Friday, November 27, 2015

The Bumpy, Unsure Road of Parenting


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NIV

I was reading an old post, to remind myself what my thoughts were on parenting, to “gird my loins” (because, hey who doesn’t need a good loin girding) and gather my strength. You know, when we are in the middle of it, sometimes we forget, or loose sight of the “big parenting picture”.

So I thought if you happen to be finding yourself in need of a reminder, you might like to read this too.

Parenting is hard.

These people, big and small, that God has entrusted to grow, care for, and guide. The people we love more than words can adequately express.

Our children.

I sit here with a heart that hurts, it hurts for my children, for the things that I can not fix and the things that I should not fix. Fixing things is, as Moms and Dads, part of our job description. From broken toys and scraped knees, to hurt feeling and broken hearts.

We are there to mend and soothe.

I read a great post the other day about Why Parenting is the Hardest Job I’ve Ever Had By Rache Brady-Dorfman. The post was about parenting through the tough times even when it breaks your heart a little. I commented on that post because I so related to the moves that this family had been though, very similar to our moves. As I commented, I felt pretty good about how we had pushed through and persevered through the transitions. How we had guided our children, making sure they were confident and cared for through the difficult times.

To quote myself, part of my comment said these words... "I always think of them as so resilient, and they are, but we too have experienced the nerves and anxiety. You feel like you put them through so much…yet you know you have to push them through just a little bit more." I was feeling pretty good, with a hint of "hey we got this all figured out" and that #doingitright thing. I was smugly confident in our parenting, in my parenting.

I suppose I should not have been so naïve.

I had no idea what was waiting around the corner. The reality is, none of us do. That's the way it is with life, with parenting. There is inevitably something that is just out of our of sight, seen by God, but not yet visible to us. This is where our Faith comes into play. You know, that thing we hold on to, when all of a sudden we find ourselves feeling like the rug has been pulled out from under us and our world is falling a part.

When I realized that we were about to turn onto a very bumpy road, my first thought was..."you have got to be kidding me?". I am not going to lie. I feel like my children, who have been through a lot these last few years, are entitled to a little smooth sailing, some time of things going their way, a little bit of getting what they want. I was "Why, why, whying it?"

Then of course being the top notch mother that I am...I quickly shifted to how can I fix it. It's what we do, remember? I know I am not alone in this. Our willingness and need to step in and fix our children's heartaches, disappointments, and defeats are plastered far and wide on social media for all to see. We brag about our abilities to correct injustices, we post vaguely threatening statements about those who wronged our children, and sometimes we boldly call them out by name. I would like to say you get no judgment from me but the truth is...I judge. The other truth is...I am just as guilty of stepping in, over stepping, over parenting, hovering, and fixing. I just don't always shout it from the proverbial social media roof tops.

So, after much discussion, a sleepless night, and some praying, I remembered.

I remembered my comment to a post, a comment where I said..."yet you know you have to push them through just a little bit more".

Words I needed before I knew I would need them.

This is where God is a step ahead, where he sees what is around the corner long before we turn it. Then I remembered a verse..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 NIV

So I look at this bumpy road, unsure of where it will lead. I take a deep breath, and remind my child that our strength, our purpose, our comfort comes from a sovereign God. He is a step ahead, a step behind, and He is walking every step by our side.

I fight the urge to fix things, I gather my strength and push them through another challenge, another heartache and I take comfort in knowing that they are loved by a God who cares about the smallest of details...

even the ones we don't always understand.

and I pray...

Dear Heavenly Father, "I believe, help my unbelief". help us to remember that you created these gifts that are our children and that you are with them wherever they go, and may they go and shine Your light.

~Beth Clay

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