“…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
These verses give me much comfort as a mother who deeply desires that her children love and know Jesus and follow in His steps. It speaks to me both as a guide to minister to others, including my children, and as a promise from God. I have 3 children. Each unique. If you’re a parent, I feel sure you see that in your own as well.
Trying to navigate the murky waters of parenting become even muddier when you realize that what we’ve always known about mankind in general is also true of our children…. No two are exactly the same.
Trying to navigate the murky waters of parenting becomes even muddier when you realize that what we’ve always known about mankind in general is also true of our children…. No two are exactly the same. In fact, right there in your own family, same DNA, are people that on some days you have no idea where they came from. They make decisions you would never make, they have talents you only dreamed of and they have qualities you’re not all that familiar with. Oh, sure, they may remind you from time to time of Aunt Betty or Grandpa Joe, even a third cousin once removed that you met once at a family reunion when you were 10. You may even wonder if they were adopted at times except for the fact that you know, that you know, that you know that they are in fact your own fruit.
The funny thing about fruit is, it is a kind of food that has evolved in to a plethora of variety and you can’t make orange juice from an apple and vice versa. We all have ways we like our apple. Me? I like mine sweet, tart, firm, and crisp. (Some people actually prefer a sweet apple with no tart and soft to the bite. I can’t imagine.)
As a Christian parent, I want to see the fruit of the Spirit lived out in my children, but I’ve come to understand that although love is a fruit of the Spirit, it’s not manifested the same through everyone. How you show love to others doesn’t necessarily look the same as what I do to show love. Such is true of all of them.
How can I best love my children? By letting go of my dreams for them and support the dreams God gives them.
How can I best love my children? By letting go of my dreams for them and support the dreams God gives them. You may have heard these words of an old hymn, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” It’s as simple as that. When it comes to any responsibilities, trust and obey. This rings especially true when a child chooses to follow God’s call into full time missions, like my first daughter.
We are each called to share the gospel, and in the same way showing love looks different for each of us. How God calls us share His story through our own looks different. I’ve sat with moms in a panic because their child has chosen to share the gospel full time, but for me, I don’t remember ever really being concerned, except when watching my child deal with others’ worry, questions and concern.
To see clearly God’s plan you must listen to what He is saying.
To see clearly God’s plan, you must listen to what He is saying. I can’t really explain it but if you’ve ever been in a place where life seemed so tough and yet your spirit soared in peace you understand where my heart remains. You see, from the womb an almost audible voice from God said, “She’s Mine and I will do great things through her.” God sure knows my heart and I believe that was the beginning of Him preparing me to let go of what I thought was best and let Him show me, and her, His best.
Without the Holy Spirit working in me, I know I would have never been able to let go.
Sending her off to full time missions has been easy, dare I say, and then again there are moments when my thoughts wander and fear creeps in. Without the Holy Spirit working in me, I know I would have never been able to let go. I would have surely stomped and cried (more) demanding my choices for her on her. But, God is gracious and loving and kind and just and sovereign and I choose to trust Him in all things. After all, He loves her more than I do as hard as that is to imagine.
Nancy is a mom of one of our staff members. She has a heart of humility and desires to honor the Lord in all she does. On a day off, you might find her watching Netflix, catching up on a bible study and resting her feet for the work days she has coming.