Then the little darlings approach and surpass the teen years and start venturing forth into travel to far-off places and social experiences that curl my hair and, as their world expands they meet people I don't know, and as they experience loses and challenges...Yikes! My head knows these are essential to their personal growth and future safety, and an indication that they are healthy growing teens and young adults and now even less young adults. But this is just so hard.
I grew up in a family that held on tight and was proud in their belief that somehow their holding made us safer. I believe it made THEM feel we were safer; but sometimes I know we were so busy trying to get a little space to grow that getting space used energy that might have been better spent in watching for the dangers around us.
So I am trying very hard to be more cheerleader with open arms, and less harbinger of doom with wringing of hands. I am also more careful about the lessons I teach in the way I live. I can hardly expect someone to believe me when I say "God has got this" if I then exhaust myself with trying to "keep them safe" from my narrow vantage point and with my limited understanding of what safe looks like in the larger sense.
So my perspective has changed from crushing my loved ones to my chest with determined plans coursing through my head. Now I work harder instead to choose to thank God that God has indeed got all the "this" moments of challenge and even danger and even wounds.
- If my child travels or works where there is danger, I will choose to remember that those are the places where good people doing good work are often most urgently needed.
- If my grandchild talks of an area of study or mission trip that seems risky to me, I will let God handle the planning on that.
- If my spouse or adult child needs to make a job change that leaves me feeling anxious, I will let God handle that too.
- When people I love are going through tough times, I will give my own anxiety to God and be more fellow traveler and less advance recon commander and self-appointed project manager.
And I will hold my beloved ones gently, tenderly, trusting to their own ability and in God's perfect ability and willingness to handle all this without my supervision.
....at least most days.
Matthew 5:4 (MSG) “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”