Thursday, June 23, 2011

Children, Crisis & Courage

Matt, Zach, Amy, David

Did anyone think when their kids were grown, left home and got married that their parenting job was over?  Tap..tap...tap!  Hello?  Anyone out there?  Well, for some strange reason, I did.  I think maybe it was because my parents made it look so easy.  When we married, that was it.  No more parental help--no advice, no money, but also no interference.  So I thought that when your kids flew the coop, that was it!

Well, I've learned differently.  We don't still actually parent...as in train or discipline...but our job is never done as far as loving, helping, and being concerned for the things which concern our children.  We hurt when they hurt.  We suffer when we see them struggle.  We hope with everything within our being that they get it right--by learning and growing through those hard and difficult circumstances.  We sit on our hands to keep from interfering or saying something that might send them in the wrong direction.  And we wish with all of our being that we could just jump in there and save them.  But we also know that would stunt the growth God is bringing into their lives.  What a hard thing it is to parent adult children.

Matt & Lisa and girls

Recently, all four of my adult children and their spouses have walked through difficult circumstances.  It's so hard to see your children suffer.  And if you didn't have the broader perspective that God, age, and your own set of difficult circumstances have brought into your life, you might despair...or get gray hair at the very least.  (Thank God for Revlon #31!)  But God told me when my firstborn left home and I was wondering if I'd taught him everything, "Becky, when did you really start growing spiritually?"  I replied, "34."  And I've held His wise words close to my heart ever since, "Then trust Me.  Your job of parenting is over and Mine is beginning.  I love them more than you do and I intend to teach them from here."  And He has.

Jay & Amy and kids

It's so amazing when you see your kids "get it!"  It's been a joy to watch each of them grow--from things I had no part in.  Years ago, the Burlesons had the Dietz Brothers come sing at their board meeting.  Their son, Wade, was speaking at it also.  Even back then, he was a powerful speaker.  I looked at Mary and asked her, "Are you just so proud?"  I've never forgotten her response, "You know, Becky, I look at him and I'm amazed.  I had no part in this.  This is all God's doing."  I understand that perfectly now.  I see my adult children making wise decisions in areas I struggled in for years.  I see them bravely going places I've never gone.  I see them admitting mistakes that I tried to keep covered.  I see their hearts after God and it brings tears to my eyes.  I see them moving forward when I wanted to retreat.  God is a good parent.

David & Lindsey

I remember my sister-in-law, Janis, sharing what God had shown her through this verse years ago:  "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth."  (Psalm 127:4)  She said this, "When you shoot those arrows, they'll go further than you do."  So true. 

I couldn't be prouder of all four of my kids.  First of all, they all four married well!!  I couldn't have chosen better for them if I'd been given the opportunity.  And when I talk about my kids, those four are included.  I had no part in their upbringing...and still don't.  But they are amazing and bring rich flavor to our expanded family...some flavors I'd never experienced until they came.  It's broadened us as a family.  It's made us better.  I applaud their parents...and God!

Zach & Shanna

Yes, it's hard watching your adult children struggle.  But the reward is seeing them mature, grow and overcome.  I'm so glad God gave me a front row seat to watch.  I'm so proud of who my kids are becoming and the odds they've fought to overcome.  As Clarence would say, "Among women, I am blessed!"  Well...he says, "men," but you get the gist...

3 comments:

Lindsey said...

Thank you for loving me like your own daughter. I couldn't have chosen better in-laws, even if given the opportunity. I love you.

Elizabeth said...

This made me cry Becky because I am learning this myself. It's tough letting Go and letting God especially as your children become adults. So difficult and one that keeps you on your knees!

amy wright said...

:) We have good parents.