So this morning I had a little lightbulb moment. I think it was as I was congratulating myself on doing a great parenting job (haha) as Phoebe seems to be settling well into secondary school. Credit to ME!!
If she was unhappy I would be beating myself up for somehow failing her. She’s happy and content so somehow that’s down to me making the “right” choices for her. Even though I don’t actually step through the school doors. I’m not even the one walking her to the bus!
And then off went the tiniest little ping of a lightbulb switching on in my head
I think I’ve been pretty clear in how I have struggled with the changes to our family as our eldest has gone from primary to secondary school. The pain of letting her go out a big further into the world and away from us. These past couple of weeks have felt a bit like being in a storm. (and I get seasick). This morning God gently pointed out that during this storm I had put down my compass and tried to take hold of the navigation map for the lives of me and my family.
Only problem is, I don’t know how to read the map!! (Spoiler alert…I’m not meant to!)
I could suddenly see that I had desperately been trying to keep control, so much so that my knuckles were turning white and I was making myself feel ill.
If the kids are happy in school, if Phoebe loves secondary school and never has a bad day, if they never get told off or have someone be mean or spiteful to them, if they never feel pain or rejection or their hearts hurting through humiliation then I will be ok, because I have protected them and kept them safe from a cruel world. I will have fulfilled my roll as the perfect parent.
But how wrong is this?!
If I have not given each of my children the foundations they need to go out bravely into this world, with their identities firmly rooted, knowing that difficult times will most likely come their way then when the storm comes they will be blown off course. If they do not know and rely on their true north compass then they will believe they are going in the right direction only to find out there been slowly going off course for a long time without even realising it. And you can go a long way off course before you notice the mistake!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I wasn’t doing this, I wasn’t trusting God and I wasn’t submitting. I was fighting for control, thinking I knew best and believing I could navigate an easier smoother path. Trusting myself rather than God, relying on myself rather than God, leaning on my own understanding and not Gods. But as I was reminded by Jennifer Dukes Lee, the goal is obedience not wisdom! And it’s a daily choice.
The path isn’t always going to be bump free is it. And it’s my job as a parent to give my children the tools to call on when the weather gets a bit stormy. Because I won’t, I CAN’T always be there. I will fail them, make the wrong choices and let them down – I am a human, but God is God and he is with them all the time.
I can trust in the truth that God loves my children more than I ever could. And when the hard times come I can deeply know that they have a God who is always with them, always for them and who can bring good from any situation.
Gods got this!