I’ve read two articles this week, and although I am somewhere between the struggles of learning how to be a parent for the first time and sending my grown sons off to serve the world, these articles have served as a reminder of how much I’ve grown, and how much more I will grow!
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:27-28)
An article by Simcha Fisher, To the Mother of Only One Child, justifies the struggles and rewards of parenting, whether you have one child or one dozen children. She writes about how the struggles and suffering we mothers do happen to us, “…so that [we] can become strong enough to be [women] who will be left.” These children are not mine. They belong to God, who has entrusted them to me. I must be a stronger, better, more trusting servant! To be a parent is a sacred responsibility. It is a ministry.
Children are a gift from God; they are a sweet reward. (Psalm 127:3)
A blog post by Ann Voskamp, What a Parent Wants to Say Before a Child Leaves, (and the rest can also be found here), spoke to my heart again. My sons are still babies at the ages of 5, 3, and 1. I’ve felt the joy of watching those babies take their first steps…only to watch as they walk farther and farther…looking back less and less often.
And the child grew…
I know that the joy I feel from hearing them hiding God’s word in their sweet little hearts…watching those little hearts grow and swell as they start to understand…making my heart do the same!
…and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:40)
That joy that fills me will eventually be the same joy that puts a lump in my throat and causes tears to be overflowing my eyes when those walking feet take that big heart farther away from me – but closer to God. And thank goodness for that, for it will be so much better for them to be closer to Him.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. (Proberbs 29:17)
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing it its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. (Ecclesiastes 11:5)