I ran into H. a few days ago, and just in time too! My daughter is growing up,(ugh!), and I am having a hard time letting go! I want to protect her from everyone, and everything. Which is impossible, I know this in my head, but my heart has not caught up yet!
So I was pleasantly surprised to run into H. at the mailbox, with lots on my mind, questions and digging for her support on how everything I am "doing" right when it comes to her. I am one of those overly involved mother, is there such a thing? I want to know where she is, who she is with, what she is doing, and when she will be home, back to the safety of my watchful eye! However, I know this is not practical, and yet every part of my body fights to protect her. Regan is a good kid, actually she is a great kid., and she hangs out with great kids.Its just that they are all starting to drive now, and she wants to go so many places. We are in a dilemma I am not ready to hand her off to just any driver,it really scares me. I am fearful of her getting into the wrong car, with the wrong driver. I am afraid they will be distracted by the radio, the phone or texting. Raising a teenager is much different than I thought. You no longer only have to worry about trusting yourself with them, but you have to put your trust into them, and the friends they are around. You can't be there for everything they do, first it would be weird, and second they would be committing social suicide!
Anyway, I was telling H. and asking her advice on letting Regan drive with a friend of hers, and then I proceed to tell her all the reasons why she is not going to do this, or that. I explain about all the "rules" I have in place, and safeguards. I plead my case to her, while she stands there and listens, with a part smile on her face, because she has already been where I am. She looks at me like she has a secret to share and is waiting for an opportune time to tell me. I finally finish, and look to her to congratulate me on how successful I am at being a parent. However, when she replies, it is not what I expected.
She says,"Brenda, you need to know, your best is not good enough,its never going to be good enough."
What?? I look to see if she is joking.. My best isn't what? I mean, I get the best parent award, so I am confused. I start to wonder, does she think my standards are too low? Do I need to do more?
and then in true H. fashion, she explains to me this:
As parents we can do everything we think is right or good, and still bad things will happen. We cannot protect them from everything, and everybody and that is why we have to give them to Christ, and trust Him to keep them safe. She reminded me, what I had forgotten, that there is someone who loves my daughter more than me, someone perfect. Christ. However, giving up control, is a very hard concept for me. Trusting completely is even harder.Our best, my best, is never going to be good enough, because we are human and flawed.We cannot see the future, we cannot predict the unpredictable, but Christ can. The most important thing I can do for my daughter, is to pray for her. Daily. Pray for her safety, for her protection, and for her health.
I think Christ gives us children, so that we can learn from them, see Him through them,but mostly to learn about ourselves, and see where we need improvement in moving towards a Christ centered life.When they are little, it is easy to keep a strong grip on them, to keep the control over their needs and wants, but as they get older, learning how to let go of that control is even harder. However, by doing so, it allows us to give it back to the One who has been in control all along. It helps us to grow closer to Christ,( I mean have you ever prayed more than at a time when your teenager is coming home at night in someone elses' car!), it makes us rely on the One, who created them.
As H. and I finished our conversation, I felt lighter.The sole responsibility of my daughters safety is not a burden I have to carry alone. No, I am not ready to say "yes" to everything, I will still be cautious. Rules will still be in place, but I am learning that I need to put my trust in the One perfect parent, My Heavenly Father, who will never leave her nor forsake her, and loves her more than I ever possibly could.
And although, my best will never be good enough, I sure as heck am gonna keep trying!