My daughter Andrea has always loved fairytales. She was in the 9th grade when the words “Once Upon A Time” began her own fairytale journey.
I watched her the other night. I had come to babysit. It was a rare and beautiful moment. The sun was shining, so she said she wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and walk to church. I stood in the doorway of the very home she used to dream about owning one day. She’s 34 years old, but somehow I thought I could protect her if I just made sure she made it to church ok. Our home and church are visible from her front door. The home she grew up in.
And then I watched her husband. He was giving instructions to the boys and running a bit behind, so he decided to take the car. He slowly drove up to her as she walked. I could see her laughing. Her hand rested on his open window as his car crept along side her the rest of the way.
In that moment my mind was transported back 20 years to that 9th grade girl and her crush, as she walked home from school and he pulled up along side her in his royal blue Ford Escort ZX2. He had cut off the tail pipe to replace it with a “cooler” tip, and the car had a sticker on it that said “Xtreme Racing”. To top it off, he installed blue lights, lights that caused our local police to pull him over (on more than one occasion).
Many rules were enforced during her high school years. To be honest, I was scared. I had all these dreams for her future, and I knew how quickly one bad decision could change the course of her entire life. I was scared because I didn’t put enough faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. In the power of Jesus and prayer. In the sovereignty and providence of God.
That 9th grade crush became her Knight in shining armor. A man I am so proud of. God has worked miracles in his life. A life once headed in the wrong direction. A heart changed by the gift of Jesus’ death on the cross and His complete grace, forgiveness and transformation.
Mamas, this mama never prayed so hard. But my daughter’s fairy tale wasn’t a result of me, it was a result of Jesus.
Too often parents try to control every aspect of their child’s life~ “Stay close to home when you go to college. Don’t move too far away. Marry a man that will keep you financially secure, or a women that doesn’t pose a threat to mama.”~ Don’t get me wrong, parents should have a say in every area of their child’s life, and in turn their children should honor and respect them. What I am trying to say is, yes we as parents have a tremendous responsibility and influence on our children, but we are not God. We are not the Holy Spirit, and there will come a time that we need to hand those children over to God and trust that He knows what is best for them.
Mike Francavilla was best for my Andrea. Joey was best for my Jessica, Shannon was best for my Michael and Josh was best for my Kat. And the older I get, and the more I observe, and the more I relinquish my desire to control their futures and hand that over to God, the more I see fairytales unfold in their lives. Fairytales that only God could write. Fairytales with God’s “Happily Ever After” written all over them.
I realize this isn’t always the case~
When it seems like unwise decisions have been made and our children’s path appears to be going in the wrong direction, remember that God never gives up on His kids, or ours.
I know you might be scared mama, but I also know that no matter what situation your child is in, God can rewrite their story. As a mother I will always have a strong desire to protect my babies, but the more time that passes, the more I realize that the best way I can protect them is to give them to God. Every single day. Continually encourage them in His word. Love them with my everything and never, ever stop praying for them…
I closed the front door and smiled down at her youngest as he gazed up at me. Tears of joy filled my eyes. I could write a book about her fairytale life and the hand of God upon it. As much as she realizes this now, one day she will realize it so much more as she watches God pen the words to her own children’s fairytales.
Today I will savor this chapter and pray for the chapters ahead. The generations and books yet to be written with God’s “Happily Ever After” written all over them.
“This is the LORD's doing; It is marvellous in our eyes.”
Romans 8:27-28, 31-32
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Philippians 1:6, 4:5-7
I Corinthians 5:17