I had an incredible "Mom Moment" yesterday. The word incredible may not even be sufficient enough. The mental challenge of helping Daniel to "welcome" Olivia into his heart as well as our life has been a monumental and agonizing process. For a child to be expected to understand the "whys" of life when as adults it is hard to reconcile such difficulties in our own mind's eye. I know there are days when I have taken extraordinary amounts of time and offered perspective that I know will help to shape him into the man he will one day become even though he has heard only half of what I have said and offered even less application. There have also been days when my "suggestions" have been less than empathetic. I have never questioned God about why I was chosen for this role, but I have wrestled with Him on more than one occasion as I have certainly grown weary under the various burdens within it. Mothers wear so many different hats as it is and raising kids on a good day...well I am just not sure there are ANY of those until our kids are standing on their own two feet and able to understand for themselves why some days we asked them to go to bed earlier than others.
I never wanted to be a mom that sung her children's praises in each and every area of growth and development, but at this particular juncture in my life, I cannot help but recognize the painful stretching my own challenges are having on every area of my own life as well as the obvious effect it is having on my kids and to see them thriving within it is something that brings me to my knees where I find a God that refocuses me on my objective: to grow through my calling as a mother of 5 incredible and uniquely gifted kids who never leave my mind without heartfelt emotion, a wife of a man destined by God Himself with a mission of healing for a hurting and foolishly arrogant world, as well as a woman with desires as well as ambition that seem to emerge and then become somewhat strangled under the weight of the various hats I have been called to wear.
This reality leaves me empowered as well as helpless at the same time. I am learning who I am in God's eyes, in the eyes of those who "used" to know me as well as those who God is bringing into my life to support the transition as the next phase of our life unfolds. I am humbled by the new, frustrated by the old and while I would like to say patiently waiting for more opportunities to thrive, I am imperfect as well as impatient.
I have also learned through the process that the more we are called to the more we have to prove. I am not referring to proving ourselves to God, although I am quite certain He allows the challenges for purposes we may not always understand nor do we need to. We are simply called to trust Him. I think the concept of proving is something that is allowed for our own benefit. It doesn't build self-confidence...quite the opposite...it builds God-confidence, and that is something that is not only severely lacking in our culture, but absolutely required for serving Him.
As I have put the time into Daniel and Olivia's relationship with little return, or so it seemed, yesterday was a day that proved something to me: our growth, while it is a part of our destiny, it may not always be a path that is pain-free or self-controlled. If we remember who we are within that process, who we trust, and who trusts us to demonstrate His character, we can rest assured He will guide us. And as hard as we may "try" to respond correctly when we are faced with difficulties, we always have room to grow. Yesterday, Daniel showed me he is growing.
I had been at a seminar with my husband over the weekend. I was picking Daniel up at the bus stop and when he got in the car, he began telling me about his weekend. He and Olivia had gone to "Rec Night" at their school. She had spent the weekend at a friend's house but they saw each other there. He told me he had danced twice...with 2 different girls! I needed straightened out since I was thinking that balls would be bouncing on the gym floor all evening (another blog, another day ;O). He said Olivia danced all night but not with any boys. I reminded him of something that is spoken of in our home and that is that Olivia is faithful! Faithful for God to bring the right person into her life when it is the right time and in the mean time she just will not compromise her trust in His goodness for her life. It is something that I respect her so much for. Daniel told me something else I already know and that is that Olivia is a great dancer! He went on to say: "Everyone really likes Olivia...the girls as well as ALL OF THE BOYS! We have the same friends and I actually have to admit I missed Olivia this weekend!"
(SILENCE.) (TEARS SLOWLY FALLING DOWN MY CHEEKS.) I looked at him and said, "Daniel, you have NO idea how happy that makes me. It makes ALL of our challenges completely worth it!" I have a feeling that God feels the same way when we grow in our understanding of our own challenges in life that He allows for our growth. Add to that statement all of the changes this family has recently (as well as continually) been put through and it was a moment where God showed ME that He really is in control and really does care about my feelings of occasionally growing weary as if my faith is waning under the pressure of those many hats I am forced to wear.
I must have really been neglected as a child to have to learn all of these lessons as an adult! But I am thankful that God loves me enough to not have left me where I was! I am still ever-hopeful in the best that life has to offer, but I am far more focused on the best that God has to offer!