One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to not be a parent.
Recently, my 4 year old granddaughter Clara got an awful splinter in her foot. It was deep and painful. She’s a tough little cookie and doesn’t cry easily. I regularly hear her shout out~”I’m ok!”~as she jumps up from tripping, falling, running into walls, getting plowed over by her cousin on the swing-set, etc. But when her daddy had to get that splinter out, this grandma couldn’t even watch. I had to leave the room. I could not handle seeing her in so much pain, even though I knew the consequences of that splinter would cause major infection if left unattended.
It brought me back to all the times I had to deal with similar situations in my own children’s lives. My daughter Kathryn was about the same age when she broke her collar bone and had to have it reset.
I can still remember her screams.
Seeing our children in that type of pain is heart wrenching, but if we know that pain will be for their good~as parents, we have to allow it.
Parenting doesn’t just stop the moment our children move out of the house. It doesn’t stop once they get married. It doesn’t stop after they have their own children.
I don’t think parenting will ever stop, as long as I am alive.
The wisdom we gain as we get older, the consequences we endure for our actions~all of this becomes warning signs that we want to frantically wave in front of our children.
It’s not that we think they aren’t smart~or even that we are smarter.
It’s like fast forwarding to the end of the movie and trying to tell them we know the outcome. We’ve already seen it.
We thought we had all the answers when we were their age. But time told a different story. That little splinter our own parents tried to remove, we told them no. It was fine. It was too small to do any harm.
But it wasn’t small.
We don’t want them to endure the heart aches we did. We don’t want them to go through pain.
But this isn’t our story, it’s now theirs. We can’t write their ending. Only they can.
And so we pray. We continually give them to God and when we are tempted to take them back~out of His grasp, when we grab for their heel and beg them to let us get that splinter out, we have to let go. Again and again and again.
And trust Him.
It will be hard. There will be pain. We might even have to walk out of the room~but in the end, if we’ve really truly given our children to God~He will be glorified.
There’s a freedom in letting go and letting God. He is and always has been the One in control but somehow in our finite minds, we think we are.
Once our minds can comprehend that the God of the universe knows exactly what’s going on in our children’s lives and that He has a plan~for their good, we can let go and allow God to pull that splinter out Himself.
Because He loves them with a love that cannot be measured.
He loves them with a love that CANNOT BE MEASURED.
When the threat of infection was removed and the pain was over, Clara wanted to be held by her daddy. She snuggled in close as the last of her whimpers faded away.
Isn’t that the end goal? To know that our children are being held by their Father,
to be closer to Him than ever before.