They are meant to live their very own lives. They are the only ones who can. And, their feelings. Those are meant for feeling. Their experiences, for experiencing.
I wish for my babies to be kind and wise, strong and brave, loving and smart, funny and patient, joyful and empathetic. How does one become this kind of a person? A person full of the sweet fruits of the spirit. Yeah. So. Turns out, the very way a person builds character is by experiencing their very own, one-and-only life. They have to experience the things – all the things. On their own. The good, the bad, the hard, the beautiful, the hurtful.
The Lord loves us and teaches us. He molds us and refines us. How? Often through trials. Through our very own hard times.
So, I have to step back. Breathe. Rethink it. Trust.
Who am I to step in front of the Lord? Doesn’t HE love them even more than I? HE alone is omnipresent. He created them, formed them and has been with them since before I was chosen as their mother. He breathed life into them. He sees them, in their past, their present and in their future. All of this I know. I know this to be true. I know that, while I love them fiercely and completely, I cannot see their whole lives all at once. I do not know the Lord’s plan for them. But, I know he has one. “Plans for good …” Might He, the one who created and loves my boy, be walking him through something hard right now for a reason? For good even? For His own glory? Maybe there are bigger trials ahead? Probably. Maybe the lessons he’s learning now will leave him prepared for something in the future. Maybe it’ll give him the needed insight and wisdom to help others one day. Maybe he’ll know the feeling of overcoming. Maybe he’ll be able to relish in joy. To feel gratitude. To love deeper.
And, maybe my role isn’t always to protect. Maybe, sometimes, I’m just supposed to walk alongside my children. Be here. Be there. Be present. And, maybe it means that I won’t always be able to walk alongside them. Sometimes I’ll have to drop their hand, let them walk through their fire alone, never stop praying and simply wait with open arms for them on the other side.