It was a sunny afternoon, and my husband and youngest daughter had just returned from running some errands. They were coming in the front door when they heard a voice. Danielle stopped, got this disgusted look on her face, and announced that Stephanie’s boyfriend was there. Mark paused, then drew Danielle back outside and closed the door.
He said, “You know, you’ve never really told us how you feel about Stephanie’s boyfriend.”
Danielle rolled her eyes and said, “She could do so much better!”
Mark laughed. You see, something had happened to Mark that he had never seen coming in all his years of being a Dad. The thought that one of his daughters would bring home a boyfriend that he wouldn’t like had never occurred to him. Though we tried to like this young man who Stephanie was dating, his personality clashed with ours. Amid other things, his arrogance concerned us. Stephanie always was the nonconformist, though. She sees the good in everyone and, therefore, could not see any problem with this young man at all.
I would not dream of bursting that bubble. I wanted my girls to see the good and the wonder of the world, but I knew as they got older, that wonder would need to be tempered with experience and wisdom. In time, she came to realize on her own that she and this young man were on two different paths and decided to break up with him. The rest of the family breathed a collective sigh of relief. And to this day, I believe that they are still friends.
Does God do that to us???
Sometimes I wonder if God sighs and rolls His spiritual eyes at us when we do something similar, when we choose another path than the one He has provided for us, when we think we know better than He does, when we ignore every sign, every person, every obstacle He places in our way trying to guide us to where He wants us to go.
I think we women show our willfulness in one of two ways. We either step in to take over when no one else will, or we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the obvious. Never mind that we see God leading us. I myself have gone from one extreme to the other, becoming an expert pendulum. Finding a place in the middle has been difficult for me, and I think many women have the same problem. My epitaph will probably read, “Loving wife and mother, control freak, and ostrich. (Whoever decided that ostriches put their heads in the sand to hide anyway? You know they don’t really do that.) At times I have to reel myself back in from one side or the other, and I can almost hear the Lord saying, “Are you ready to trust me and go where I’m leading you?”
I don’t want to run from God’s Reaching Arms, His guidance, and His protection. I will try to follow His leading and trust in His goodness to see me through. Hopefully He will help me find a safe place in the middle where I won’t be a meddling mother, who tries to control her kids’ every move or open her mouth without thought. (When I look back on some of the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, I think, “There you go again, Robin! When are you going to learn?” What do they call that—Foot-in-Mouth Disease?)
Sometimes I wonder…..
Well, God is merciful. I am so thankful that He gave me two strong daughters who have the capacity to forgive me when I screw up, even when I don’t admit it right away. Smart, funny, and forgiving—that’s a good combination, and I’d like to say they take after me, but sometimes I wonder.
I used to think that when our children got older, the issues we have with them would get easier to face. In most ways they have, but in many ways, life just gets more complicated. It certainly keeps us on our knees. I know my dad is still constantly on his for me and my three brothers. Of course, they need more prayer than I do, and, no, I will not tell you how to get in touch with any of them to confirm this fact. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
In the meantime, God bless you and keep you all!