This Mother’s Day will be my 25th as an official Mother. It’s kind of hard to believe for me. Being a Mom was something I always wanted to be, but it was also the scariest of propositions for me. From the day I found out I was pregnant with my first to today I’ve always had this awareness of what I lacked for being the Mom I should be. I’m sure if I was able to take a poll of all the moms out there that is what they would tell you too. It kind of comes with the territory. There’s always someone more creative, with a cleaner house, more respectful kids, healthier meals, happier husband, taking all the “me time” they need, and so on- kind of mom. For some reason “comparison” is the favorite game of moms all around. At least it was my game of choice for most of my childrearing years, and on occasion still is…
There’s nothing like having a little life to shape and mold as your primary responsibility, or maybe 2 lives, 3 lives, or in my case 4. Needless to say I’ve spent a lot of time praying and telling God “I have no idea what to do with … (fill in the blank with a name).” In fact, that’s a prayer I still use frequently and three of my four are adults now. I guess that may never stop.
Recently, I’ve been spending time in the book of Philippians in the Bible. The first chapter has a verse that I’ve thought of often in my journey of motherhood. Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It’s a verse that I’ve often heard as an encouragement to an individual. The ol “don’t get discouraged, God isn’t finished with me yet.” kind of verse. But Paul was writing this to a group of friends, brothers/ sisters in Jesus, who he described as having them in his heart (Philippians 1:7) the ones he said he prayed for. Some of the same things I as a mother of grown kids can relate to. My adult children and my teen are in my heart. They have been in my heart since I heard the first heart beat in the ob/gyn office, and I pray for them, on the regular. I know that life, although full of joys and excitement, is very hard. The struggles they had while under my roof may have changed, but I know they are there. I was 20 something once and I struggled too. But I can say as Paul said about his spiritual family in Philippi, about my family, “God began a good work in them and He will finish it.” I’ve told young mothers who’ve worried about how to deal with the various challenges of infancy and toddlerhood, “Remember as much as you love that little angel, God loves them the same and then some.” Same applies at any age. God loves them the same as I do and then some. He doesn’t start a project to abandon it. He simply is not finished yet.
It’s hard to let God have our kids at any age. The reality of this hit me shortly after I brought my firstborn home from the hospital. I was a fear filled mother and SIDS was on the forefront of my mind. I would sit on the edge of my bed with a flashlight watching my son breathe in his bassinet. I remember praying, “God, I can’t stay awake 24/7. Sooner or later I will have to go to bed and trust Him to You for a few hours.” Not really understanding the reality that God not only had him when I slept, He had him when I was awake too. It really wasn’t all on me to keep him alive, but it was on God. Then the same kid turned 16, got a little blueish truck and hopped in it to drive to town. Once again I found myself scared of what could happen to a teenage male driver who believed he was invincible. I spent some time laying face first in my carpet asking God to bring him home safe, realizing it wasn’t about me at all, but totally about God. The for instances in this paragraph could go on and on, especially since I have four kids that I have prayed for, cried over, and felt so helpless at times to help. But thankfully by kid number four It’s getting a little easier to see just how much God has all these things even when I do not. (cheers instead of tears when he drove away newly licensed a few months ago.)
I’ve not reached Jedi master in this whole, faith filled mom who never worries about her kids’ next step and direction thing, but I do intend on holding fast to those words Paul penned so many centuries ago. Even though I am no longer able to call the shots, give the orders, put them in time out, or send them to bed. (Nor would I want to. I’m kind of enjoying the freedom. 🙂 ) I am able to bring them before God on the regular and I must trust that God will “carry on” His good work in them. I had to trust them with God while I slept as they were infants, and I must trust them with God as they take their wings and fly away.