It is impossible to measure the love a mother has for her children. You always picture them as the little girl or little boy who would insist upon holding your hand when you walked them into school or who would snuggle up beside you while you read a book to them.
I think that is why the transition into the teenage years is so difficult for mothers. It is that moment in our children’s lives that we realize we have to start letting go and allow them to make their own mistakes. Even the ones that we see coming! It is an arduous battle against our maternal instincts that we mothers fight every day.
I am in the midst of that struggle now as I write this post. While my husband and I quickly approach the proverbial empty nest, it feels as if time is ticking away at warp speed. I often find myself going through a virtual checklist in my mind of all the life lessons I believe my kids need to be taught before they venture out into the real world. Of course, panic ensues when I realize that one of our children has made a choice that contradicts something on my “life lessons I need to teach my kids list” so I frantically go back over it to see if I missed something.
Much to my dismay, I often discover that I did not forget, rather, my child chose to ignore it. Ugh, that hurts a mother’s heart and delivers a dose of anxiety that never seems to go away.
So how do I manage through this season without crumbling? I am ashamed to admit that sometimes when I am in the painful throws of dealing with difficult situations I can get caught up in my emotions and unconsciously turn away from God. I should know better but, unfortunately, it happens.
Thankfully, I manage to come to my senses and lean into God for guidance. That’s when I reach for my bible and begin a conversation with Him. The words on the pages start to come alive and suddenly my pangs of anxiety start to subside as I find comfort in His counsel.
During my latest parental challenge I found that the following scripture verses gave me a renewed sense of hope and peace:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life through the unimaginable sacrifice of your son, Jesus Christ.
As I continue to scour the pages of scripture, He assures me with the following words…
“ Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for providing us with your living word to guide us as parents. We are grateful for the comfort of this verse that reassures us that the biblical foundation we have built within our children will remain in their hearts for a lifetime.
And finally, He provides me with the reassurance that His gift of grace is always available no matter how far we or our children may stray.
Luke 15:32 Parable of the Prodigal Son
“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Prayer: Thank you God for your unending, undeserved grace filled love for us.
It is in those conversations with God that I rediscover how He understands the love we have for our children because that is how he loves us. And even though I find as I navigate through my own personal journey as a parent, that overcoming anxiety and fear is never an easy task for me. However, when I turn to God’s word I find hope and strength that I would not have without Him.
Maybe you have suffered the unbearable loss of a child, endured the heart wrenching struggle with infertility or have to manage the day to day demands of parenting as a single mother. Perhaps, you have waged war on a drug addiction that has taken hold of your teenage daughter or nursed your severely injured son back to health after a major car accident. You are the women who are the true heroines of faith, dignity and strength. I am in awe of how you forge on through life even though it would seem easier to just give up.
As I sit here at my computer, I dig deep in an effort to find the right words to say to those of you who are fighting some of life’s most painful battles but only manage to quietly whisper the following words:
“We are all in this together sweet sisters and my heart aches for each and every one of you” then I breath in the soothing mist of the Holy Spirit as I pray for God’s peace over each of you…Amen.