Many, many things are difficult about being a parent. Being woefully inadequate pretty much sums up the difficulty. Inadequate to meet all their needs. Inadequate to heal their hurts. Inadequate to prevent them from making any poor choices and the consequences they cause. Inadequate to spare them the pain of rejection, disappointment, and hurt feelings. (I'll never forget the first time a child was mean to my child. I felt an immediate mama bear instinct that quite frankly frightened me. Me, a "grown up" 30-year old woman, and I could have made that 4 year-old child look like the mature one.)
Today was a tough day to be a parent. Today I had to explain suicide. Today I had to explain mental illness. Today one child came home with a great disappointment, one child came home with a great sadness, and one child came home with a great accomplishment worthy of great celebration. Three big needs, all worthy of all of me, and yet even all of me was inadequate.
And we worked through each one. And then I ran, and as I ran I prayed. And as I prayed, I heard. Inadequacy is a blessing. As a parent, my inadequacy is vital in the growth of my children. If I was sufficient to fulfill every need, heal every hurt, shield them from every pain, then they would have no need for their God.
2 Corin. 12:9: "...'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
I want Christ's power on me, and I desperately want it on my children's lives. And if I held the power to heal their hurts, if I had the power to prevent all hurts, I would be standing smack in the middle of them reaching out to their God.
Instead I want to model for them how to go before the One who can heal all hurts, who can give all comfort, who can direct their paths when they are disappointed. I want to just be the Mom, I want to give a comforting word, I want to tell them I'm sorry they are disappointed, I want to hug them and tell them I'm so proud of them. I want them to come to me for comfort and affirmation, and I want them to go to God for direction and answers.
And I love the way my disappointed child responded to disappointment. Gracious. Wise. Resilient.
And I love the way my sad child responded to sadness. Loving. Compassionate.
And I love the way my excited child responded to accomplishment. Appropriately proud. Genuinely happy. Yet zero boastfulness.
Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight."
I want my kids to trust Him, even when they don't understand. I want them to accept a "no" as an answer from Him, trusting that He is keeping them on a path that is the best for them; or keeping them from a path that is not for the best. Easier said than done, but I must let my kids experience that in order for them to deepen their trust in the Lord's best for them.
I am woefully inadequate to be responsible for their straight path.
But they know the One who is responsible for that.
What a blessing.