As a parent one of the most difficult things to do is to have an open hand. It starts the first time you let them walk for themselves. Those tottery little legs that have been working so hard to learn to stand and to walk along the sofa are now ready to take the adventure of their own. You are there, ready to catch them if they are in danger of hurting themselves, but you have to let them take that step. There are many other times in life as well; times even if you know they aren’t quite ready but they insist they have to try and you know they have to find out for themselves. And you stand in awe as they try and succeed, you weren’t always right Mom. Oh, and then a big one… learning to drive. You can teach them how to drive and even get them lessons, then comes the day they have their full license… and… gulp… off they go. The life experience you have as a parent gives you a greater awareness of the potential dangers on the road, and in life, but you have done your part, now it comes time for their own decisions… choices … good and bad. We all make the bad ones, and usually it is those ones that our experience wants to save them from. They look at us with this disgusted look when we give them the list of cautions, until, they have their own kids, or until they are faced with one of those cautions and find out we were right after all.
I used to think that lessons in letting go ends when they grow up and move away from home and I guess, in part it does. You can speak into your kids the things you have learned from experience or wish you would have learned but you have to stand back, hands off. As your kids hit adults there are boundaries. Boundaries that you have to set in life as to where they are allowed to have opinions or influence, and then there are boundaries that they set. None of those boundaries should ever be put into place to have control, but rather to give each other the room to grow and be free to make their own choice.
I have told my kids that I would lay in front of a freight train for them to protect them and keep them from hurting or going through the hard in life and truth be told I would, if that would help. No freight train carries the hurts life hurls at us, at them. I can try, and only God knows how much I try, to help to avoid them being hurt. I have no control, some of the hurts comes from their choices, the choices of others around them and yes, even through the choice of me as a parent, of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” and the rippling affect on them, even as adults.
Ok, so what can I do. First, I can love them unconditionally, and for me that is easy to do. Even through the pain of the tears I shed for them, because of them and around them, my love for them does not stop, or waiver. Second and the hardest of all, I can open my hand. As my hand opens I am turning them over to the one that loves them more unconditionally than I ever can. Jesus loves them, this I know… not just because the Bible tells me so, but because in life and experience I have felt that love on my life. And that love is not just for me. Through tears, bad choices, pain.. from decisions I made in my own life and those others made around me, I have felt Jesus present in some of the most difficult, lonely times in my life.
I pray for my kids everyday and without a doubt many times throughout the day. With open hand, open heart and an ocean of tears. My hands start to close and then … again I have to open it. I know that Jesus sees them, I know He knows their life choices, I know He knows what their thoughts are and He asks that I open my hands so He can do the work in their lives that I cannot. Step by step..tear by tear .. prayer by prayer I breath to live as their mom, mother in law and grandmother. Today… I open my hand.. and pray for the people Jesus entrusted me with to be their Mom, Mother in law and Grammy. Are you hands open, or closed?
Hugs n Prayers