If you have kids, you know that there is always some sort of drama around the corner. When you have four, the drama just takes turns. Recently, it’s been with our “easy” child. The one who longs to please, but has been living on the edge in many areas of their life. In a recent conversation, here is how that played out:
“I know you’re disappointed in how I turned out.”
Oh that cuts to the quick of a mom’s heart.
One of my kids actually said those very words to me. Oh the pain to realize that one of my kids, my precious baby, knows this isn’t what I expected.
This child of mine is making choices I don’t love. But there is no way I could love the child anymore than I do.
All of our kids are smart, bright, funny, and questioning. They have grown up with parents who love them, but have not always loved perfectly. They grew up with parents who were broken, and some of that brokenness passed down to them.
When my precious baby said that to me, I had to think for a moment. Did I love where they were at in their life? Did I love the choices they were making? Did I approve of the steps they were making? No. Not so much.But that wasn’t the most important thing I needed to say.
What I did say, (after saying a silent prayer,) was this: “No, I don’t love some of your decisions, but I love you. And I know that you have not “turned out” you are “turning out”. God is far from done with you. You are smart, and funny and amazing, but you are far, far from “done”.”
I have to keep remembering: I’m in the middle of the story.
My favorite author has this to say about where we are with him: “God always meets us where we are and slowly moves us along into deeper things.” – Richard Foster.
As a mom. As a wife. As a woman. I’m in the middle of the story, and so are my kids. So is my husband. When we love God, when we are in fellowship with Him, we need to remember: This is just the middle.
At church, we have been studying 1 John. What a weird and complicated book. It’s a hard book, because while it is so full of life, it is so full of challenges. Here is one of the life-giving parts that I desperately needed to be reminded of:
1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.
We are still living in a fallen world, and thing don’t go according to plan. We blow it, our kids blow it. But this is not the end. We can pray that Christ would become real to our kids – and to ourselves. While we wait on God, we get to call ourselves his children. We don’t have to be perfect, our kids don’t have to be perfect, God still is with us – because he meets us where we’re at and moves us closer to him.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.