Goals are set - (God's goals, we tell ourselves), we know the steps to reach them and we're pursuing them with the greatest of intentions and passion. Life is mapped out - crystal clear and beautiful.
Then something happens -- life happens.
You realize that you're a broken person, living in partnership with another broken person, raising broken little people. The life we planned rarely (Rarely? Never.) lays out perfectly. People, moves, heartbreaks, successes, failures, jobs, friendships, illness, stuff... it happens, and it changes our ideal.
And yes, we've been redeemed, the Spirit of the Living God resides in us. All power that I need to live the life He's called me to is here for me - it's in me. For that I am eternally grateful. We have what we need from a God that has it figured out. But I don't have it figured out.
I'm a person living with a soul that sometimes turns from what I know and lives in fear, pursuing what I believe I need to protect myself and my family. At risk to the very ones I want to protect, I run on the endless hamster-wheel of trying to control every aspect of my life and everyone else's...often running over the very ones I want to protect. I forget to lay down, as Richard Foster says, "the everlasting burden of always needing to manage others."
I'm not saying we should just let our children run like wild banshees without boundaries or training. Not at all. God's given them to us and we must be good stewards of the precious lives entrusted to us. We must do our best to put wisdom into them, live by example what it means to be a follower of Christ, teach them discipline and humility - (all that good-parent stuff). But when boundaries are set by my desire to control, or out of fear, when failure to live up to my "standards" brings shame and condemnation rather than guidance, grace and redemption, I've forgotten their God is still in charge here. I've forgotten He has plans I cannot imagine - plans that are way better than any I could dream up. I've lived in fear instead of love.
I'm grateful for beautiful children and a husband that loves me. I'm thankful that we're all friends and we can have wonderful, laughter-filled times together. I'm also freaked out that they are slipping out of the grasp of my control - or at least my illusions of control. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
As I look into the faces of our two grown children and one we're about to launch out of a huge India-facing sling shot into adulthood, I'm completely overwhelmed, completely terrified and completely humbled.
I realize that I lived in fear much of the time, often creating rules, laws, boundaries and agendas to try and keep my broken little ones from making some of the same mistakes we made (or that they'll make up new ones I never even thought of). I had this "perfect" picture in my head of what things would look like and worked to make it so, instead of trusting God for the outcome. God is prying my fingers open. And I'm glad. Holding that tightly is exhausting.
I forget that the big God that redeems my mistakes, my sins, my failures is the same big God that will redeem theirs.
I forget that this is their journey and it will look different than mine.
I forget that the big God that is not intimidated by my doubts and wrestlings, is also not intimidated by theirs.
I forget that if they don't look exactly like I envisioned it when we started out - that's okay. It's better. It's great even. God knows them way better than I do, and He's got this.
He's big enough.