My young adult children are incredibly important to me. God gave each of them to us to love, nurture, raise, train, protect, love, train, teach, and lead to their own lives in this world. Never abandoning them or their hearts, but letting them learn to grow on their own and depend on God for themselves.
We have three grown children/young adults given to us do these things with and when we started our family, we were barely adults ourselves. I was 23, hubby 21, when our first was born, our youngest two are now 21 and after raising them the best we could with our own story’s and God, and I want them to live their lives. Two of our kids left home at 18, one headed to college and one headed to the military, both ready to make a life for themselves. When our first daughter left, I started her out in the dorms at college, attempting to set up some parameters for her as she was on her own for the first time. She stayed in the dorms her first year, and I learned there isn’t much supervision or structure even there. Our son was ready to be independent, earning his own living, making his own way, and finding his own answers, he did that by doing the hardest thing a mom can watch her child do, agreeing to work for the American government. He was always independent, a lot like his mom, and he has proven that life isn’t going to outdo his God or what He created him to be. Our youngest daughter is still at home with us, at least for another minute. She is 21 and hasn’t proven to be great at managing money, resisting playing, or deciding that it is too tough at mom and dad’s house to move out. And, the time has come that she do just that.
So, what do I do when I don’t feel as if she is ready for what this world has to offer? What if I don’t get her settled into life and on her way by doing it for her if she isn’t going to? What do I do if I begin to resent that she thinks I am too hard on her at home by making her pay a small rent amount that we save for her, so that when she moves out, she has money saved up for a rainy day? What do I do when all of her friends in their 20’s, and their families, tell her that she should enjoy rent free, chore free, living without any consideration for her parents and the fact that it is their home? What do I do? All of those questions asked, I will clarify that she is a joy and has my heart, but she is still very young in her idea of what this world is like. My mom heart is concerned.
I have spent all the years of their lives attempting to give them a good life financially, tending to their hearts and nurturing them emotionally, and letting them live in our home on in to adulthood. When did our adult kids become so dependent on us? Hubby has been the silent partner all these years. When I was sick all those years, he didn’t ask the kids questions, and he couldn’t nurture them as a mom can, he did his best but some things slipped through the cracks. I know we failed them in so many ways, and I personally have spent the last several years apologizing and owning the areas where I know I failed them. I am the age my mom was when she and dad were divorcing and think back to how she must have felt when I thought I knew everything but still was dependent on her financially. She asked me to leave her house at 18, I was such a pain to live with, and today I felt what she must have been feeling all those years ago. She gave and gave, only to constantly be reminded of how much more I thought she “should” give. It was an awful feeling to face about myself and about my kids. They are all adults now, we raised them the best we knew how and we love them more than they will know before they have kids of their own. Now, it is time for them to find their own way and their own ability to trust God.
Many that read this may not agree with me at all, and I am okay with that. I am watching a generation of young adults that are not leaving the nest or they are ricocheting in and out of their parents homes as if the parents owe them something and I say NO! This is kind of a rant that I needed to post today. I love our young adults, I will never abandon them. I will assist in any way that I can, but I will not do it for them anymore. I think they get it. My mom was an incredible woman of God and she made many mistakes, but I look back at our life together and I know who she was now. I had a front row seat to her pain and suffering when my dad left, to what she faced with a son that chose a life of play that has cost him dearly, and this daughter that didn’t appreciate what she had until mom kicked her out and made her do it with God. I am grateful that she chose that for me, it made me tougher and definitely caused me to depend on God. And because I would never want to shed negative light on her, she helped me any way that I asked for except moving back into her home, her safe haven where she needed her peace.
So, what does this have to do with TheChallenge? Everything! This year has been one of ins and outs with our adult children, and the end of our season of parenting our beautiful brood. I am grateful for each one of them, and have a great idea what each is offering me in my life, even today. I also am in need of a season of my safe haven, alone, with hubby. We need to rediscover our own adventure that we started 25 years ago and didn’t have near long enough to develop before they joined us in our journey. I know our children, each one of them is a light to this dark world, and God has them. As they are journeying in this world, the best thing I can do is pray, and not having to always catch them when they fall. That is the tough one. I know my role now is to send them out to discover with God what He will do with their lives and I will cheer them on as they go. If they don’t cling to Jesus as hubby and I have, what then? I will continue to pray that they know and love the heart of Jesus as I do today.
Today my prayer is this,
“God, please help me to love my kids well. Please give me the courage to give them to You Lord and know that You have them. Remind me that You loved them and knew them before they were even a thought in my head. Comfort my heart, and theirs, when they must pay for choices they make without seeking Your will for their lives. Hold us all close as we transition into this new place and season. Love each of us as only You know how to Dad! In Jesus’ name I ask these things, bringing all glory and honor to Your name!”