“May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.” Psalm 25:21 (NIV).
There are no two ways around it. If your desire as a parent is to raise children who can function independently as adults, there will be tough choices you need to make along the way. I’m a nurturer by nature and therefore, sometimes, those difficult choices are downright excruciating. Even though I know in my head I’m making the right choice by expecting my children to follow through with the choice they chose, it can be torture. Our household experienced one such incident not too long ago.
One of our children was in the process of growing independence. I was asked for a certain privilege. Knowing the impulsiveness of the age group, I gave three days for said child to solidify the request, making sure said child truly wanted to do what was being requested, outlining clearly what I was willing and not willing to do once the decision was made. After three days of not wavering, I went ahead and took care of the details, reminding said child once the plans were in place, there was no going back. The terms were agreed upon.
Twenty-four hours later said child wanted a “do over.” Fears started setting in and regret soon followed. This is when parenting got tough. Knowing my child was experiencing natural feelings and this was just a normal growing pain, I sat said child down and held firm. Follow through needed to occur. It was a tough period of time as there was much pleading, and I was even offered different scenarios of how I could fix the problem by said child. I stayed firm and while repeatedly assured said child this wouldn’t last forever, stated what was started needed to be finished. In the end, our child was glad I didn’t allow the habit of quitting. Perseverance was learned and said child realized a strength that was inside all along. I hope all my children learned we are parents who, while firm in requiring follow through, love them fiercely and stand by to support them while they continue to grow.
Isn’t that the way it is with God? He is all knowing, all-powerful, and loves with a love we can’t comprehend, amazingly more than we’ll ever love our own children. He knows some things are truly for our benefit and will help us grow and mature, becoming more and more who He wants us to be, but may hurt during the process. It’s during those times, when we stay close to Him, He wraps us in his strong arms and reassures us we aren’t alone. He’s right here with us as we take the necessary steps to become the person God wants us to be.
Whatever choices you are facing in life, sometimes downright scary ones, I encourage you to go and talk to your Heavenly Father about them. After asking for His will, then take the necessary steps, courageously, knowing God is right there with you, guiding, loving, protecting, and yes, at times, allowing you to experience less-than-pleasant circumstances because in the end, the final results may yield something much better.
I know it gets scary at times to venture into unknown territory. If we as parents are willing to stand alongside our kids, cheering them on, offering advice and a hug now and then, how much more is God willing to do that for us? I think when it’s all over, you will be glad you did!
Copyright: 2013 Cheri Swalwell