Hold on to your mustard seed
We’re in a new phase of parenting in our house. I hear so many different renditions of what it’s like to raise teens that I’
m not sure if it’s heaven or hell. On one hand, this kid can help me cook supper, take the trash out and watch movies that don’t involve talking animals. On the other hand, he sometimes does the opposite of what I think he should do, lives inside his own head 85% of the time and has no idea what’s going on around him.
Some days I think we’re making progress toward independence and others I fear he’ll end up living under a bridge because he doesn’t realize what it takes to live somewhere else.
Dear me, I love this kid. I entertain daydreams of what he’ll become as an adult. He’s loyal and caring and smart. He seeing solutions to problems I never imagined. He’ll make some woman a very faithful, loving husband, and he can do anything he decides he wants to do.
But then there are days. You know those days when you wonder what kind of creature this is in your house. You look for the birthmark on the underside of his arm just to make sure it’s really your child standing there.
I’ve been listening to a fantastic podcast, Don’t Mom Alone, and I love what she says: we are not powerful enough to undo God’s plan for our kids’ lives. (I’m sure a paraphrased it, FYI.)
Whew! What a relief! Some days I get so caught up in what I think my kids should be doing in a certain phase. I wonder if one bad grade will set them on a spiral toward ultimate failure that leaves them living in my basement for the rest of their adult life. Will allowing them to quit a sport drive them off the path God has for them? Will not feeding them enough vegetables doom them to a life of chronic illness?
When those thoughts bombard me it’s so easy to jump on the helicopter parent ride and hover over them shouting “Finish that project! Run faster! Eat every bite of those Brussel sprouts!”. I end those days exhausted from trying to set my world right by keeping them on track for success. Success in what I do not know.
As exhaustion roars in my ears, God whispers, “Do you think I am too weak to handle this and yet you are strong enough to fix it? What if it doesn’t need fixing?”
I love a neatly paved road with stripes down the middle and a destination clearly in sight. This pitted gravel road lined by trees may be the most joyful ride of my life but it also makes me a little motion sick.
And so I have to trust Him. My God who used the anger of a fourteen-year-old girl to develop a love of writing and set her on a beautiful path, that’s still not clear but joyous. My God who used painful financial situations to draw a young couple together and teach them lifelong habits. My God who turned a serious illness and semester out of school into months of relationship building with my future husband. My God who has been faithful all of my life. I have to believe He won’t stop now.
I wonder if His patience with me doesn’t wane just a bit when I stomp my foot and say, “I don’t see how You’re going to use this!”
He whispers yet again, “Oh ye of little faith.”
So here I am, in my prayer closet, clutching my tiny mustard seed of faith in my sweaty palms praying He meant it when He said that’s all we needed.