Made For This

Earlier this week I dropped my two oldest off at sleep-away school (that sounds so much nicer than “boarding school”, doesn’t it?). While they couldn’t contain their excitement over moving into their dorm rooms, meeting old and new friends, learning new things and living on a beautiful campus, I couldn’t contain my dislike for the whole business. The night before they left I said, “You guys aren’t supposed to be so happy about this. Can’t you at least pretend you want to live the rest of your lives right here, next to me?”

Of course I was kidding. Knowing they want to go makes it so much easier. Not to mention the entire point of raising children is to teach them to be independent. To prepare them for the moment they venture out into the big world and take responsibility for themselves (gasp!).

The problem is, I know how much can go wrong out there. I know all the bad things that can happen. And what I don’t know, I lie awake at night and imagine. You don’t want to know what scary thoughts go on in my Mom Brain when I get like that. (Unless you’re a mom, too. In that case, I don’t have to tell you.) If only life could be lived in bubble wrap. Or better yet, an impenetrable panic room with everything we could ever need or want.

But it can’t. We weren’t created for that kind of existence. We were created to be independent people. One of the main questions that arises regarding Christianity is about this very thing. Why did God create Adam and Eve in the first place if He knew they were going to fall into sin and ruin His perfect world? One answer to that question is that He created them to make their own choices and decisions. He didn’t want a couple of robots who only loved and obeyed because that’s what they were programmed to do.

Honestly, I’ve never really liked that answer. But after this past week, I see it in a different light. I want Luke and Kate to enjoy being home, and to love time with family. But I also want them to feel so of their own free will. I don’t want them to do those things just because that’s what I want.

Could it be that God feels the same about His children? That He wants us to love Him because of the amazing and wonderful things He has done for us and continues ย to do? I need a few moments to let this sink in… of all the ways God could have created me, this is what He chose. Not to make me a prepackaged, cookie cutter person, but to make me independent and to give me freedom to make my own choices.

No, I don’t completely get it. As the LORD Himself tells me, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) But I do know this: The kindย of love I want to give, and the kind I want to receive, is the kind I was made to have. It’s the kind that freely overflows from a truly thankful, ย joyous, and willing heart.
freely give

 

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9 thoughts on “Made For This

  1. You always touch me, Deb.

    From the moment our kids are born, our job is to teach them how to live without us. It’s a fearsome and beautiful task, especially since, as you say, our kids are independent and will make their own choices, oftentimes choices we would not make ourselves. Now that my three are grown (32, 27 and 20) I can say that they know themselves well, and that the choices they make—even the ones I don’t agree with—are the right choices for them, even with all the mistakes and oopsies thrown in. It sure is tough to keep my mouth shut sometimes, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yep, this parenting stuff isn’t easy! I think the hardest part is letting them make mistakes. It’s a great way to learn, but it’s sooooo painful to watch. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, keeping my mouth shut is a skill I’ll need to work on pretty soon!

  2. *Sigh* Is a puzzlement.

    Um…I just realized you’re probably too young to remember Yul Bryner in The King and I. But he sang the most perfect song for the puzzlements we encounter…anyway, I thought you did a pretty darn good job with this puzzlement, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best to Luke and Katherine–they’ll be fine. And so will you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think you always think I’m younger than I am, Cath. ๐Ÿ™‚ But, hey, I’ll take it since you’re probably the only one. As for Luke and Katie, they haven’t called home all week so I think they’re doing just fine. However, if they don’t call by the weekend I’ll be left with no other choice but to drive up there and talk in person. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Blessings to you and your family as you all take on new adventures. Sleep away school? My daughter was offered that in New Hampshire when she was a teen, but I could/would not let go. Too far from my reach. I know what you are going through. Your kids make good decisions. You parent wisely.

    1. Thank you, Linda! I’m not sure how I managed to let go, but I did it. ๐Ÿ™‚ It helps that they’re only a few hours away.

  4. I read this with a smile on my face, remembering those days when Jill left for ILC and then a year later, Bethany — (Fortunately, we moved to Eau Claire the year you would have gone, too) — I was never one of those mothers who was happy to see the summer end so that you guys would be heading back to school, ‘out of the house and out of my hair’. I loved having you around (and still do)… I constantly reminded myself that God already had your lives planned out… I should go along for the ride and not get in His way! I prayed, thanking Him for giving all of you to us in the first place. Praying for strength and wisdom to not second guess His direction for you .. and so far, He’s done a pretty good job! xo

  5. Beautiful post. It’s both joyful and scary when our kids (and grandkids!) step out on their own. My child didn’t leave until the first year of college, and since she was the only child, I had empty nest syndrome big time. Luke and Katy are wonderful kids, and I think it’s a blessing they have the opportunity to go to a Christian “sleep away” school and experience a little independence. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and they don’t have to travel that far now. God bless you and your family as you continue to make adjustments and learn the ropes in your new town. I miss you guys so very much, but I am so happy for you, too, for your new opportunities.

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