In my quest to catch up with the blogs that I follow, I have found some interesting things to ponder..as usual, And one thing that really leaped out at me today was about a woman who had adopted a child from another country, and was concerned about the fact that the child was adamantly refusing to embrace Christianity at the
moment, despite the best efforts of her new parents. The story reminded me of some of my fears as I was raising my two daughters and my son, and I thought it would be a good thing to write about today.
From the day my babies were each born, they were my most beloved accomplishment, and my most prized possessions. I read every parenting book that was recommended, prayed for them, adored them, and to this day, I marvel at their existence. So, obviously, I wanted with all of my heart to have all three of them in heaven with me. And to ensure this, I raised up my children in the way they should go, knowing that when they were old, they would not depart from it….But it is the middle part that almost made my brain explode.
In the few months that after the motorcycle accident, and my basic absence from their lives, my kids got into all sorts of things they shouldn’t have. All three of them tried drugs..The places they’d been farmed out to introduced new theories of religion and God to them, embraced different morals, and basically allowed my children to run free and wild, without their mom’s guiding voice to direct them. When I got home, still broken and somewhat traumatized, I found three little broken, traumatized, angry children who were trying to cope using the world’s methods instead of God’s. I was horrified!
The extent of how far they’d wandered was evident when a friend of mine introduced me to MySpace. Curious to see if my children had sites, I found Caitlyn’s….with a great big picture of the Grim Reaper and a conversation she was having about smoking some weed after school. Right then and there, I set up my own account, and wrote the following on her wall:
Nice site. We’re going to talk when you get home.
Needless to say, we did, much to her chagrin. But that was only the beginning of trying to herd my little humans back into some kind of sanity.
I won’t go in to every little detail of that nightmare. It would just take too long. But I will say this…while it is hard to keep the world outside of your front door for kids these days, it is almost impossible to shove it back out once it has gotten inside. So, from that point on, communication about each and every world view became extremely important. We discussed drugs and how they eventually can steal your very soul. We discussed God, and whether any one would ever really be able to prove His existence or His non-existence. We discussed what being successful really meant to us. In other words, we discussed every thing. It was like we were having to rebuild a trust again.
I worried that my children would wander from their faith; God heard plenty from me back then about this. And then, I realized one day that their relationships with God won’t look like mine. That relationship is an intimate one that leaves no room for anyone else. Each relationship with the Lord is forged from the heart of an individual, spoken to the hurts, fears, desires, etc. of that specific person. The Holy Spirit gently calls to that person in a language that only that individual understands and responds to. And no amount of forcing the issue by me would make it any different.
I had to let each of my children find Jesus their own way and in their own time. My job as their mom was just to be there to answer the questions, and point them back in the direction that they would find those answers…
I found that when I stopped trying to sell my own opinions, and trying to force them to have an intimate relationship with the Lord, they each began to actually develop their own, unique connection with God. They aren’t as spiritually mature as I am, but why should they be? They’re still new adults…Life will mature them in time.
I don’t consider my kids being younger, newer Christians a failure on my part. Instead, I see the tiny shoots of the seeds I planted in those little gardens all their childhood lives, and I marvel when each storm comes, and those shoots, instead of getting ravaged and destroyed, instead become stronger, straighter, and more robust.
My advice to a Christian parent who has children that won’t be easily guided to what we want them to believe is to continue to plant seed after seed after seed, and then trust that Jesus will do the rest. Don’t judge how long it takes for someone else to come to their own truth. No one fully embraces someone else’s truth.
- Mother Prayers (birdmartin.wordpress.com)