Little children live their life out-loud in our presence every day. We observe their habits, train their minds and shape their hearts. We do our best to not miss a beat in their wondering, living and breathing lives – to capture all things new. The pieces of their little beings come together in fragments, pieces and in the image of Christ.
And we pray. Pray for wisdom, that we will not miss the important, and for all of the mistakes and growing we do with them, that they will ”turn out alright.”
When the age of quiet introspect and independent thinking arrives, we tend to voice our concern in words like, “disrespect, rebellion, and concern.” Where have our little ones gone? What do we do with this child searching for more answers, watching us and forming their own life habits. Did we prepare them well enough?
And the image of God that was given to them at birth, and the image we mold into their precious and innocent years, binds together, and leaves a young adult. Will our time, love and investment bear fruit with the Word of God that we tied about their necks? Will they make the right decisions now? We cannot walk with them every place their feet will go. Our mother’s hearts begin to feel the break. A slow and needed break.
But, it can be ever so scary.
The Sabbath morning breaks the new season in with the first frost that fills your lungs with fresh new perspective. Early morning risers break the household silence. Slowly moving on the day of rest, the Bibles placed by the door, and the shoes lined up in two steady rows for ease and good time. 20 shoes all together. Time to leave on a peaceful morning, brings us to realize there is one missing. In bed. Not forgotten. Just …still…there. Not the first time. Conflict.
A few nights earlier, a date night for the busy parents. All things ready for bed, and our path to the door finds a story and surprises from one of the children that brings grief, discouragement and fear to this mama. Standing on the porch, with a cream cardigan wrapped around my shoulders, I find myself in a state that I only ever remember during thick, dark paths of grief. I feel the arms wrap me from the front, hold me, but I cannot move my feet. My mind and my eyes are traveling swiftly into the past, remembering. I am rehashing their salvation, their fruit, their love for the Lord, what we have taught all of our children, and all of the things that we have been working to teach the heart.
I turn my numb gaze to my husbands eyes. So many unspoken words. Are we afraid? Will we let the world sweep the attention of this child into the wind? What more can we do?
This is what I saw that night.
God with His arms completely outstretched towards my child. I was on one side, my child on the other and Christ in the middle.
And when it seems that nothing is working – my efforts, rules, changes, suggestions or words of truth. The change has to come from the heart. I was able to watch and guard this so much more carefully while my nest of children were in my care all day long.
Raising a child beyond adolescence can take the life right out of us if we focus on all that we have tried and what might not be working.
Pray over your children. Be diligent in your follow through and show them Christ’s love. For your spirit may feel weak, but He is surely so strong!
And this picture is still a story in the writing. But, since the crisp fall Sabbath morning, where our entire family waited, observing a tired, grumpy and not too happy adult child make their way to church with us, and this mama’s heart prayed every mile of that road – God was working. Even when I couldn’t.
Weeks later, I am encompassed about with the embrace of am almost grown child with a changed heart. A spirit of meekness and love, speaking words into my ears as they hold me tight. ” I love you mom. So much.”
Behold, the love of God is not lost on a soul that surrendered to Him. The training, teaching and all things we deem important while raising our little one’s was the foundation. But, now there are more important things to focus on while raising the child that out grows our comfortable nest.
We are broken down into a million pieces to trust, surrender and not doubt the path we chose and let God continue the work.
God is standing in the gaps… I am willing to trust that His plan is perfect.
How are your growing children moving into adolescent years and adulthood?