Dropping my daughter off for her second year of college!
Can I just be a broken record again for a minute? This adult child parenting thing is HARD. Can I seriously get an AMEN.
There are facts. And there are beliefs. I happen to believe that what some might not consider to be a fact, a fact. I believe it's true. With me so far?
I don't have any qualms about letting people know I'm a Christian. Even though that term has gotten made such a mess out of, it's just the easiest way to say I believe that Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago and I believe that He is God's son, and the truest example of how we are to live. I also believe it to be true by faith that He saved my soul and I'm going to be with Him in eternity!!! I have made Him "Lord of my life" and I have chosen to live by His design and I long for the heart of God on a continual basis. I guess you could say I live a surrendered life to His will, His ways. I know I have blog readers that don't necessarily believe exactly what I do, or maybe you don't even believe in God, but that's OK, I love all my readers and this is just what I believe to be true!
I remember when I first became, what you would call a "born-again" christian. It's not as scary as it sounds. ALL it is is a verse in John 3, when someone asked Jesus a question about what a christian is and how to live according to that. Jesus tells the man he must be "born-again". Meaning, all of us humans are born out of sperm and egg (science and miracle both), living in our "flesh". Living the only way we know how to. Our "what comes naturally states." But Jesus talks about being born of the "spirit". Meaning, your old way of living and life are to be gone (some refer to this as sinful life), and your new way is with me, and my path; He's essentially saying CHOOSE ME, and walk THIS way. To rid our self from our selfish ways and self-centered lives. To not live for ourselves anymore, but for God and others. Simply put--being born again is life WITH God leading. Living in the spirit, not living my own way. It's like "old self" verses "new self".
I'm honestly just explaining it as basic as possible because I don't want to get into exacts and theology.
Once I fully understood that odd way of wording something, I actually started to really see things differently. My story of how I came to Jesus is long, and today I didn't want to focus on that. What I wanted to share was a little bit about this thing called Motherhood.
I remember reading the New Testament for the first time, and I fell in love for sure! As a writer, I noticed, it's written so beautifully. It fed my soul. It lifted my spirits. I also fell in love with the Poetry books like the Psalms and Proverbs. I mean so beautiful!!! I was encouraged and didn't have any issues overall with all that it had for me and all that was written. But there is a reason for that.
I was broken.
When I came to know Jesus and I started to read the Word, I was trash as far as I was concerned. I had no self-worth and thought I was a nobody. I had come from so much physical, emotional and mental pain that it was hard to get through the days. And that lasted for many a years, boy did it ever.
My daughter is starting her second year of college today! And this summer proved to be a bit confusing for me. She's making some decisions that not only do I disagree with, but that hurt me and rock me to my core.(I will add that it's really special that we have an open relationship and honesty. I appreciate that more than I can express, because I know a lot of kids that are dishonest with their parents at this age because they are fearful of what their parents will think and DO).
It's especially difficult because I raised her differently than some of the choices she's making. That's a tough one folks. Really tough. I can actually say today--which I NEVER thought I would---understand why my parents were sad and disappointed when I told them I was pregnant at such a young age. I have to this day always felt protective and defensive about that. But now as a Mother with a child the same age I was when it happened, it sure changes one's perspective. It's because we have this idea or image of what we want for our children! And we know the best decisions for them-especially while they are still in college, so it's hard when that doesn't happen. It's hard when they don't choose YOUR way or GOD'S way. It can really tear you up inside.
A lot of the way I choose to deal with it is through prayer and worship music. When I was listening over the weekend, one of the songs was said, "You took my shame, and paid it all upon a Cross"...something to that nature. My daughter grew up singing these songs. Do you think these words meant more than just a mere fact to her? Don't you think she was just going through the motions and doing what she was brought up in? It wasn't hers. She may have believed that that was factually TRUE, but to her personally, what did it mean? Aside from thankfulness, probably nothing. I'm not being harsh, just honest.
I felt God speak to me and tell me as I was singing the song: "How do you expect these songs to mean ANYthing to her if she doesn't HAVE or experience sin and shame???"
So true. But not easy to hear about your child.
I have to remember that these worship songs and the bible--when I encountered them, they had a different meaning to me because of ALL I had come from and experienced. I was hungry. I was starving actually. I had been used, abused and spat at. I had experiences that led me to the Cross in a completely devastated state. She hasn't. Do I want her to? No. Will her experiences be like mine? Probably not, they haven't been so far. Will she have her own glory story? Yes. Will she experience brokenness? Yes. Will she discover the things of God on her own in the right time? I believe yes. But it has to be HERS, not MINE. Not particularly fun friends. It's a tough blow. Something I never even thought of or realized as a parent. But I hear so many stories of how kids need to find their own way. So I guess it's true and inevitable, and I shouldn't want it any other way because then it's authentic. It's real. It's raw.
If you are in a similar situation, I encourage you to try to see whatever it is through a new lens! Gain new perspective and pray your face off!
It's no easy thing to think of our kids broken and in need of God, but they are no different than us, and I am in constant need.