Tuesday, July 11, 2006
When my children were small, they loved bandaids. Not the plain ole pink version; rather the jazzed up ones. Sarah and Leslie loved Barbie, My Little Pony, etc. Dan, on the other hand was more than willing to skin a knee to get a G.I.Joe applied. There were times their little legs would have a good half a dozen bandaids up and down them; each little scrape or knick needed a bandaid all it's own.
When Dan was little he had some type of seizures. The doctors never did really completely diagnose them. I just called them "the type that scared me to death." The kind that made me pray to give up a year of my life in return for this kid to start breathing again. Once when we were traveling across the country, Dan shut his thumb in the door of a convenience store. Only when I looked up from his thumb did I realize he'd also stuck the hanger that bags of candy go on through his cheek. When he screamed til he stopped breathing, I remember holding him as tightly as possible to my chest, consoling him over and over trying to calm him. Trying to get him to breathe again. Hearing my voice, he eventually calmed down and was okay.
There have been many kid disasters over the years. A toy flute stuck in an eye, stitches needed here and there. A broken thumb, sprained ankles, broken ankle, etc. All of these things could be fixed with some combination of colorful bandaids, good insurance, lots of sympathy, popsicles, tylenol, etc. Little did I know these would be the easy ones to deal with.
There were the hurts that weren't physical. Broken hearts, hurt feelings; games not won, tryouts not made. Friends who betrayed, goals not reached. Those have been hard. Some hurts were self-inflicted - brought on by poor choices, age-appropriate but poor. Some came by trusting someone too easily, or too much. As parents we listened, counseled, prayed.
When our middle daughter, Leslie, went to college I really struggled to let her go. She hadn't really gone through a tough stage as a teen. She usually made good choices, tried to please us. After a month or so of delving into what could be causing me so much anxiety, I realized I didn't trust God. I realized He and I had different agendas. Mine was to keep them safe, never let them be hurt. His was to let them grow up - into what He had planned for them to be. My plan was to go ahead of them and prevent them from making mistakes. His would allow them to make the mistakes and learn from them. I liked my plan a lot better. It was a turning point for me to at least realize, as a mother, I've tried to protect them from the moment I knew they existed. I still do. Even now I don't particularly want them to grow, stretch, be challenged. I don't want them to hurt. I do want them to "turn out", just with no drama involved. I don't need to be God - I just need Him to take advice from me....
For the last two months I've stood back and watched my daughter, Sarah, bear up to such hurts, challenges, heartaches. I've seen her be stronger than I raised her to be. I'm not only proud of the young woman she's grown into, I'm proud of the woman I see her growing into now; today. I also hurt to see her hurt. I ache to know how lonely this must all feel. To know she has to do it herself; I can't do it for her. My plan would not have equipped her to be where she is right now. Thank God, God went with His plan...
Now that she has a little girl of her own, I believe she can better understand my mother's heart. For the little girl she will always be to me. I wish I could just plaster her with Barbie bandaids and make it all better. I realize only one of us gets to be God. He is able to do much more than cover up a hurt with a bandage. He is able to heal. This mother's heart is holding strong, day-by-day as I watch Him carry out His plan for her. Sarah said, in one of her most recent posts - "he is not only able to care for my daughter's heart; He's able to care for mine." Ditto.
posted at 10:00 AM