This week has been one where things I know in my brain really hit my heart with a new depth of understanding. As a parent I must honor the choices my children make. I may not always like them or agree with them, but this is how my children learn and write their own life story. And sometimes it’s hard.
I wouldn’t call myself a worrier, but deep beneath the surface it’s there… percolating. Our families have a lot working against them and it’s hard not knowing what lies ahead. Have I taught my children enough? Are they really listening? Do they deeply value our opinions? Will they stay free from addictions? Will they make choices that bring them true joy? For me, facing the unknown is one of the hardest things in life. I really don’t like it. Let’s be real. Sometimes I just want to know that this story of our life has a happy ending. And if I had my way, I would write a great story.
Even harder than not knowing the ending to this story is knowing that I only get to write a part of it. Only 1/6 to be exact! I hate it! And I love it! I hate it because it’s hard, it hurts, and I can’t control it.
I love it because the freedom of choice is at the core of our experiences in this life. Allowing choice acknowledges mistakes, embraces pain, and requires a deep level of acceptance and trust. It also brings strength, passion, energy, and purpose to our experiences.
With every choice, I write my own story. Our stories are messy and full of imperfection, and the only way to travel through the unknown is to trust.
What do you trust in? I trust in God. I trust that He knows who I am and that He is watching over me. I trust that He has a plan for me and that it’s a good plan; even when I can’t see a clear path. I trust that He also knows my children. He loves them even more than I do. Which is good.
Good because each of my children are busy writing their own story. The story I can’t control. All of my worry and fuss will never change the fact that this is their story too. Yes, I play a role. The role I try desperately to fill is that of a mother. I love. I teach. I show up. I embrace them in their yuckiest moments for all they bring and for who they are becoming. I set aside my own fear and sit with them in the mess. I let them know that mistakes are a part of the journey and there is no shame in living and learning. I listen. I ask what they are learning. I STOP telling them what they need to figure out. I learn from their wisdom. I offer support and guidance. I feel their heart, see their dreams, and trust in their path. And, then I forget all these things. I start to worry again and try to grasp for control. Then, I remember and I write so I can remember.
So I have a choice. Do I cling to fear and control? Do I step into trust and belief?
Today I choose trust. When we believe in our children and champion their efforts, we empower them to take charge and write their own messy story full of growth and experience. What do you choose?