I’m ready though and willing to start the week off well. A little sore from my weekend of skiing – no broken bones and I didn’t fall off the ski lift! I loved it! Really!!
Today is my middle son Peter’s 14th birthday! I can’t believe it! I’ve referred to this sweet boy as my tender warrior, because he always wants to protect and defend others. And because he cares deeply, seeks answers to tough questions, and goes above and beyond what I ask many times. He isn’t perfect – he is an 8th grade boy after all!
One of the things this wonderful boy has desperately sought throughout the past 6 years is a godly man to be his role model. It isn’t even a subconscious quest – he longs for fellowship with a man who will encourage him, bless him, and challenge him. It is one of the things we left in Fredericksburg – one of the reasons this move was difficult. He had just begun a great friendship with a man from our church – they met for coffee which Peter loved! It couldn’t happen a lot but when it did what a blessing! And I cannot tell you how much I appreciated this man stepping into my son’s life even for a short season.
It is one of the difficulties of being a single parent…having to be a “dad” to our sons, or a “mom” to our daughters. I know single fathers who struggle with knowing how to parent their daughters – it is so different from their sons. And I’ve had the same difficulties with my sons. It is just hard to do a job you really weren’t made to do.
I believe this is a wonderful place where the body of Christ can step in and do amazing things to help single parents. Many churches really do it well! It is difficult though…I know.
I have prayed for 6 years for someone to encourage my daughter. God did not provide it, so I must trust that all that she needed He provided in a different way. That’s another part of single parenting…of parenting…that is difficult. Trusting when things don’t go the way we are “certain” they should.
There is a verse in Isaiah that I know I have written about on this blog before because it is one of the verse I cling to for comfort.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
Isn’t that beautiful! Once again God says to us, “I have this.” Even this…even this parenting thing that feels like such a heavy burden at times. God has it. And not only will HE teach our children but HE will give them peace.
What makes this verse even more profound are the verses leading up to it. They speak to parents being in tough places. Please bear with me as I share them:
O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony and lay your foundations with sapphires.
I will make your pinnacles of agate, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your walls of precious stones.” Isaiah 54:11-12
And even before those: For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. Isaiah 54:5
God really does have it all covered. You and I have learned that things might not look the way we envisioned them, but God still holds it all in the palm of His hand…including our sweet children. I trust Him with them.
And I trust Him with me…He is my husband and my Redeemer. God! The God of the whole earth has made me promises in His word! And those promises ring true always and forever. He uses words like “shall” and “will” not “might” and “maybe”. He knows where we are, all storm-tossed and hurt, and He promises to establish us in beautiful places.
It’s easy to imagine that that means it will happen here, but I believe this is another opportunity for us to have an eternal perspective…to understand that in this world we will have trouble! Jesus promises that, but He always promises the brightest of futures.
Sometimes in the yuck or busyness of the day I forget about what lies ahead. I can only see the next step, but God has established the path. It leads right where He wants it to and the destination is glorious!
Today I’m going to celebrate 14 years of the privilege of parenting a fantastic young man and I’m going to take time to pray BIG prayers for him. And again, I will be placing my boy in the hands of his Father…remembering that our Father will provide all that he needs to grow into a man after God’s own heart.
And this week, as I have so often forgotten to do, I’m going to pray for each of my children to love the Lord their God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength. I’m going to pray that God will love and bless my children through me. And that He will give me discernment to know how to encourage each of them.
And maybe that He will let me know when to step back, get on my knees, and let Him handle it…well, that’s probably all the time, isn’t it? :)