Knots in my stomach. Constant urge to step in. Trouble focusing. All of these things paired with nights of waking up every hour just to roll over are symptoms of watching my children struggle.
As young teens navigating their social lives and body changes, it was inevitable that my children would experience friendship issues. Finding your place, your people and your projects are all part of growing up. There were nights that teens gathered here and swam and giggled for hours without a care in the world. There were also nights that one of my kids would lie in bed wondering why they weren’t invited to the party.
This mama wanted to step in and make suggestion after suggestion on what my kid could do to either pass the time or find a new friend. And sometimes, I did just that. But, as they got older and I got a little wiser, I realized there would be times when they would need to figure things out on their own.
But boy, when my babies (they’ll always be my babies) were hurting, I can remember giving my husband an earful about the problem and what I wanted to do to fix it and how I was demonstrating self-control by staying put in my easy chair. All while I poured out my heart, I took note that he would listen intently, and then go right back to watching his ball game. The nerve!
Seems he was on to something and I needed to get on board.
David tells us in Psalm 34 that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Over time, I began to imagine my child needing consoling and the Lord using that opportunity to draw close. To sweep in and comfort in ways that maybe I couldn’t. If I inserted myself every time I felt the need, was I interrupting the work of the Lord? Could I be in the way of growth and maturation that can only be accomplished in the deep places of my child’s heart, even if I had to listen to their sobs waft down the stairs?
When we trust the Lord and take him at his word, he’s close to our children when they’re upset. When they’re trying to find their way. When they are hurting. And if we trust the Lord and take him at his word, he will hold them close all the way from the twin beds in their childhood home, to their college dorms, barracks, apartments and starter homes built for a family of 4.
If we’ve learned anything over the last year and a half, it’s that there is no guarantee of life. What if we began equipping our children from a young age, how to lean on their faith while in the safety and security of our homes, so that when they fly the nest, they understand what’s available to them when they’re on their own, if they choose.
If they choose…
That takes me right back to the stomach aches and sleepless nights.
Our grown children will make their own choices about their faith. Personally, I don’t like it. But, it’s necessary. A young adult needs to understand what they believe and why they believe it, it’s just hard to watch as your baby navigates it all, because what if…
It’s down to trust for us moms. Trust in the Lord when the children are small and trust in the Lord when the children are big enough to pick you up and swing you around. Trust that your prayers are going right to God’s ears and that he loves them more than we ever could. Trust that when we do our best, he fills in the gaps and takes our efforts further than we could ever imagine. Trust that Christ’s timeline is not ours…there’s purpose in it all…and in the end, it will all be good.
Hang tight to your faith, and your urge to fix it all. Hang tight to another mama who is going through the same thing. Hang tight to Jesus as you loosen your grip on your children. Hang tight to God’s word as you lay your family at his feet. Hang tight to your thoughts as they try to lead you into worry and anxiousness.
And while you hang tight, take a deep breath and relax.
Hang tight mamas.